About CIfA

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists is the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. It represents the interests of archaeology and archaeologists to government, policy makers and industry, sets standards and issues guidelines, improves member career prospects by promoting and organising training and informing them of developments in professional practice, and through its Registered Organisations scheme improves employment practices and raises standards of work. As a result the CIfA acts as the self-regulating body for the archaeological profession.

History of the Institute

The Institute was created in 1982 as the Institute for Field Archaeologists and became the Institute for Archaeologists in 2006. We achieved a Royal Charter in December 2014.


The Institute has over 3200 individual members, and around 80 registered organisations. Membership is open to anybody who works or has an interest in the historic environment, whether they are employed or volunteering their time. There are two groups of individual membership: accredited membership and non-accredited Student and Affiliate membership.

The following brochure showcases some of our members, and the roles they have:


CIfA is a democratic membership organisation and is governed by its Royal Charter and by-laws. The Board of Directors is responsible for managing the affairs of CIfA in accordance with the Charter and by-laws, with the day to day running of CIfA carried out by the staff. The Advisory Council represents the interests of the membership and offer thoughtful and detailed advice to the Board of Directors on policy, strategy and potentially controversial decisions (see CIfA Board of Directors and Advisory Council). The objectives and strategic aims of the Institute are set out in its 2010-20 Strategic Plan.

In October of each year the CIfA holds an AGM. Recent Annual Reports can be found below.

Professional networks and area groups

Our professional networks and area groups provide a forum for discussion and development within the many strands of professional archaeology - from the marine environment to standing buildings, forensic archaeologists to geophysicists and from the next generation through to current experts in project management. Our groups help CIfA achieve the ambitious aims set out in our 2010-20 Strategic Plan, which provides the roadmap for our current business plan.

Professional associations

As a member of the Professional Associations Research Network, our professional body is:

  • Keeping up-to-date with the latest sector research and best practice guidance
  • Equipped through training and events to deal with the challenges professional bodies face
  • Part of an active network of professional bodies that learn from each other

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
admin [at] archaeologists.net