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All CIfA projects either deliver research into UK or European professional practice, or are directed towards the promotion of workplace learning and professional development. These projects, their outputs and the ideas they generate, are intended to provide benefits to members and to further the development of the archaeological profession. The Institute will continue to seek funding for this kind of research, to help us improve working practices and training across the sector. The aim of all CIfA activities and projects will continue to be to contribute to one or more of the objectives of our Strategic Plan.

The Institute does not rely on projects for funds to deliver its regular services to members, but project surpluses do enable the Institute to invest in initiatives that serve members interests when required. In recent years these have included

  • recession planning (in partnership with ALGAO, FAME and others)
  • assistance and advice to European colleagues
  • the development of models for Workplace Training
  • the campaign to promote CPD among professional archaeologists

All CIfA projects are run in accordance with professional standards for project management (based on Prince 2 and English Heritage’s MoRPHE (PDF file) (Management of Research Projects in the Historic Environment) guidelines. Detailed financial reporting on projects is delivered regularly to Council, and can be obtained on request to the Executive committee.

In our Strategic Plan for 2020 (PDF file), we commit to continual review of the range of projects we are involved with through consultation with Council, members, other archaeologists and stakeholders.

Recent Projects

CIfA Client guide

This guide is aimed at anyone who needs to meet the requirements of legislation or policy that relate to archaeology. It explains what you need to do and why you need a professional archaeologist to help you through the process. Following this guide will increase your chances of reaping benefits from your archaeological work and avoiding some of the possible hazards of working in the historic environment.

Involving professional archaeologists early in your project will

  • ensure you have the right skills in place to interpret and fulfil your obligations
  • help you to plan your resources
  • enable you to balance the potentially conflicting demands of managing
    archaeology properly and delivering your project

A copy of the guide can be found here.

IfA Stakeholder survey
IfA internal project

IfA carried out a survey to find out how IfA and professional archaeologists are viewed by people those within our sector, and those in related professions and organisations – our ‘stakeholders’. This was the first of three surveys to be undertaken between now and 2020, which will chart progress towards some of the objectives of the Institute’s Strategic plan 2010–2020. The results also give some indications of how well people understood our profession. As this is the first of three surveys, it provides baseline data with which the two subsequent surveys can be compared.

We got some interesting responses back which have provided a good starting point for us to think about broader perceptions of archaeologists as well as how people view the IfA itself. For example, and encouragingly, all respondents agreed that archaeologists have specialist skills and knowledge relating to the study and care of the historic environment. Respondents were positive about their experiences of professional collaboration with archaeologists and around two thirds of responding organisations used archaeologists to add value to their work and to create a distinctive character to their work and products.

You can read the summary of the report here and an article will be published in TA91 Spring 2014.

National Vocational Qualification in Archaeological Practice
IfA/generates own funds
c. 20K to date

NVQ In 2009, the IfA have achieved their goal of establishing an Assessment Centre to offer archaeologists in the UK the NVQ in Archaeological Practice. Although the IfA is subsidising the set up of the centre, within 5 years the Centre will be self funded, and able to rely on a network of trained assessors based in archaeological practices throughout the UK. The Qualification in Archaeological Practice is a vocational qualification developed by the Archaeology Training Forum and approved by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. It is awarded by Education Development International (EDI) which is also the awarding body for Cultural Heritage NVQs in the museums sector. For more information, go to our NVQ page

Maritime Archives
2008 - ongoing
HS, EH, of Museum Archaeologists and Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
c. 35K to date

Maritime Archives This project aims to map maritime collection areas, review current maritime archives and review the need for future archive creation and management. The project was undertaken in three phases

  • Element One - Mapping Maritime Collection Areas
  • Element Two - Review of Maritime Archaeological Archives and Access
  • Element Three - Analysing Present and Assessing Future Archive Creation

For more information and to download the reports, please see the project’s website

Archaeology and Construction Engineering Skills
European Commission
c. 200K to date

ACES The project has partners from four European countries, the UK, Turkey, Poland and Norway. It will produce learning materials for engineers and archaeologists to use, with the aim of sharing knowledge between the professions. The project will produce best practice guidance to help engineers and archaeologists work together. The project will design e-learning modules, a website, curricula, teaching materials and E-learning packages for students and professionals.

Standards and guidance for Archaeological Resource Centres
2007-2008 - Complete
English Heritage
c. 20K

Resource centres This project produced a suite of guidelines for planning and running a successful archaeological resource centre within the UK. A supporting policy document was produced separately by English Heritage sets out in detail the urgent need for archaeological resource centres.

Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe
EU (Leonardo da Vinci II fund) with contributions by HS and EH
c. 200K to date

DISCO archaeologists Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe is an international project, examining archaeological employment and barriers to international mobility within archaeology across twelve countries of the European Union. All national reports on archaeological employment in each of the twelve countries, in English and national languages, plus the international reports comparing data and on qualifications and entry requirements are available on the reports page at

HLF workplace Learning Bursaries
2006 - ongoing
c. 700K to date

HLF Since 2006, the HLF has funded IfA to run between 8 and 10 Heritage Lottery funded bursaries every year, designed to address identified archaeological skills gaps. The scheme is intended to provide a model to be taken up by organisations within the sector.

The project is managed by the IfA, but the bulk of IfA income is redistributed in the form of salaries to bursary holders. For more details visit our HLF Bursaries page.

EH Professional Placements in Conservation 2009 (EPPIC)
2003 - ongoing
English Heritage
c. 160K to date

EPPIC placement EPPIC placements are an English Heritage and IfA initiative. EPPIC placements are designed to provide work-based learning opportunities in specialisms related to the historic environment. Placements are provided and supervised by English Heritage and administered by the IfA. The placements are designed for those with some experience of historic environment practice, but who have not yet had the opportunity to develop more specialist skills and competencies. For more information visit our EPPIC page.

National Occupational Standards for Archaeological Practice

NOS On behalf of the Archaeology Training Forum, the IfA worked with Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation (CHNTO) to map a career structure for archaeology in the form of National Occupational Standards for Archaeological Practice. These are agreed statements of competence. They are the building blocks of S/NVQs but can be used in a number of other ways as well - for example, to write job desriptions or to identify skills needs and plan training. View NOS page.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building, University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AB

0118 378 6446