I have only been a member of CIfA for the past year, and throughout that time I’ve heard varied opinions and critiques towards this organisation. Participating at the CIfA conference in Leeds this year was an amazing opportunity to challenge some of the hearsay and preconceptions, getting a clearer understanding of how the organisation functions and supports its members.
The sessions were quite varied, ranging from an early career researchers event panel through CPD workshops, case studies and theoretical debates. Having varied specialists from a large array of companies further enforced the sentiment of a shared set of values and planned outcomes for the archaeological mitigation process. Although I must have taken hundreds of notes, this event strongly encourages me to remain in the business, for there are so many things to learn from just as many talented and experienced individuals.
There is little criticism, if any to make. The event was very well organised, in a spectacular venue and I’ve more than enjoyed all three days of it. I also have a few suggestions for future panels; for instance, I am aware CIfA is seeking to expand in other European countries, yet I’ve felt that the non-UK member involvement was minimal, considering that we represent up to three quarters of field staff on some large infrastructure schemes.
All in all, I am very thankful towards the whole team that worked to deliver this event and to my home organisation (MHI) for making it possible for me to participate. I am also keen to return to next year’s conference, which I’m already excited about.