About CIfA

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) is the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. We

  • represent the interests of archaeology and archaeologists to government, policy makers and industry
  • set standards for archaeological practice and issues guidelines to support these
  • improve career prospects by promoting professional development and providing training opportunities
  • through our Registered Organisations scheme, improve practices and raise standards of work  
  • act as the self-regulating body for the archaeological profession.

Find out more about these via our advocacy, standards, professional development, Registered Organisations and self-regulating web pages, ​​​​download a poster about what we do or read the About CIfA leaflet.

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. Our Brief History of CIfA (PDF file) provides an overview of why the Institute was established and what it has achieved to date.

Professional networks and area groups

Our professional specialist networks and area groups provide a forum for discussion and development within the many strands of professional archaeology - from the marine environment to buildings archaeology, forensic archaeologists to geophysicists, and from the new generation through to current experts in graphics archaeology. 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.

Find out more via our groups and values and strategies web pages.

Professional associations

Professional Associations Research Network

As a member of the Professional Associations Research Network, CIfA 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