One of the major roles of CIfA is to advocate for archaeology, either alone or as part of a wider group, depending on the circumstances. Through this work we influence policy and decision makers and work to make sure the historic environment is considered and protected.
Advocacy objectives for CIfA
CIfA invests extensively in advocacy and policy work, in both a proactive and reactive way. Proactive work is undertaken by building networks and establishing trust with politicians, civil servants, sector bodies and key bodies beyond the sector; reactive work involves activating those networks in response to threat – and occasionally opportunities – arising from non‐archaeological initiatives, and responding to consultations (see below); most are listed at the end of this report.
Our principal objectives remain
- to maintain or improve the protection and management of the historic environment – this is an objective we share with many others
- to maintain or advance, in the interests of the public and clients, the quality of archaeological practice, particularly where occasioned though planning or other processes managing change to the historic environment – this is an objective we share with some others but increasingly tend to lead on, with an emphasis on seeking to ensure that work is done by competent professionals to professional standards
CIfA’s Advisory Council and Board have set the Institute’s advocacy objectives for 2021-22. Advocacy work to support these priorities is often taken forward on an opportunistic basis according to initiatives and other timetables outside our control. Advocacy work may be undertaken independently or in collaboration with other bodies, with CIfA sometimes taking the lead and sometimes in support: such collaboration may be informal or as part of formal partnership or agency arrangements.
We respond to all relevant consultations (either alone or in conjunction with other parties), on matters or legislation that affect the historic environment. A list past consultation responses can be found on the consultations page. Our responses are drafted with advice and input from advisory council, committees, groups and individual members. It is helpful to receive members’ views in order to inform our responses. If you wish to contribute to a CIfA consultation response or would like to volunteer as an advocacy advisor please email Rob Lennox at rob.lennox [at] archaeologists.net.
If you would like to read more about the role of CIfA's Senior Advocacy Coordinator, we have an 'Advocacy Interview with Rob Lennox' on our news feed, please see here.
Representation on forums
We are involved with the All-Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group APPAG, a group of MPs and Peers with an interest in archaeology. The aim of APPAG is to further an understanding of archaeology in Parliament and promote archaeology and archaeological education.
Our Senior Advocacy Coordinator is Secretary for The Archaeology Forum (TAF), a grouping of independent bodies concerned with the archaeological investigation, management and interpretation of the UK's historic environment.
We are also involved with the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS), the Northern Ireland Archaeology Forum, the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) and Heritage Alliance's advocacy groups.