CIfA is incorporated by Royal Charter in recognition of CIfA’s role as the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas.
The Charter was awarded in 2014 and we formally launched as the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists on 9 December 2014.
Our Charter enables us to petition the Privy Council Office for the power to confer individual Chartered status on archaeologists in recognition of their skill and professionalism.
What does a Royal Charter mean?
Royal Charters are awarded to bodies which have demonstrated pre-eminence, stability, permanence, and service of the public interest. Chartership is widely seen as the ‘gold standard’ for excellence and integrity in the modern professional world.
This is a significant step forward for archaeology as a profession and is something to celebrate, but is not the end of the process. Members of other professions will recognise the stamp of charter and look for individuals and organisations who are linked to chartered bodies but we still need to work with members, Registered Organisations and colleagues across a range of bodies including the National Agencies, ALGAO and FAME to ensure that the grant of Charter brings real benefits to the profession.
How does our Royal Charter affect the Institute?
Our Charter sets out CIfA’s objectives and requires us to work to promote the archaeological profession in service of the public. In this regard, we continue to promote high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society in the same ways as we did before being awarded our Charter.
The Charter brings with it governance requirements and a relinquishment of independent right to change CIfA’s constitution, governance, and by-laws. Future changes now need to be ratified by the UK Government, through the Privy Council Office, as well as by CIfA members.
These responsibilities are reflected in the CIfA bye-laws which establish a governance structure of a Board of Directors (responsible for running the institute) and an Advisory Council (which will focus on policy and long-term strategy). This structure enables greater representation from CIfA membership with both individual elected members and representation via our Area and Special Interest groups (who each have a seat on the Advisory Council).