Chartered Archaeologist

Chartered Archaeologist

In 2019-20, we will be inviting members to approve a petition to the Privy Council to introduce a Chartered Archaeologist grade of accreditation. It will be the most rigorously tested level of accreditation we can award. Chartered status is a formal, internationally recognised and externally verified mark of professionalism.

The development of Chartered Archaeologist is an important step forward for the profession of archaeology.

CIfA became a Chartered Institute in 2014. This award by the Privy Council was made in recognition of the contribution of archaeologists to society and the role of the Institute in regulating the profession in the public interest. We are now proposing to petition the Privy Council to amend our Charter to enable CIfA to award a Chartered Archaeologist grade of accreditation to individual members.

Why is chartered status unique and why does archaeology need it?

  1. Chartered Archaeologist provides greater recognition for the profession of archaeology and parity with other chartered professions.
  2. By proposing Chartered Archaeologist, CIfA is sending a strong signal on behalf of members that the profession of archaeology is working for public benefit.
  3. The ability to award chartered status to our members will inspire client and public confidence about a their abilities and professionalism.
  4. Chartered Archaeologist mirrors MCIfA skills and additionally measures areas not currently assessed, including professional ethics.
  5. Chartered status for individual members will make the profession of archaeology more attractive as a career. It will promote career pathways, attract new people into the profession and help create a sustainable future.

We have tested members’ support for the principle of introducing Chartered Archaeologist in a consultation in May 2016 (75% in favour) and have developed proposals which reflect approaches taken by other chartered bodies and which we feel are right for archaeology. We are consulting with members on the proposals as they are developed and are committed to going forward in concert with our members to deliver a proposal which

  • recognises the skills and attributes which make archaeology unique,
  • is benchmarked against similar standards in other professions,
  • is an accessible target for all who wish to achieve it,
  • will provide a meaningful benefit for the sector and for individual members.


There are a variety of ways to approach a Chartered standard. Our proposals assess technical and ethical competence and commitment to professional development throughout the professional life-cycle.

The detail of assessment criteria and methodologies are being developed but it is proposed that

  • Chartered Archaeologist will be a new CIfA membership grade
  • chartered status will not be given automatically. It is not an honorific title given in recognition of length or service or high standing in a profession, nor is it necessarily a measure of seniority.
  • Chartered Archaeologist will open to anyone who can demonstrate appropriate competence
  • existing MCIfAs will be able to apply to be examined on their professional competence and ethics via a professional review. All other applicants for chartered status will need to demonstrate competence in line with current requirements for MCIfA before proceeding to professional review.


From 2020 we will start the implementation phase with production of guidance, rollout and a publicity campaign

Further information

We are developing processes and procedures that are right for archaeology and we are consulting with members. Details of the consultations, publications about Chartered Archaeologist and FAQs are available here.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
admin [at]