Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allows individuals to develop their skills throughout their working lives. Sharing knowledge about professional archaeology improves standards, promotes best practices and attracts new people into archaeology.

This page gives you an overview of our CPD requirements for members, how to set out your PDP and how to identify and record relevant training. CIfA members also have free access to our e-guidance module which gives further information on this.

CPD requirements for CIfA accredited archaeologists

All individual accredited members must:

  • complete at least 50 hours of CPD every two years.
  • have a personal development plan (PDP)
  • record all their CPD in a CPD log - members can log in to their account and use the new online CPD log in the Members Area.

Personal Development Plans (PDP)

Your PDP outlines personal and professional learning targets for the next two years. It should include:

  • your learning goals for the next two years
  • where you might be able to acquire these skills

You can download and use the Personal Development Plan (PDP) proforma (Word doc file).

CPD log

Your CPD log is for recording your CPD activity and can be used as evidence of your achievements. You can include any activities on your CPD log which help you achieve the learning goals outlined in your PDP. CIfA members can use our online CPD form in the members area or the CPD Record proforma.

What counts as CPD?

We believe in self-directed CPD. This means you choose the form of training or learning that relates to your overall goals set out in your PDP. For example, if you attend a two-day conference but only one hour-long session is directly relevant to your PDP, you should only record that session in your CPD log.

Types of CPD include:

  • home-based learning
  • work-based learning
  • in-house training courses
  • external training courses
  • preparatory research
  • conferences
  • formal research

Five tips for supporting your own professional development

  • Plan – think about and update your Personal Development Plan (PDP) regularly (we recommend every six months)
  • Awareness – make sure your employer is aware you have a PDP, take it along to your next appraisal. If you are self-employed, you will need to act as both employer and employee... even more important to add to your diary!
  • Record – ensure you record every learning opportunity you take in a CPD log. We have a template for this but you can use anything – a diary, spreadsheet, notebook – there are also apps available for smart phones and tablets, and CIfA members can use our online CPD form in the members area
  • Review – establish a regular review cycle of your PDP and CPD to make sure they are up to date and relevant... or maybe ask an individual in a similar situation so you can help each other
  • Document – it is useful to keep any certificates together in case someone asks to see them - and retain the course documentation and notes so you can keep using them.


To read more about members’ accounts of their experiences of CPD look at My CPD