Community Archaeology Group


The Community Archaeology Group (CAG) was originally established in 2011 as Voluntary and Community Archaeology Special Interest Group. We consider community engagement to be an integral part of professional archaeological practice and should be embedded in project design and delivery. Community engagement is a critical aspect of delivering public benefit through archaeology. The role of community archaeologists (paid or unpaid) is fundamental in this process.

  1. To provide a recognised voice within CIfA for furthering the interests of community archaeologists and delivery of community engagement.

  2. To embed community engagement in archaeological practice and support its meaningful delivery to the highest standard.

  3. To advise the Board of Directors and its Advisory Council and committees on issues relating to community archaeology and engagement, both within the context of CIfA and within the discipline of archaeology.

  4. To provide guidance to ensure that community archaeologists (and the organisations to which they belong), have the competence to carry out their roles to the highest possible standards.

  5. To promote the adoption and implementation of CIfA Standards, guidance and policy by community archaeologists and the organisations to which they belong.

  6. To work with partner organisations and stakeholders across the sector to support and promote community archaeology.

Join the Group

Membership is free to CIfA members through the Members area login. Those who are not members of the institute will need to pay an annual £10 fee and can join here

Twitter: follow @VolComArch on Twitter
Facebook: like our Facebook page
Blog: check out our blog


Jess Lowther (Chair)
Nina O'Hare (Secretary)
TBC (Treasurer)
Sarah-Jane Farr
Penelope Foreman
Emily Johnston
Richard Bennett

Specialist competence matrix

Thank you to those who contributed to our consultation about the competency matrix.
This specialist matrix is to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for when working in community archaeology.

Forthcoming events

For information about upcoming events, please visit our event calendar.


  • Report on the Local Planning Authority Public Benefit Survey 2021 (PDF)

  • Community archaeology online CPD resources (PDF)

  • Digital resources for community archaeology (PDF)

  • Community Archaeologist survey report (PDF). This report comes from a survey of community archaeologists responses taken to inform the group's strategy over the next few years.

  • How can we improve the legacies of archaeological community engagement in place making? Group session at CIfA2019.
    This session explored how we can improve the community engagement aspect of archaeological investigations to maximise the potential for sustained engagement with local communities and to build long lasting, positive legacies. We are interested in hearing about attempts to do this from across the heritage sector. A goal of the session was to capture a series of five ‘helpful tips’ to promote new approaches to how we can improve public engagement and longer lasting, more sustainable public benefit. You can watch this session as well as other from CIfA2019 here.

  • Critical mass: working together for a better archaeology - Critical Mass was a joint conference hosted by CIfA and CBA on 15 October 2015 in York and aimed to bring together practitioners, volunteers and organisations to think about how we can all work together. The day was about understanding issues, finding solutions and planning actions which could have a real impact on how archaeology can develop for the benefit of everyone. The programme included speakers to inspire a number of themed discussions about archaeology, accessibility and impact. Some of the sessions were recorded and you can access them here.

AGM minutes

Coming soon

Committee meeting minutes

Committee meeting May 2021
Committee meeting March 2021
Committee meeting January 2021

Three-year plan

Coming soon.