Diggers' Forum

Diggers' Forum image


Online CPD for Archaeologists Diggers Forum have put together a list of excellent CPD resources relevant for those working in archaeology. You can see the list here.
Feeling chilly? Read our Cold weather working guide and stay safe and warm this winter.

Important information about your accredited membership and CSCS cards


The Diggers’ Forum (DF) is committed to creating a positive, sustainable and financially viable career for all professional archaeologists at all points in their career. It is a Special Interest Group of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists representing all archaeologists working out on site at whatever grade and anyone can join.

The DF formed in 2004 to represent the views, aspirations and professional requirements of its members, in addition to campaigning for improvements in pay and conditions within the profession. The views of those new to a career in archaeology, or who are employed at the lower rungs of the job, are under-represented in the industry. It is a key aim of the Diggers’ Forum to redress this balance and keep the issues and welfare of its membership at the top of the CIfA agenda and publicised to the world beyond.

The Diggers’ Forum will serve as a platform to provide up to date news and information to its members, as well as actively encouraging debate and involvement within the DF and CIfA on the developing roles required of field-staff now and in the decades to come. You can view our three-year plan below to see what our goals are.

Diggers’ Forum statement on a minimum level of competence adopted as CIfA Policy has been agreed and incorporated into the CIfA policy on the use of training posts in archaeological projects. The statement sets out the minimum level of competence expected of a practising archaeologist as that required for Practitioner grade. Working archaeologists who have not yet achieved this, should be part of a structured training programme to help achieve PCIfA level competence within a defined time-frame. PCIfA level competence is defined as the competence required to ‘undertake skilled tasks within the historic environment sector under the guidance of others, and carry out responsible work under a level of supervision’ You can find more information about how CIfA defines and assesses competence here

Join us and make our voice that bit louder.

Join the Group

Membership of the Diggers’ Forum is open to everyone and free to CIfA members. Non-members will need to pay an annual £10 fee.
Email: groups [at] archaeologists.net

Contact us

You can contact us via CIfA by emailing <groups [at] archaeologists.net> or at <diggers [at] archaeologists.net>. If you would like to talk to us in full confidence then see the newsletter for our individual email addresses.

Twitter - https://twitter.com/DiggersForum
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/934376823319526/
LinkedIn: N/A
Instagram - https://www.inst4gram.com/tag/diggersforum
Blog: N/A


Cat Gibbs (Chair)
Gemma Ward (Secretary)
Samantha Boyle (Treasurer)
Richard Bradley
Pete Lovett
Ben Saunders
Callum Allsop
Tudor Skinner
Martyn Cooper

Specialist competence matrix

This is to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for when working in fieldwork.

Campaigns and activities

  • Campaigns to improve pay and conditions for archaeologists: done by both formal campaigns and maintaining an active presence on CIfA Advisory Council, committees and working groups. By increasing our presence we can make a positive impact on the profession by influencing votes on issues such as pay minima. This relies on members being engaged in CIfA and using their vote where it counts.

  • Archaeologists shortage: a response from Diggers' Forum
    On 3 June Diggers' Forum published a response to a report by Historic England into the ‘Shortage of trained archaeologists’, wishing to contest the validity of the statement and explore the cause of perceived shortages You can read the full text here

  • A commitment to training and professional development is a key requirement of the Registered Organisation Scheme. Both the winner and the runner up of the Archaeology Training Forum Award were Registered Organisations and the ‘Training for competence in archaeology’ session organised by the Diggers' Forum at Conference also highlighted good practice with some excellent case studies. We are always keen to publicise good practice and work with members and registered organisations to help develop skills development programmes.* Please contact kate.geary [at] archaeologists.net to discuss further.

Three-year plan 2017-20

three-year plan 2017-20

Useful information

Forthcoming events

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

Previous events

  • The 2019 AGM was held on Saturday 18 May at MOLA head offices, Eagle Wharf Road, London. Cat Gibbs became Chair, Ben Saunders was re-elected and Peter Lovett joined the committee.

  • The 2018 AGM was held on Friday 27 April at the CIfA Conference in Brighton. Martyn Cooper and Tudor Skinner were elected as ordinary committee members.

    Diggers Forum (DF) took forward the proposal (since agreed by CIfA) that the level of competence of every professional archaeologist shall be Practitioner or above: summarising current training challenges, opportunities and some horizon scanning and a series of training examples. The abstracts for the presentations and the YouTube videos can be found here.

AGM minutes

April 2019
March 2017

Committee minutes

26 November 2016


The Forum Dispatch, the newsletter of the Diggers’ Forum, forms a key medium for communicating within the Forum, and provides membership with a wide range of relevant news, articles and information on the activities of the Diggers’ Forum and the profession. Past issues of the newsletter and other DF articles are archived on this page
cold weather working guide