The Diggers’ Forum (DF) is committed to creating a positive, sustainable and financially viable career for all professional archaeologists working out on site, irrelevant at what point in their career they are at. The group formed in 2004 to represent the views, aspirations and professional requirements of its members, 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 voice the views of those who tend be on the 'lower rungs' of the job and create, therefore, a balance in industry representation as well as keep the issue and welfare of its membership at the top of CIfA's agenda.
We achieve this aim by providing up to date news and information to its members, as well as actively encouraging debate and involvement within the group and the rest of CIfA. You can read in detail about our group's goals by reading our three year plan.
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. Existing members can join the group by emailing us via the email below.
You can contact us via CIfA by emailing groups [at] archaeologists.net or get in touch via the Facebook forum.
Ben Saunders Chair)
Callum Allsop (Secretary)
Tudor Skinner (Treasurer)
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.
Specialist competence matrix
Our group matrix exists to help applicants, and in turn the Validation committee, see where candidates demonstrate appropriate experience for what accreditation CIfA offers.
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
For information about upcoming events, please visit our event calendar.
The 2020 AGM was held on Tuesday 19 May online. Ben Saunders, Callum Allsop and Tudor Skinner became Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Ellspeth Iliff, Karl Macrow and Daria Adamson joined the committee.
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.
CIfA Conference 2016 session - THE SKILLS GAP: TRAINING FOR COMPETENCE IN ARCHAEOLOGY
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.
- CSCS cards: coronavirus update
- Adaptations to site work during coronavirus
- the 2020 CPD list (below) was formed as a response to requests from furloughed colleagues
- Cold weather working guide
- warm weather working guide (Jun 2020 update, PDF)
- Getting a CSCS card: the Diggers' Forum guide
- Ten things Graphics staff wished Diggers knew (PDF)
- Ten things Marine Archaeologists wished Diggers knew (PDF) NEW
- 10 things Diggers wished new starters knew (PDF) NEW
- more coming soon...
Information for New Starters
- Contracts: what you should get from the employer (PDF)
- Joining a union: why, how and who?
- Self-employed work: a discussion
- Site and office respect: against bullying and harassment at work
Away Work Hacks
- Away work, travel and subsistence report 2012 - The report on our survey of away work is now finished. The main report can be downloaded here.
- more coming soon...
Other Information Documents and Reports
- The Diggers Forum was invited to participate in a session at TAG2019 which examined how modern practice has been shaped by environments within which archaeological work is undertaken. 'An Archaeologist's view of consortiums' outlines and discusses the results of the DF survey on consortium working and provides some suggestions based on the the report's results. You can read the full report (PDF) here. There is also a summary of the report available to read, here (PDF).
- CPD list for archaeologists 2020
- The Forum Dispatch, the newsletter of the Diggers’ Forum, formed 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