Join CIfA

Archaeologist with surveying equipment.

We welcome applications to join CIfA from people who are involved in the study and care of the historic environment, employed or voluntary, regardless of academic background or location. 

Joining CIfA means you will support CIfA’s aims and work in accordance with the Code of conduct, policies and Standards of the Institute; these are binding on all accredited members and emphasise your duty to adhere to professional and ethical standards. 

We offer three grades of professional accreditation: Practitioner (PCIfA), Associate (ACIfA) and Member (MCIfA) and non-accredited Student or Affiliate grades and a fast-track to PCIfA accreditation for NVQ in Archaeological Practice graduates. Those rejoining CIfA can do so at their previous grade.

We also provide advice about careers and professional development through our professional pathways scheme.

See our Join CIfA FAQs and explore the information below to learn more about becoming professionally accredited.

Find out more

Archaeologists discuss finds on-site with team
Professional archaeology
What do we mean when we talk about being a professional archaeologist? Find out more about the importance of professionalism and accreditation.
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Professional pathways
CIfA offers support for the professional pathways for applicants and members. Find out more about the accreditation pathway.
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Membership benefits
Membership of CIfA has many benefits for both accredited and non-accredited grades.
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Subscription & renewal
Find out more about CIfA subscription fees and renewing your annual subscription.
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Testimonies
Read testimonies from CIfA members about their applicatios experiences and professional pathway progression.
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Apply online
Find out how to apply for or upgrade your CIfA accreditation or for a non-accredited grade or to re-join CIfA. Please read the guidance before you submit your application.

Professional accreditation grades

Practitioner (PCIfA) grade accreditation is open to those who:

  • have a good working knowledge within an area of historic environment practice
  • have some responsibility for undertaking work using their own judgement
  • have carried out complex work under general supervision
  • perceive the importance of each role within a team
Associate-level archaeologist works with bones in a lab.

Associate (ACIfA) grade accreditation is open to those who:

  • have a high level of working knowledge within an area of historic environment practice
  • have considerable responsibility for undertaking work in a variety of situations using their own judgement
  • have carried out complex work within an established framework
  • perceive the importance of their role within the team and the work they undertake
Member-level archaeologists examine plans in an office.

Member (MCIfA) grade accreditation is open to those who:

  • have authoritative knowledge within an area of historic environment practice or specialism
  • have substantial responsibility for their own work in a variety of situations
  • have significant accountability for others and/or allocate resources, where applicable
  • have dealt with and/or carried out complex work and decision-making in a broad range of complex, technical or professional activities or in highly skilled, specialist work
  • perceive the importance of their role and the work they undertake within the team and within the historic environment sector as a whole