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This page provides information about the application process and submission deadlines for:

  • new or upgrade professional accreditation (PCIfA, ACIfA, MCIfA)
  • student or affiliate (non-accreditated)
  • rejoining CIfA and NVQ/Apprenticeship fast-track to PCIfA

For answers to common questions about the process of applying for CIfA accreditation, see our join CIfA FAQs. We also have a video to watch on the individual guidance pages.

Current annual subscription fees. The subscription year runs from 1 April to 31 March the following year.

CIfA is committed to promoting equality and diversity for all its members and seeks to be as accessible and inclusive as possible. Please see our equal opportunities policy (PDF). While our online application is designed to improve accessibility, other formats are available on request, please contact us at membership@archaeologists.net and for any application queries.

Since April 2022 new requirements have been added to the application criteria requiring applicants to demonstrate that they understand and work in accordance with the Code of conduct and relevant CIfA Standards. Please see the individual guidance pages below for more details.

New or upgrade accreditation applications

Please ensure that you have read the guidance on the relevant accreditation page before you begin your application. 

To apply from Germany please see the Deutschland Group page (currently updating the information).

New accreditation

New accreditation -
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Please note you cannot save and return to the form later.

Upgrade accreditation

Upgrade accreditation -
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Please note you can save the form to return to if you are logged in.

Deadlines to submit applications

Please refer to the following deadlines for accredited applications, these allow time to request and receive references and any additional information required.

  • Practitioner (PCIfA) applications (new guidance from 1 May)
    • Apply anytime, as these will be assessed regularly at the end of each month when both references are received. If you are applying to gain a PQP CSCS card, please allow up to eight weeks for your application to be reviewed.
  • Associate (ACIfA) applications (new guidance from 1 May)
    • 15 August for 6 September meeting
    • 10 October for 1 November meeting
    • 21 November for 13 December meeting
  • Member (MCIfA) applications only (new guidance from 1 May, which includes a professional review interview)
    • Apply anytime up to 15 August for professional review interviews w/c 19 September (ethical competence) for 1 November meeting (technical competence)

We will email you confirmation that we have received your application within one week. Once we have received two references, your application will be reviewed at the next committee meeting and we will email you the committees decision as soon as possible after that.

Student or Affiliate non-accredited applications

Plase ensure that you read the information on non-accredited student and affiliate grades and subscriptions before applying.

Student membership

Student member
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Affiliate membership

Affiliate member
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To apply from Germany please see the Deutschland Group page.

Rejoining CIfA applications

If you have previously been accredited (PCIfA, ACIfA, MCIfA) but your subscription has expired you can re-apply to the same grade, provided we can ensure that your skills and knowledge still demonstrate the criteria of the grade you left at. We reserve the right to request further information or require a full application. If you became a member before the introduction of the competence matrix in 2008, please apply in full as a new member.

If you were previously a Student (and still are) or Affiliate, please complete a new online application using the buttons above.

There is no application fee to rejoin, but once successful you will be asked to pay the subscription fee. If you would like to reapply at a different grade you can either rejoin first and then upgrade (upgrade fee applies), or apply as a new applicant (new application fee applies), please see details on the relevant accreditation guidance page above.

Please download and complete the Re-joiners application form (Word .doc) below and provide the following documentation:

  • An up to date CV - this should include details about your current role and responsibilities so we can ensure you still meet the criteria of the grade you expired at. See our CV guidance (PDF) for useful tips.
  • Any new qualification certificates
  • A CPD log and PDP from the last two years and a list of publications or other work (ACIfA and MCIfA applications only)

Rejoining application

Rejoin CIfA -
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NVQ or Apprenticeship fast-track applications

The NVQ in Archaeological Practice is a level three qualification that demonstrates on-the-job learning and competence following the National Occupational Standards (NOS). This specific qualification acts as a ‘fast-track’ to our Practitioner (PCIfA) professionally accredited grade.

The Apprenticeships in archaeology and the historic environment has three levels of qualification - level three, Archaeological Technician, level four, Historic Environment Advice Assistant, and level seven, Archaeological Specialist or Historic Environment Advisor - that demonstrate on-the-job learning and competence. These specific qualifications act as a ‘fast-track’ to our Practitioner (PCIfA) (L3 and L4) or Member (MCIfA) (L7) professionally accredited grades.

If you have undertaken the above NVQ or Apprenticeship qualification with us or another provider, please send in a copy of your certificate and the NVQ and Apprenticeship fast track application form (Word .doc) below to membership@archaeologists.net and we will arrange payment of the application fee with you.

NVQ or Apprenticeship fast-track application

NVQ fast-track -
download form