Advisory Council meeting report: professional conduct, wellbeing, policies and Chartered Archaeologist feedback

Advisory Council has a wide range of topics on its agenda and minutes of meetings can be downloaded from the website. In this bulletin we’ve highlighted a few of the key items discussed at the latest meeting in June.

Professional conduct regulations

The new professional conduct regulations were launched on 1 May following consultation with Advisory Council. The regulations combine the previously separate processes for investigating complaints against individual members and Registered Organisations. They also reduce the number of stages and people involved, with the aim of reducing the length of time it takes to investigate allegations.

CIfA is often criticised for the perceived lack of action against poor practice and Advisory Council discussed what more could be done to encourage issues to be raised with CIfA and to communicate the number of cases we do receive. It was suggested that there could be more regular reporting of the number of cases being looked at, and that the spotlight on the complaints process (published in The Archaeologist 106) could be reworked to reflect the new procedure.

On health and archaeology: mind and body as professional issues

Advisory Council discussed a report from Jaime Almansa-Sánchez and Guillermo Díaz de Liaño del Valle following their session at the CIfA conference in Brighton. It was acknowledged that there were several possible issues relating to health and wellbeing which CIfA could explore with other organisations including Prospect and FAME. Council agreed to establish a Health and welfare working group to look at these in more detail and report back to a future meeting.

Council also considered the recommendation in the report that rule 5.3 of the Code of conduct could be amended to be more specific about discrimination and harassment in the workplace. However, we were satisfied that the amendments made to the Equal Opportunities policy last year now covered this.

Working group updates

Advisory Council have a number of working groups looking at different issues. Progress updates on these included

  • An update from the Board about taking forward recommendations from the Equality and Diversity working group: Peta Glew has been appointed as the E&D champion on the Board and a report outlining the recommendations to be considered will be published soon
  • Validation competence matrices: final amendments are being made to the new specialist competence matrices - environmental, curatorial and academic. Once complete these will be added to the other specialist matrices already available to applicants and members on the CIfA website.
  • Policy on the ownership of ancient genetic material: a draft policy was commented on and will be presented to the Board for consideration

Chartered Archaeologist

In the afternoon session, Advisory Council reviewed the decision at the EGM and the feedback from members as part of the online voting process. The Board statement published in May agreed that the profession continues to aspire to the general principle of a Chartered Archaeologist accreditation, but that we need to understand which aspects of the proposal might change, and what other actions we and others may need to take to address differing aspirations, understanding and trust. Some very useful comments and views were made by Advisory Council which will be taken back to the Board for further consideration.

The next Advisory Council meeting will be on 19 September. If you have an issue that you would like the Advisory Council to consider, or you would like Advisory Council to raise with the Board of Directors, you can email us at admin [at], or contact the Chair of Advisory Council, a Group representative or any of the elected members