CIfA Advisory Council meeting report

The most recent Advisory Council meeting was held on 14 February 2019.

Advisory Council has a wide range of topics on its agenda and minutes of meeting can be downloaded from the website. This meeting was no exception, and we’d like to highlight a few of the key items we looked at in February.

Induction session
The meeting started with a short induction session for the new (and existing) members of Council. This introduced the role of Advisory Council within the CIfA governance structure. The session also emphasised the different role CIfA plays in the sector as a professional institute compared to Prospect (Trade Union) and FAME (Trade Association) and encouraged Advisory Council members to help us to communicate our work.

Coopting new members
There have been a few vacancies on Advisory Council for elected seats, and we had received four expression of interest for cooption until the next AGM. Advisory Council agreed all these requests and we’re pleased to welcome Alex Farnell MCIfA, Hannah Kennedy PCIfA (previously Graphics Group rep), Sam Paul MCIfA and Roger Thomas MCIfA.

Participation on committees and groups: review survey responses


At the beginning of 2019 Kayt Hawkins issued a survey to members asking for feedback on members’ experience of being on CIfA committees, and to identify some of the barriers as to why they may not be able to get involved. Kayt presented the result to AC and we discussed what actions could be taken to encourage and assist more members to get involved with CIfA in future.

Highlights from the survey included

  • 561 people responded to the survey which is c15 per cent of the membership
  • there was positive feedback from personal experiences on committees. These included gaining a greater understanding of the sector, ability to influence change, improving standards/best practice, learning from and sharing experience/knowledge
  • in additional to individual benefits, there was a strong sense of being able to contribute to the profession and to give something back
  • individuals want to participate in CIfA committees but are not always supported by their employers to do so
  • the top three barriers to getting involved were other commitments, loss of work time and travel costs. Alternatives to traditional committee structure/in person meetings were suggested and discussed
  • there was some uncertainty around what the committees do, their relationship to CIfA, their effectiveness, and their composition
  • there were calls for increasing/encouraging participation from Affiliate and Practitioner grades

Overall it is very clear that we need more communication and more promotion of benefits, to individual and CIfA, about being involved in committees.

The results of this survey have been reported to Registered Organisations via their recent Responsible Post Holder meeting, commending them on the support they are already offer staff, but also asking them to consider what more they can do to encourage staff to participate. CIfA staff have also discussed the feedback from Advisory Council, and we have several initial ideas to take forward. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about getting involved please contact admin [at] archaeologists.net

Equality and diversity in archaeology
The working party of Advisory Council set up in September 2018 noted that their interim report would be reviewed by the Board at its February meeting. More information about the remit for the working party is at www.archaeologists.net/practices/equality_and_diversity_in_archaeology

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