On Tuesday 22 November, the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out the basis for cooperation between the two institutes.
The IAI aims to advance and strengthen the profession of archaeology on the island of Ireland, creating a vibrant and sustainable archaeological profession that actively contributes to the protection of our archaeological resource, which in turn contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of the entire community. CIfA promotes high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society. It is the authoritative and effective voice for archaeologists, bringing recognition and respect to the profession.
The agreement recognises a shared commitment to the promotion of professionalism in archaeology, and a duty to foster collaboration and to deploy the resources of the two organisations efficiently and effectively. It sets out some areas of immediate and longer-term joint working.
IAI Chair, Michael MacDonagh said of the agreement:
‘This document marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between two organisations which have a common purpose. We will be sharing some of the communications and benefits we provide our memberships, and we have committed to an exploration of the potential to align Standards documents, and to permit read-across between each institute’s accreditation criteria. I want to thank Pete Hinton of CIfA for sharing his vision on how we can work together on important issues, not least addressing the implications for our sector of the recent UK referendum on membership of the EU.’
CIfA Chief Executive, Peter Hinton said:
‘This understanding comes at a time when political shifts are bringing significant challenges to the practice of archaeology in Ireland, the rest of Europe and beyond; but it also coincides with a much stronger recognition of the value of archaeology to society and the consequent need to ensure that it is conducted to professional standards. The challenge and the opportunity demand collaborative working. I welcome this new agreement and would like to thank IAI Chair Michael MacDonagh and Vice Chair James Bonsall for their leadership and commitment to securing this accord.’