Communicating and engaging outside archaeology

CIfA communicates and engages with a range of audiences outside the archaeology profession to enhance the profile and reputation of the profession, to increase its impact and influence and to improve engagement with external audiences.

External audiences include government, clients, the property and construction sectors, academia, the media and the public, plus other professionals that have a close interaction with archaeologists such as surveyors, architects and planners.

In this article we focus on our work to communicate and engage with the planning profession.

Why planners?

The planning process changes regularly and it is critical that planning professionals, both local authority planners and planning consultants, are aware of how archaeology fits into the planning system. As with other professions, not all planners are experienced in dealing with archaeology or other historic environment aspects of a planning application. Planners can be very influential, even though they may not be the archaeologist’s clients. We want all planners to understand that an accredited archaeologist should be in the design team right from the start, that it is about collaboration, it is worth getting right and that CIfA accreditation reduces risk.  


How does CIfA engage with planners?

To reach local authority planners and planning consultants, we collaborate with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). It is the leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning and is the largest planning institute in Europe with over 25,000 members. RTPI is in a strong position to help us communicate and engage with planners. It understands that professional collaboration and knowledge sharing will benefit archaeologists and planners, the historic environment and the public.

Last year we delivered three joint RTPI – CIfA CPD events in Manchester, Nottingham and Brighton. The events focused on the importance of collaboration and engagement when working with the historic environment. Speakers included archaeologists from Leicester and Salford Universities, commercial archaeology firms including CIfA ROs, planning consultants, local authority representatives, lawyers and other client advisors and other heritage professionals.

These events are open to RTPI members, CIfA members, other professionals and students. They are great way to learn and to network.

We are planning more joint RTPI – CIfA CPD events in 2020 across England, including the South East, South West and North East of England (and are keen to expand) with dates and locations to be confirmed.  

If you are interested in attending a joint RTPI – CIfA CPD event this year, we will share details on the CIfA website and in future e-newsletters. You can book online and some of the events are free.

We are always interested in hearing from CIfA members who are interested in being a speaker, at the events mentioned above and others. If you are interested in speaking, please get in touch via