Historic England infrastructure and historic environment capacity report

Historic England published its report on Infrastructure and capacity in the historic environment sector yesterday. CIfA welcomes the report, which provides a useful analysis of the impact of major infrastructure development on our sector and we have previously highlighted the significant opportunities, and challenges, created by the increase in demand for historic environment services. Increasing and diversifying career entry opportunities has been a key feature of CIfA’s training and professional development work for many years. Working with sector partners, including Historic England, through the Archaeology Training Forum, we have been able to develop the tools to support organisations to develop structured career entry training programmes to meet their staffing needs. Current initiatives include

  • Advocating the need for new, flexible routes into historic environment practice in order to attract the talented, diverse workforce we need to maximise the benefit archaeology brings to society in the future
  • Working with SQA, our awarding body for the NVQ in Archaeological Practice, to develop new vocational qualifications including Professional Development Awards and bite-size qualifications
  • Contributing to the Trailblazer Apprenticeship initiative in England through the working group led by Historic England
  • Working with Historic Environment Scotland and partners to explore the potential of developing Foundation and Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland
  • Promoting our Training Toolkit and supporting individuals and organisations using National Occupational Standards to underpin skills audits, training programmes and CPD
  • Working with University Archaeology UK to develop a scheme for accrediting the vocational content of academic programmes, and with individual higher education institutions on course design
  • Developing professional membership pathways up to and including Chartered Archaeologist status
  • Promoting the importance of professional standards and the accreditation of professional competence in delivering public benefit

CIfA’s vision is that anyone choosing a career in archaeology, whether they be a 19 year old school leaver, an archaeology graduate, an experienced volunteer or someone changing careers later on in life, should be able to choose from a range of flexible entry routes, underpinned by, and accredited against, the framework of National Occupational Standards and designed to provide the competence required for Practitioner grade membership of CIfA. Some of the initiatives listed above, Chartered Archaeologist status for example and the development of additional qualifications, may take a number of years to come to fruition, others are well advanced and will be available by the end of 2016. If you are interested in finding out more, please keep an eye on our website or contact kate.geary [at] archaeologists.net.