Changes to the wording of the text of the Standard for evaluations and watching briefs and the text of the guidance sections for archives and archaeological advice are outlined below. These updates stem from projects that have focused on archaeological archives and archaeological reporting with the collective objective to improve industry standards and provide good practice guidance related to archiving, digital data management and grey literature reporting (see Write Here! Write Now!, Developing a selection toolkit for archaeological archives and Digital Archives in Archaeology for further details)
The changes presented are relatively minor but please do make sure you and your colleagues are aware of them (especially the changes to the Standard paragraphs for both evaluations and watching briefs) and update your records to ensure you're accessing the correct versions (see here for latest versions). The CIfA Standards are binding on all accredited members and Registered Organisations to ensure that CIfA professionals work to high ethical and professional standards. The guidance provides good practice advice outlining how to achieve the Standards. These changes are effective immediately. Please contact Jen Parker Wooding if you have any queries.
A substantial overhaul of the full suite of Standards and guidance is due to start soon which will review and update content and consider format/design/presentation etc. Further information will be shared in due course.
1) Changes to the Standard and guidance for archaeological field excavation
The Write Here! Write Now! project (still underway) recommended changes to the wording of the Standard in the Standard and guidance for archaeological field evaluation and archaeological watching brief (see no. 2 below) to emphasise the importance of the research potential of evaluations and to address concerns regarding the quality of grey literature reporting. These changes were subject to advance consultation with ALGAO, FAME and the CIfA Advisory Council and have been approved by the CIfA Board of Directors. The second phase of this project will involve member consultation of reporting templates that have been produced to support practitioners. A update to the wording of the definition of field evaluation is also outlined to ensure consistency in line with the reworded Standard. Other minor edits will take place as part of the wider review of the Standards and guidance documents planned for 2020/21.
2) Changes to the Standard and guidance for an archaeological watching brief
3) Changes to the Standard and guidance for the creation, compilation, transfer and deposition of archaeological archives
The Developing a selection toolkit for archaeological archives and Digital Archives in Archaeology projects recommended changes to the guidance sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.3 of the CIfA Standard and guidance for archives and the guidance sections 1.60 and 1.61 of the CIfA Standard and guidance for archaeological advice (see no. 4 below). These changes focus on the implementation of project-specific selection strategies and Data Management Plans for both practitioners and advisors. Additional guidance, resources and template examples can be found in the links above. The changes were subject to consultation with the Digital Archives in Archaeology project advisory board members comprising representatives from across the sector, the CIfA Archives Special Interest Group committee and via the Historic England Knowledge Hub. They have also been approved by the CIfA Board of Directors. Other minor edits will take place as part of the wider review of the Standards and guidance documents planned for 2020/21.
4) Changes to the Standard and guidance for archaeological advice by historic environment services