Project news - 21st century challenges for archaeology (21CAP)

In 2018, The world after PPG16: 21st-century challenges for archaeology project made a series of recommendations for strategic improvements to archaeological practice in England. The recommendations are being implemented through a programme of projects and initiatives (collectively referred to as 21CAP) undertaken by sector bodies including the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO), Council for British Archaeology (CBA), The British AcademyFederation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME), the Society of Antiquaries of London, The Institute of Conservation (ICON), Society for Museum Archaeology and University Archaeology UK (UAUK), coordinated jointly by Historic England and CIfA and overseen by an advisory panel of sector representatives.

The aim of the programme is to maximise and promote the public value of archaeology. The ethos of benefiting society underpins all the work in the programme and is central to historic environment conservation and to development-led and other archaeological research.  There are many ways of creating public benefit from archaeology, and through the programme 21CAP partner organisations will encourage archaeologists to extend and vary the menu. To do so, the 21CAP programme is focussed on achieving improvements in the four key areas outlined below but will work closely with other, aligned initiatives including the work of the Archives Advisory Panel, the Heritage Information Access Strategy (HIAS), the European Archaeological Council (EAC) working groups, and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) project on Archaeology and Public Benefit managed by Dr Sadie Watson (MOLA, Museum of London Archaeology). CIfA is also developing a webpage compiling examples of public benefit which will be added to as the project progresses.

  • Improving legislation and policy
  • Strengthening local authority capacity and delivery
  • Enhancing and promoting professional standards, good practice and innovation
  • Improving national approaches to knowledge creation, synthesis and publication

For more information and to see the current suite of work packages see 21st-century Challenges for Archaeology | Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.