Scottish independence referendum: a statement from IfA

Following the announcement of the results of the Scottish independence referendum, IfA wishes to restate its position vis-à-vis national administrations. IfA is a professional institute whose accredited members have agreed to subscribe to the Code of conduct and to follow its Standards and guidance. This obligation applies wherever they live and work, as does their requirement to comply with all relevant legislation and regulations. IfA therefore operates without national borders: it is not and never has been a UK institute.

There are 106 IfA members, from 25 countries, who have addresses outside the UK. We have 323 members with home or work addresses in Scotland, and nine Registered Organisations have offices here.

IfA has, and will continue to have, an active Scottish Group. The constitutional relationship of the group with the Institute will be strengthened by the transition to the Chartered Institute of Archaeologists.

In the last year the Scottish Group of IfA has surveyed the training needs of its members, run four CPD courses, and mounted learning materials online. It has run a workshop on the potential for learning from the English Southport Report and fed the results into the evolving Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy. Promoting developer-funded archaeology, and particularly the crucial role of advisors to planning authorities, IfA produced a special edition of The Archaeologist featuring a celebration of 20 years of planning-led archaeology: this year a version will be sent to elected members of Scottish local authorities. The Group ran a student essay competition, and the winner now attends Group committee meetings.

The 2014 IfA conference in Glasgow attracted 354 delegates (144 of whom attended all three days; and 51 of whom were from universities), 136 speakers and 22 exhibitors. There were six seminars, nine CPD workshops, three fringe events, two wine receptions and two excursions – and there was a highly supportive opening address from Fiona Hyslop, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs:

‘The recent Order of Grant by Her Majesty the Queen for a Royal Charter of Incorporation is a real accolade for the work of the Institute. This accolade demonstrates state recognition for a profession that works tirelessly in the public interest. You play a key role in identifying and investigating, preserving and promoting our heritage which in turn informs our concept of national identity.’ (

IfA staff have attended many workshops and meetings in Scotland and have lodged responses on the Scottish Planning Policy, the Scotland Rural Development Policy, the Historic Environment Strategy, the merger of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS, the Treasure Trove review and several planning and maritime consultations. Representatives serve on the Scottish Strategic Archaeology Committee, the BEFS Historic Environment Working Group, the BEFS Marine task force, the BEFS Historic Environment Scotland task force, the Scottish Historic Environment Data Strategy board and a Historic Environment Strategy implementation board .

Mark Roberts MIfA, chair of the Scottish Group, said:

‘The Scottish Group of IfA is committed to championing professionalism in archaeology. We will continue to promote good practice, and intend to play a central role in the creation and implementation of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.

IfA’s Scottish members will play an increasingly influential role in creating a strong Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. Our institute will ensure that Scottish archaeologists are professionally accredited and skilled in the study and care of the historic environment, are drawn from across society, have rewarding careers, and through their professionalism add value to Scottish business and society.’

For our full press release and further information, please follow this link.