Memorandum of understanding with Historic England (Meeting the twenty-first century challenges for archaeology in England)

This Memorandum of Understanding between Historic England and CIfA sets out the basis for cooperating on addressing the most urgent and important challenges identified by our joint project Twenty-first-century challenges for archaeology.

The project made recommendations for changes to the way the sector creates, sustains and uses

  • standards and guidance
  • designation and management of heritage assets with archaeological interest
  • archaeological advice to planning authorities
  • synthesising the findings of planning-led investigations to create new understandings
  • hard-copy and digital publications
  • archives

Based on those recommendations, Historic England and CIfA will jointly coordinate and oversee a programme of strategic improvements to archaeological practice in England. They will work closely with an advisory panel of sector representatives and working groups, undertaking projects and reporting on progress.

Through this work, both organisations seek to maximise the public value of archaeological practice by promoting professionalism and good practice through innovation, the application of professional standards, and skills development.

Barney Sloane, Historic England National Specialist Services Director, said

‘An estimated 5000 archaeological investigations take place each year in England as part of the planning process, within a market worth approaching £200m.The system works very well when properly implemented, generating enormous public interest and value, but it could work even better. Historic England is delighted to be working with CIfA and other key stakeholders to develop tangible and lasting improvements.’

Peter Hinton, CIfA Chief Executive, said

 ‘Archaeologists have made radical recommendations for improving the way we do archaeology before, but this is the first time two lead bodies in English archaeology have committed to acting on those commitments. Importantly, we have secured the engagement of many other stakeholder organisations, all of whom can play an important role in helping archaeologists consistently deliver a wide range of benefits to the public we serve’.

More information on the 21st Century challenges in archaeology in England project can be found here.

You can download the full text of the MoU here.