Competence matrix performance criteria (PCIfA)


Your statement of competence should demonstrate your knowledge and understanding using appropriate professional and technical language.

You should give examples which show how you apply that knowledge and understanding in your work.

  • For example, you could describe the work that you do/have done and the knowledge and understanding of the historic environment that underpins it.

You should also demonstrate your understanding of professional standards and the industry processes and procedures relevant to your work, and describe how you have applied them.

  • For example, you could tell us how the examples you give meet the appropriate CIfA Standards, any relevant specialist codes of practice or standards and your employer’s quality standards. If you are including examples of work, make sure they have been quality checked and signed off by the appropriate person.


You should describe how you take responsibility for own work and, where applicable, demonstrate that you understand your role within the wider team.

You will need to demonstrate your communication skills and your understanding of the importance of teamwork.

  • For example, you could tell us how the work you do relates to other people in your team? Who looks to you for help and who do you report to? How do you judge when it’s appropriate for you to make a decision and when to consult with others? How do you ensure that the work you do meets professional standards and the expectations of your employer?
  • What are the skills you need to work with others? Why is it important to maintain good communication and what happens if that goes wrong? Are there examples you can give which illustrate how you have contributed as a team member and/or how you have sought to resolve differences of opinion?

Coping with complexity

Within the context of your role, give examples of effective problem solving you have undertaken.

You will need to describe the frameworks or tools you used to identify the issues and achieve a resolution.

  • For example, you could describe a situation where you had to undertake a particular type of work for the first time or encountered an unexpected discovery, result or scenario. What steps did you take to ensure you were able to proceed and who did you consult? Were there particular challenges you had to overcome? How would you recognise that a situation is beyond your skillset and where might you go for help? How did you find out what the best approach might be?

Perception of professional context

You will need to show that you can correctly identify the professional codes and standards which underpin your work and that you are aware of the key organisations, roles and stakeholders relevant to your area of practice.

You should also show that you are aware of the implications of your work within the wider team, your organisation or the historic environment sector as a whole and provide examples of effective public benefit within the context of your role.

  • For example, you could tell us how the CIfA Code of conduct can guide your practice. What are the relevant Standards, guidance, organisational codes or good practice documentation that you refer to and how do they ensure you work to the appropriate professional standard? Who does what within your area of practice? Which are the main organisations you come into contact with and what do they do? Who does your organisation answer to and who are its stakeholders? Who benefits from its work?
  • Tell us about how you have contributed to the generation of new knowledge, shared your own knowledge and understanding with other people, engaged with individuals or communities, contributed to the future management, conservation or interpretation of a heritage asset or helped other people to access information about the historic environment.