CIfA and pay

CIfA has a vital role to play in improving and maintaining standards of archaeological work, and in enhancing the status of archaeologists. We believe that inadequate pay and conditions undermines the work we do in these areas and we are keen to ensure that the issue of pay is proactively addressed by the whole sector.

CIfA policy statement on pay in archaeology

  • CIfA believes that the problem of low pay has the potential to critically impact professional standards and is one which the industry must take collective ownership of and accept collective responsibility for solving.

  • CIfA has a legitimate interest in ensuring that archaeological employers are able to recruit, retain, motivate and develop appropriately competent archaeological staff.

  • CIfA believes that remuneration is one of the factors that will assist employers to do so.

  • Other archaeological bodies have equally legitimate interests in improving pay and conditions, and should be encouraged to work with CIfA; some other bodies have more levers at their disposal to effect improvements in pay than CIfA does and should be encouraged and assisted by CIfA to fulfil their responsibilities.

Minimum salary recommendations

CIfA maintains that, in the UK, the salary minima have played and could continue to play a role in preventing cuts to pay. CIfA will therefore continue to make minimum salary recommendations as guidance and as a benchmark that members and Registered Organisations in the UK must endeavour to meet or exceed. See the current salary recommendations.

Working with others

Roles of organisations

The role of professional institutes like CIfA is to set ethical codes and set standards - these are the things that lie at the core of professionalism and are vital for our recognition as equals to the disciplines we work alongside (such as architects and engineers). The illustration helps identify the different roles organisations have in these discussions. Pay - and other employment benefits - are issues traditionally linked to the work of trade unions, staff associations and employer bodies, rather than professional institutes. However, we recognise that we have an important role to play in encouraging active engagement with these issues by other bodies.

You can find links below to more information about pay and the work CIfA is doing to promote the value of the work archaeologists do . Our illustration should help you understand what our role is, and how that relates to other types of organisation.

CIfA continues to work closely with FAME and Prospect and the three organisations have issued a statement (see below), which outlines their common support for improving pay for archaeologists. We facilitate an Industry Working Group with FAME and Prospect to coordinate our work and you can find an update on the work of the Industry Working Group at