Professional accreditation

Accreditation of individuals

Accreditation recognises the professionalism of practitioners, improves their careers and attracts new people into archaeology.

“As a professional archaeologist I want to be seen as someone who will apply a set of standard codes of practice to the work I carry out. Achieving the various grades of membership as my experience builds will help to keep my career focused.” PCIfA member

CIfA has three grades of professional accreditation. They cover all roles, including advisors, contractors, consultants, academics, and volunteers. Accreditation is available for any area of archaeological practice, for example archives, buildings, education, excavation, environmental, finds, forensics, geophysics, graphics, marine, museums and community archaeology.

“Membership is by peer review and it is a way of ensuring our ... clients can have confidence in my abilities.” MCIfA member

  • Practitioner (PCIfA) - our first level of accredited membership, open to those who have undertaken skilled tasks within the historic environment sector under the guidance of others, and have carried out responsible work under a level of supervision

  • Associate (ACIfA) - our second level of accredited membership, open to those who have carried out, delegated or brought to conclusion pieces of work within the historic environment sector, with some autonomy but without holding ultimate responsibility

  • Member (MCIfA) - our highest level of accredited membership, open to those with the greatest level of responsibility and competence within the historic environment sector with sole responsibility to initiate, negotiate, carry out and/or delegate, and bring to conclusion pieces of work. Members are in charge of organising and running large, complex projects from beginning to end, or in highly skilled, specialist work

All accredited members individuals can use the relevant CIfA designation after their name (PCIfA, ACIfA or MCIfA) to indicate that their achievements have been assessed by CIfA, and that they comply with our Code of conduct and standards.

“As a professional archaeologist I want to be seen as someone who will apply a set of standard codes of practice to the work I carry out. Achieving the various grades of membership as my experience builds will help to keep my career focused.” PCIfA member

More information about how to apply for accreditation can be found on our Join page.

If you are interested in professional archaeology or want to support our work, join us as a Student or Affiliate for access to support, information, CIfA networks and pathways to accreditation

Accreditation of organisations

CIfA's Registered Organisation scheme is a unique quality assurance scheme. It is a badge of commitment to professional standards and competence.

Registered Organisations are led by MCIfAs and have demonstrated the ability

  • to provide informed and reliable advice
  • to execute schemes of work appropriate to the circumstances, minimising uncertainty, delay and cost
  • to act ethically and comply with professional standards

Registration is for a finite period, after which organisations must re-apply. The process involves assessment, rigorous peer review including by inspection of premises and projects. Registered Organisations are accountable under CIfA's Code of conduct and can receive sanctions if they fail to comply.

More information about how to apply for Registration can be found on our Join page.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
admin [at] archaeologists.net