Professional accreditation

There are two groups of individual membership: professional accredited membership and non-accredited membership Student and Affiliate membership.

Becoming a professionally accredited member of CIfA identifies you as someone who has demonstrated to third parties that you have the necessary skills and ethics to carry out work to relevant standards. By joining your fellow professionals you increase the membership, strengthen the profession and so ensure that our voice is more representative and more clearly heard. It also shows that you have a commitment to maintain and enhance your skills and knowledge by signing up to a Code of conduct that requires you to carry out regular CPD. CIfA accredited members must carry out 50 hours of CPD over each two-year period.

“The CIfA's support of CPD helps individuals to learn new skill sets.”
PCIfA member

Accreditation is the most important form of professional recognition. For employers, taking on an accredited individual provides comfort that an independent body, the professional institute, has assessed the employee's competence against the competence matrix benchmarks, and that the professional employee has made a commitment to professional standards and ethics. Frequently, CIfA or similar professional membership is cited in job adverts.

“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

From an external or client perspective, again accreditation provides a clear indication of professionalism, including a commitment by the professional to maintain and develop skills (and not to seek to take on responsible roles in areas where he/she presently lacks the necessary skills). Finally, if any issues arise about the quality of work provided by an accredited member there is a system to pursue this through disciplinary allegations.

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

Professionally accredited grades of membership

There are three membership grades you may apply for:

  • 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 have the right to use their post?nominals (PCIfA, ACIfA or MCIfA) in recognition of their accreditation, to vote at general meetings, to stand for Council and be involved with our committees. In addition, accredited members have the opportunity to be listed in the annual CIfA Yearbook and directory, a publication circulated to all members and over 2000 potential clients, heritage bodies and other relevant organisations.

More information about how to apply for membership can be found on our Join page. By joining your fellow professionals you increase the membership, strengthen the profession and so ensure that our voice is more representative and more clearly heard, so why not get involved?

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
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Reading RG6 6DE

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