Making a professional conduct allegation or complaint

Making a professional conduct allegation against a CIfA member or Registered Organisation

Professional conduct allegations can be raised in three different ways:

  • contact the CIfA informally for advice regarding your concerns

  • download and complete an allegation form and return it to CIfA (complaints [at] archaeologists.net) with as much as evidence as possible to support the allegation

Allegation form - (word document)

All cases need supporting evidence to proceed. For example, it may be photographic evidence, or copies of documents.

CIfA's official language is English.

Professional conduct allegations are judged against the Code of conduct and supporting regulations, standards and guidance and policy statements and our professional conduct procedure exists to raise allegations against accredited members of CIfA or Registered Organisations who may have breached the Code of conduct in relation to their professional and ethical behaviour in relation to the study and care of the historic environment. This can also relate to professional conduct in relation to employees, colleagues and helpers.

In all instances, the complainant needs to identify the relevant principle(s) and rule(s) that have allegedly been breached. For example ‘Code of conduct Principle 1 Rule 1.3 A member shall not offer advice, make a public statement, or give legal testimony involving archaeological matters, without being as thoroughly informed on the matters concerned as might reasonably be expected’

The first assessment stage of reviewing any allegation is for the Institute to decide whether the matter relates to the Code of conduct and/or whether it could be more appropriately resolved by discussion amongst parties, or perhaps arbitration or mediation. CIfA will not get involved in contractual or professional disputes, only allegations of professional misconduct for individuals or Registered Organisations.

Allegation check list

  • Raise your concerns with the person or organisation before making a complaint: use any appropriate procedures
  • Contact CIfA informally to ask advice
  • Check your allegation relates to professional and ethical behaviour in relation to archaeological affairs and the study and care of the historic environment covered by the CIfA Code of conduct and/or regulations and standards
  • Complete the allegation form or supply the required information identifying the parts of the CIfA Code of conduct/standards/regulations your complaint relates to and provide evidence to support this. Make sure the information you supply is clearly set and explained.

BAJR Guide – Respect: acting against harassment in archaeology
A professional conduct allegation may not be the most effective way of achieving resolution in the event of perceived harassment, and where there is any anticipated or actual civil or criminal proceeding it would take precedence over our own conduct procedures. In such instances, we would encourage members to be aware of the BAJR guidance Respect: acting against harassment in archaeology, the routes open to individuals who feel they have been subject to any form of harassment, and to seek support from the organisations identified in this BAJR guide. The guide is primarily aimed at field archaeologists, whether they be volunteers, students, or those employed within the commercial sector and the organisations who run excavations. It provides an initial point of reference and is designed primarily to signpost services and create procedures to prevent cases of bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment.

You may also wish to contact Protect

Complaints against CIfA

A complaint against CIfA can come about from dissatisfaction about any aspect of CIfA’s services, including actions of a member of staff or individual member of the Board of Directors or Advisory Council, or the CIfA NVQ Assessment Centre. A complaint should be submitted using the ‘Complaints against the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ form which is available below along with a copy of the complaints against CIfA procedure. For complaints concerning the CIfA NVQ Assessment Centre please read 'Complaints about the CIfA NVQ Assessment Center assessment process', below.