Training opportunities

CIfA training courses and workshops

CIfA provides a number of training and CPD opportunities for members and non members covering all aspects of archaeology and the historic environment. Many of these day workshops and courses are run by our Special Interest and Area groups, and are held around the UK. Courses range in both price and format, and are often free for members or offered at a reduced price. Forthcoming courses are listed below.

CIfA also works with partner providers, to offer approved training courses for members and the wider sector. You can find out more about forthcoming courses below.

Each year CIfA runs a three-day conference and training event which includes a number of CPD training workshops in the programme, as well as lots of opportunities for learning from discussion sessions and seminars. You can find further details and the link to our conference webpages below and in our Jobs Information Service and Training (JIST) bulletin.

If you would be interested in running a training workshop, or would like to see one which covers a particular area, please get in touch with Lianne Birney at lianne.birney [at]

Forthcoming CIfA courses

Most of our training workshops can be booked through Eventbrite. Please go our Eventbrite profile to see and book any forthcoming courses.

21st-century challenges for archaeology

During 2017 the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, in partnership with and funded by Historic England, will be convening discussions and workshops on important issues within the archaeology sector in England. For further information please see here

CIfA Area and Special Interest Groups

Please see individual group's pages or the events calendar for forthcoming events and workshops

CIfA Conference and training event

Every year CIfA hosts a Conference and training event, which includes a range of seminars and workshops. Our next conference will take place on the 25-27 April 2018, in Brighton.

CIfA endorsed training courses

CIfA is keen to work with training providers to highlight training courses which meet the needs of our members and the wider sector. We also include relevant forthcoming training events in our monthly eBulletin, which are circulated to all members around the middle of each month. If you would like to include your event in the bulletin, please contact admin [at]

Building on the wide range of professional short courses provided by institutions on behalf of the Archaeology Training Forum, CIfA is also happy to recommend courses which meet our CPD guidance. To find out more about how you can gain CIfA endorsement of CPD courses, please see our criteria for endorsement.

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education’s new programme of short courses for the historic environment is now underway for 2017 at Rewley House. Full details of all courses can be found at:

These short practical courses are designed to provide training in key skills, grounded in everyday working experience, for all in the professional and voluntary sectors. They are endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME and are developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control. You can download a list of the courses here

Other training courses

Some institutions also provide opportunities for those in work to access training and postgraduate courses in archaeology and heritage management via online or part time courses.

Historic England and the University of Leicester - Heritage practice training programme

In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed the Heritage Practice Training Programme to deliver practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals ( Forthcoming courses can be viewed here

Upcoming training opportunities

The NPPF Decoded – A Practical Problem-Solving Workshop

Historic England - HELM Training
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 from 09:30 to 16:30, London
Book at Eventbrite

British Society of Soil Science Working with Soil courses

Working with Soil is run by the British Society of Soil Science. It aims to set standards of practice in applied field soil science. There are a set of competency standards and, more importantly, a growing number of practical training courses aimed at all practitioners working in land-based sectors. Soil and the processes that operate within it influence a wide range of land-based activities. The profitability of agriculture, the effectiveness of environmental improvement and regulation, the richness of wildlife habitats and even the playability of sports turf are all dependent on soil management and therefore the application of soil science. A practical knowledge of how to investigate and characterise soil and an understanding of how to use and manage soil in a range of professional contexts are of value to all land-based practitioners. Our training courses are designed to help everyone involved with using and managing land, understand and manage soil more effectively.

Course 1: Exposing and Describing a Soil Profile
The ability to expose a soil profile to nearly 1 metre depth and to describe it accurately and consistently are skills that are fundamental to the study of soil in the field. This practical one day course is the first of three covering BSSS’s Foundation Skills. The course is part laboratory and part field based. Working in a small group, you will dig your own pit, be taught each aspect of soil description back in the laboratory and then use your newly acquired skills to describe horizons back in your own pit before backfilling it.

Course 2 – Understanding soil variability at landscape to local scale
This new two day training course offers you a unique opportunity to build your confidence and precision in characterising and describing the soil beneath your feet not just in terms of the soil types present but also their relationship to patterns of geology and the landscape. Building on course 1 it covers more of the Working with Soil Foundation Skills and covers soil-forming factors and teaches soil survey techniques. As well as taught sessions, you will spend the majority of your time in the field carrying out group field soil survey exercises under close tuition to further enhance your ability and confidence.

Course 3 – Introduction to soil classification
This two day training course introduces you to the principles of soil classification that are essential if your work involves a range of contrasting soils or if you make use of national soil survey maps and publications. Involving both classroom and field work the course builds on our Course 1 Exposing and Describing a Soil profile course, and is the final building block of our Foundation Skills training scheme. It is the only course currently available that covers Soil Classification and introduces the widely used World Reference Base soil classification.

Course 4 Agricultural Land Classification (England and Wales)
ALC has a formal role in the planning system in England and Wales and is designed to prevent the loss of our best and most versatile land in line with the principles of sustainable development. This two day training course has been launched with the support of Defra and offers a unique opportunity to learn how to conduct and/or evaluate an agricultural land classification survey. It is suitable for environmental or planning consultants, soil scientists, chartered surveyors, land valuers and planning control staff. It is the only course available of its kind and has been designed and is taught by agricultural land classification (ALC) experts from Natural England and The Welsh Government.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building, University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AB

0118 378 6446
admin [at]