Get involved with CIfA

“CIfA membership should not be regarded as a passive membership – you have to get involved if you want your profession to evolve”
ACIfA member

Being part of CIfA allows you to take an active role in supporting and shaping the profession. We draw on the expertise and knowledge of CIfA professionals in all our work. The best way to influence is to get involved.

In CIfA you are part of an active community which promotes high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, and which tries to make archaeology beneficial to all.

Find out more about the different committees and how to get involved on our FAQs page (PDF).

Give something back

Being part of a professional body is not just about products, discounts and services. It is a way to demonstrate your commitment to your work, to improving yourself and your profession, and to giving the public the best from archaeology.

There are many benefits of being part of CIfA, but the biggest is seeing the effect you can have on your profession. The more people who support us, the stronger the profession becomes, and the more impact we have. It helps us:

  • improve the quality of archaeology through standards and training;
  • be the authoritative and effective voice influencing policy and decision makers;
  • gain recognition, respect and reward for professional archaeologists.


CIfA structure diagram


Celebrating our volunteers during Volunteering Week (1 to 7 June)

During National Volunteer Week we wanted to give a big shout out and thanks to our amazing cohort of volunteers, without which so much of our work just would not take place.  

CIfA volunteers

Did you know that in 2021, 223 people volunteered with CIfA by contributing their time and expertise to our 21 Area and Special Interest Groups, our Advisory Council, our Board of Directors, the Validation committee, the Registrations committee, the Degree Accredition committee, consultation advisors and our CPD workshops. Our volunteers expand the reach and scope of our work, they ensure CIfA activities take place throughout the UK, and they help us make the right decisions as to the future direction of the Institute. 

In 2019, our Advisory Council carried out a survey asking for feedback on CIfA volunteering experiences and the responses we received were illuminating. Responses included that volunteering with the institute was a great opportunity to provide CPD benefits for individuals and it was useful being involved at the forefront of discussion about developments to the profession. Respondents also enjoyed networking with colleagues and benefiting from sharing advice and experiences. It also provides a strong sense of being able to contribute to the profession and to give something back.

Since receiving those results, we have been working behind the scenes to enhance our volunteering offer, which includes addressing the barriers to volunteering (like travel expenses, loss of work time and other commitments) and promoting more widely volunteer vacancies. Interested in getting involved? Have a look at our groups page and get in touch with our Membership Engagement Coordinator, Meg (, to find out more. A huge thanks to Kayt Hawkins for co-ordinating the survey – the results will really help us going forward. 

Benefits of volunteering – from making your voice heard to developing new skills. 

Why get involved with volunteering with CIfA? Well as Cat Gibbs says of her time with the Diggers Forum, it’s a chance to directly influence the future of CIfA and to put forward her views and opinions. Samantha Boyle joined the validation committee in 2015 to make a tangible contribution to the profession and learn more about the accreditation process. Otis Gilbert highlights how important volunteers are to making decisions on the direction of CIfA, supporting member events and highlights that committees are open to all accredited levels of membership. Otis particularly emphasises the need for all members to be represented and involved with CIfA activities.  

Cara Jones (CIfA) says of her time volunteering on the Scottish Group committee 

“I first started volunteering with CIfA in 2012 when I joined the CIfA Scottish Group committee, with support from my employer at the time. It was the first committee I had ever sat on and it really taught me how to be an active part of a working group. It allowed me to meet other members of my professional, network and find out more about the work of CIfA, not just in Scotland but around the UK. I developed new skills, but I also felt part of something useful and an active member of our profession! It really helped contextualise the role of CIfA within our wider profession”.

These examples highlight how beneficial it is when an employer supports an employee to volunteer during work time – Jen Parker Wooding volunteers regularly with the Alzheimer’s Society, within her working day thanks to her employer (CIfA). Jen says that “Volunteering is very fulfilling for me personally…but I could not have achieved this without the support of my employer”. Read more about Jen’s volunteering experience below.

You can read our full bulletin from Volunteering Week here.