Yay! I’ve made it! I’m so proud to have been upgraded to MCIfA this year. It feels like a real milestone in my career. I worked for CIfA back when it was the IfA from 2004 to 2010 and applied for Practitioner and Associate grade as soon as I could, but that was when competence was judged in years of experience and academic background. I worked outside of archaeology but still within the heritage sector until recently, and maintained my membership because I’m proud of my postnominals, but didn’t ever expect to achieve Member grade.
I’ve been West Berkshire Council’s Assistant Archaeologist since September 2018 (my first job in a 20-something-year career with ‘archaeologist’ in the title – another milestone!) and my manager encouraged me to apply to upgrade. I was a bit intimidated by the competence matrices at first, but then found them really helpful and approached them like a person specification in a job application. The hardest bit was my CPD log. I enthusiastically maintain my CPD but have been a bit lazy about recording it all in one place! Taking part in the online accreditation workshops was really useful and reassured me about the changes made to the process since ‘my day’, as well as assuring me that I was applying for the appropriate grade. I’d encourage everyone who’s thinking about upgrading to do the same – it’s given me a huge confidence boost!