CIfA is incorporated by Royal Charter. Our Royal Charter shows that we work for the public good, and is a mark of assurance of our institutional values of reliability, integrity, resourcefulness, teamwork and trust.
CIfA is the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. We promote high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society. We are the authoritative and effective voice for archaeologists, bringing recognition and respect to our profession.
Our elected Board governs the Chartered Institute's activity: its Advisory Council comprises elected representatives of the membership, special interest and area groups, and is the workshop for our policies and priorities.
Archaeologists study the past through its physical remains. Those remains – whether built, buried, on land or underwater, extraordinary or everyday, magnificent or mundane – have meaning and value for people. We recognise that our responsibility to the public means caring for the resources of the historic environment and sharing new understanding of the past.
Our Strategic Plan for 2021-2030 focuses on four key areas - higher standards; inspiring our discipline; greater influence outside our discipline; and a well-governed and effective institute
Our objectives in these key areas are
- CIfA-accredited professionals will provide improved research and engagement, using fit-for-purpose technical and ethical standards for competence, education, and practice, supported by useful guidance
- more archaeologists will want their professionalism recognised. A larger, more diverse and inclusive profession will offer a wide range of expertise and better reflect its relevance to society
- professional archaeologists will be more effectively promoting the many public benefits of archaeology, and will be more trusted and more valued as a result
- provide the governance and resources that let the profession flourish
If CIfA applies the strategies that meet these objectives, and reaches the desired outcomes, by 2030 CIfA-accredited professionals will be setting and meeting improved standards for learning, competence and ethical practice. They will be trusted influencers in the discipline. Through their professionalism they will deliver greater public benefit, and they will be better recognised for doing so.
Our values: bringing archaeology to the public
Archaeologists study the past through its physical remains and those remains have meaning and value for people. CIfA recognises that archaeologists have a responsibility to the public to care for the historic environment and share new understanding of the past. We may have duties to our clients, and our own research interests, but we act together to serve the ultimate client, the public. We have a duty to reach more people, and to encourage them to engage with, not just consume, archaeology in ways that enhance lives.
Why this is important
The historic environment is fragile. Many of the ways archaeologists investigate it are destructive, so they only get one chance. What they touch and how they interpret it can enrich and sustain, but they can also damage and offend.
CIfA believes the value and sensitivity of what we do means we need to work
- with expertise and restraint
- to established, shared standards.
You can read more about what is important to us and what we are doing about it in our strategy and values document below
- 2021-2030 Strategic plan (PDF)
- CIfA Strategy and values
- CIfA: supporting a global profession (PDF file)