Standards and guidance in Northern Ireland

2021 - ongoing
Funding body: 
Historic Environment Fund (Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division)

The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) was commissioned in 2021 by the Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division (HED) to undertake a project focused on reviewing the applicability of Standard and guidance documentation (produced by CIfA and the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI)) to archaeological practice in Northern Ireland. The project aligns with an ongoing CIfA initiative to ensure that their suite of Standards and guidance are up-to-date, accessible, and relevant across all the jurisdictions (where CIfA members practice). The project is being managed by a Project Executive Board comprising representatives from CIfA, HED and IAI, and will


  • enable the profession to deliver archaeological activities to consistent and professional standards in a Northern Ireland specific context, to support the delivery of public benefit
  • enable HED, as the regulatory and licencing body for Northern Ireland, to ensure consistent and appropriate standards are applied
  • provide a ’level playing field’, so that all organisations participating in archaeological works or activities are clear from the outset about what is required to meet the requirements of any licenses, consents or conditions which may apply to their work undertaken in Northern Ireland
  • provide clear and consistent information which allow those commissioning archaeological works to understand processes and requirements
  • benefit the conservation of archaeological sites and their associated artefacts, records, and data by providing specific Northern Ireland standards and guidance that will help to ensure their continued enjoyment by future generations

Project information

Phase 1 - phase one of the project was completed in March 2021 and involved a mapping exercise that identified the primary areas of overlap in existing guidance, the parts of the guidance that required alignment to ensure applicability in Northern Ireland and the existence of potential gaps that may lead to the development of new or amended guidance.

Phase 2 - phase 2 is due to start in August 2021. A call for expressions of interest was circulated to help assist with the process of aligning guidance, assisting with the drafting of new guidance, and organising sector-wide consultation opportunities. IAC Archaeology were appointed - see press release below

CIfA press release_final_Aug21.pdf