Draft proposal for the assessment of a Chartered Archaeologist grade of membership

CIfA have been consulting since 2014 on the potential to amend the Charter to be able to award a Chartered Archaeologist grade (see www.archaeologists.net/charter/chartered_archaeologists for further details). Being able to confer Chartered Archaeologist status on members means that archaeology will become a chartered profession like architecture, engineering or surveying.

As such, it should, increase professionalism, add value, promote best practice and improve career pathways as well as increase the wider recognition of professional skills and accreditation

This consultation presents the proposed positioning and methodology of the new Chartered grade. It has been benchmarked against similar standards in other professions, while recognising the skills and attributes that make archaeologists unique. The outcomes of the benchmarking show that there are a variety of ways to approach a Chartered standard. However, most have the following aspects in common

  • Assessment of a high level of technical competence, demonstrated through relevant qualifications and/or work experience
  • Assessment of professional and ethical knowledge and skills and their application to real-world situations
  • Commitment to professional development throughout the professional life-cycle

CIfA recognises the need for the standard to be both rigorous and accessible. It is proposed that the Chartered Archaeologist grade will be open to all archaeologists and historic environment professionals who are directly and actively involved in investigating, managing or conserving the historic environment, whether in a paid or a voluntary capacity.

This is a significant moment in the development of the Institute and the development of the profession. We want the standard to be a mark of quality and professionalism that is recognised by clients, employers and the wider public so we need your feedback on the proposal. We also need your help to promote the draft, to discuss with your colleagues and to identify the benefits and any potential risks to you and your organisation.

For questions on the detail of the proposal, please contact kate.geary@archaeologists.net. Otherwise, send your feedback and any other thoughts and suggestions to anna.welch@archaeologists.net.

The proposals


  1. Definition

A Chartered Archaeologist is a competent professional who can demonstrate

  • A high level of technical competence appropriate to his/her career path
  • Appropriate understanding of the legislative and policy framework(s) relevant to his/her work
  • A high level of ethical competence and understanding of professional ethics, standards and regulation
  • A commitment to his/her own development and to the development of the profession/discipline
  1. Assessment

Technical competence will be assessed on the basis of a portfolio of work against the existing competence matrix. The level of technical competence required of a Chartered Archaeologist will be that expected of a Member of the Institute (MCIfA).

Understanding of relevant legislative and policy frameworks, ethical competence, understanding of professional standards and regulation and commitment to CPD and the development of the profession will be assessed via a professional review, conducted by a panel of peers. Detailed assessment criteria will be developed but an outline is included in Appendix 1.

Assessment will be a two-stage process: the applicant will need to satisfy the Validation Committee that they have demonstrated appropriate technical competence before they are deemed ready to attend a professional review.

  1. Re-validation

In order to retain their chartered status, Chartered Archaeologists must be revalidated on an annual basis. A commitment to ongoing learning and development is central to maintaining Chartered Archaeologist status and so the revalidation process is based on the submission of CPD documentation which must include evidence of reflection and the development of ethical competence as well as technical skills. Failure to submit CPD documentation without adequate explanation will lead to automatic loss of chartered status. A sample of CPD records will be assessed qualitatively and feedback provided. Chartered Archaeologists may be required to attend a further professional review. CPD records that fail to show ongoing development of technical and/or ethical competence as required by the Code of conduct, may require the submission of additional evidence, may lead to loss of Chartered Archaeologist status and could lead to Professional Conduct proceedings.

  1. The Accreditation Pathway

Existing members: existing Practitioners, Associates and Members are already on the accreditation pathway.

Members:          have already demonstrated appropriate technical competence so may proceed to professional review on submission of a personal statement and CPD documentation. The personal statement should outline how they meet the criteria for Chartered Archaeologist grade, including reflection on their learning and professional development since the award of Member status, and should give details of a piece of work for discussion at the review. Further details of the work must be supplied to the panel in advance of the review once a date has been given.

Associates:         must demonstrate technical competence at Member level through submission of a portfolio of work, in line with the current upgrade process, along with a personal statement and CPD documentation as for Member (see above). This will be assessed by the Validation Committee to determine whether they are ready to attend a professional review.

Practitioners:     must demonstrate technical competence at Member level through submission of a portfolio of work, in line with the current upgrade process, along with a personal statement and CPD documentation as for Member (see above). This will be assessed by the Validation Committee to determine whether they are ready to attend a professional review. There is no requirement to progress to Associate grade before an application for chartered status is made although applicants may choose to do so if they wish, or if the Validation Committee determines that they have not yet demonstrated sufficient technical competence for Member grade.

Unaccredited archaeologists: in order to become a Chartered Archaeologist, applicants are encouraged to join the accreditation pathway at PCIfA or ACIfA level (as appropriate), via established Validation Committee routes. Applicants who are already able to demonstrate technical competence at Member level may submit their application with notification to the Validation Committee that they wish to proceed directly to professional review following successful validation of their technical competence. In this case, they must also submit their CPD documentation as described above.

 

  1. Unsuccessful applications and appeals

Applications for the grade of Chartered Archaeologist may be rejected if the Validation Committee and/or professional review panel consider that they have failed to demonstrate appropriate technical competence or have failed to demonstrate appropriate understanding of relevant legislative and policy frameworks, ethical competence, understanding of professional standards and regulation and/or commitment to CPD and the development of the profession.

Applicants who have failed to demonstrate appropriate technical competence will receive feedback on their application in line with current procedures. They may be given the opportunity to provide additional evidence in support of their application or may be offered CIfA accreditation at a lower grade.

Applicants who have successfully demonstrated their technical competence but have failed to demonstrate their ethical competence at professional review will receive feedback on areas of weakness and advice on resubmitting their application. Alternatively, they may be offered CIfA accreditation at a lower grade.

Unsuccessful applicants for chartered status may lodge an appeal in accordance with the procedures set out in the Membership Regulations.


Appendix 1

Outline criteria for the assessment of ethical competence

Assessment of ethical competence will test the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of

  • the legislative and policy framework(s) relevant to his/her work
  • professional ethics, standards and behaviours, as required by the Code of conduct and relevant Standards and guidance

It will also test the applicant’s commitment to

  • maintaining and developing their knowledge and skills, through CPD
  • the development of the wider discipline/profession

Assessment will be undertaken via a professional review based around a project or other piece of work undertaken by the applicant (supplied as in support of their assessment of technical competence or in advance if already a Member of CIfA). The applicant will be expected to demonstrate competence in accordance with the Code of conduct and the following National Occupational Standards.

CCSAPAC1 Research and analyse information to achieve objectives
http://www.ukstandards.org.uk/PublishedNos/CCSAPAC1.pdf
AC1.1 Identify sources and availability of information
AC1.2 Collect information to achieve research objectives
AC1.3 Analyse research information
AC1.4 Report results
CCSAPAJ2 Contribute to advances in the body of knowledge and archaeological practice
http://www.ukstandards.org.uk/PublishedNos/CCSAPAJ3.pdf
AJ2.1 Contribute to advances in knowledge and theory that underpin archaeological practice
AJ2.2 Exploit opportunities to broaden the public’s understanding of the historic environment
AJ2.3 Enable others to learn and benefit from one’s experience
CCSAPAJ3 Develop your own resources and protect the interests of others
http://www.ukstandards.org.uk/PublishedNos/CCSAPAJ2.pdf
AJ3.1 Develop yourself to improve your performance
AJ3.2 Manage your own time and resources to meet your objectives
AJ3.3 Contribute to the protection of individual and community interests

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