The Institute for Archaeologists is a professional organisation for all archaeologists and others involved in protecting and understanding the historic environment. It is a democratic organisation, run by an elected Council, and supported by committees responsible for all areas of the Institute’s work.
IfA represents the interests of archaeology and archaeologists to government, policy makers and industry, sets standards and issues guidelines, works to improve pay and conditions, improves member career prospects by promoting and organising training and informing them of developments in professional practice, provides a wide range of membership services, and through its Registered Organisations scheme improves employment practices and raises standards of work.
It’s nearly the end of the working day here at the IfA office. The afternoon has become a bit of a blur, helped by very sugary tiffin!
Kirsten’s been writing an article explaning how and why our disciplinary process works. I’ve read through some references in support of applications for membership (the next Validation committee meeting is on 13 September), and have been preparing for a Groups’ Forum meeting next month. This is where members of the committees of all our area and special interest groups get together to talk about how they are run, feedback things to the office, get advice from the office and swap ideas.
I’ve been thinking about how our new member care programme can work (which will be trialed on a small section of our membership), and planning my work schedule for the next two weeks. Sharon (our finance assistant) has been processing subscriptions and receipts for the week. You can read about what Pete’s been doing here.
Most of the work that IfA staff undertake is not the sort of work that people traditionally associate with archaeology and archaeologists. It is important work for the sector though, and highly varied as I hope today’s posts have demonstrated. As a professional institute our main work relates to setting standards and promoting their use, and personal and organisational sign-up to them. We also undertake a lot of advocacy work, and try to provide chanels for training, information on the sector, and opportunities for individuals to explore their particular areas of interest. Obviously, as a democratic membership organisation we’re also answerable to our membership – hence Alex’s work on the Annual report and AGM today.
It’s been a busy day so far. The meeting with AAI&S has now finished, and was very successful. Look out for a press release about the merger. We’ve also been making some exciting plans for next year’s Conference (which will be in Oxford 18 – 20 April).
I’ve organised an inspection panel for a organisation that’s applied to become Registered with us, and we’re continuing to write up the benchmarking reports for those of our current Registered Organisations who need to reregister this year (they do so every two years, to make sure they’re still operating as we expect them to). I’m also getting some last minute nomination forms in from people eager to be on the Buildings Archaeology Group’s committee, and rounded up what training courses our groups have done this year for Alex, who’s writing the Annual Report at the moment. I’m currently typing up the last edits on the text of The Archaeologist for our designer, as that will go to press next month. This issue is the conference round-up. A copy of the new ‘Londinium’ map has just arrived on my desk for review (in the following edition I suspect). It’s very good, Kirsten’s just showed me the iphone app. I like the one-finger excavation technique!
Earlier today we released an exciting statement about the new Scottish government planning advice note. We are particularly pleased with the stipulation that archaeological work required through the planning process should conform to the relevant IfA Standards and guidance, and the emphasis that work should be done by ‘a professionally competent organisation or consultant’, with IfA is identified as having a Register of professionally accredited organisations.
The phone’s been busier than it has been all week, which is unusual for a Friday. I might need some more coffee….
The IfA office will be taking part in today, telling everybody what we get up to during a usual day in the office. It’s been a busy week, and today will be no exception. It’s half past nine, and I’ve been going through the emails that came in overnight before moving on to writing next week’s member and Registered Organisation bulletin. We have members of AAI&S coming in to discuss the finer points of their merger with IfA, Kate’s working on the National Occupation Standards today, and as always we will be answering queries from members and non-members alike.
(Membership and Services Coordinator)