Why I applied to join CIfA

In this blog Beccy Austin explains why she decided to join CIfA and explains the process.

This month, I received an email to say that my application to the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) had been accepted and I’m delighted! Despite working in Maritime Archaeology sector for over a decade, I hadn’t until recently considered applying for accreditation. So you may ask, why apply now?

Before working with MSDS Marine, I had worked in a Civil Service role as the Deputy Receiver of Wreck. Whilst this role was heavily involved in various aspects of maritime archaeology and heritage, I didn’t feel the need to be CIfA recognised as my role and powers were set in the legislation I administered. I was also subject to the Civil Service code and the security measures that went with that. To put it plainly I was bound by law to carry out my role a certain way.

After leaving the Receiver of Wreck I wanted to continue working in maritime archaeology and I decided that being accredited by CIfA for my work was important to me in order to demonstrate my commitment to archaeological best practise, and align with a recognised set of standards and code of conduct set out by a professional body. From a presentational point of view, being accredited by CIfA provides potential clients with the peace of mind that the person they are hiring will adhere to a clear and accountable set of standards and ethics. After a change in role I am also keen to develop professionally and add to the skills that I already have and this is another culture that CIfA and MSDS Marine encourage.

MSDS Marine are a CIfA registered organisation and their employees must abide by CIfA’s policies, Code of Conduct and demonstrate current good practise, and so it made perfect sense that now was the right time to apply. I was pleasantly surprised at how straightforward the application process was, and the amount of support and advice available from CIfA and from the MSDS Marine team. As my background didn’t really fit well within the competence or specialist matrices, I contacted CIfA to ask for advice as to which level to apply for. CIfA were very helpful and responded quickly to my questions.

I managed to complete my statement of competence in time for the December panel meeting and so I heard back really quickly. I am very grateful to MSDS Marine who have been extremely supportive and encouraging of my application and I’m really excited that I now have MCIfA accreditation, and what this means for my future work.

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