ATFThe Archaeology Training Forum (ATF)

The ATF is a delegate body which represents all those organisations which have an interest in the issues of training and career development in archaeology.

It was constituted in 1998 to review the present provision of training in archaeology and to co-ordinate future strategies to meet the profession's training needs.

The Forum exists to:

The Forum is concerned to promote solutions to current training issues in the profession and to engender action to ensure that future needs are met. To do so it will work with academic and professional partners to promote a range of training to meet the needs to the profession and co-ordinate strategies to fill any perceived gaps.


The Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers

ALGAO warmly supports the establishment of the ATF. Archaeological officers throughout England and Wales are becoming increasingly used to working in a changing climate in Local Government. With increasing demands upon the historic environment and a continual growth in public interest in archaeology, local authority archaeologists are at the forefront of delivering a valued service. In order to ensure quality and professional service a continual programme of development and training is essential.

The Council for British Archaeology

The CBA supports the work of the ATF as a means of strengthening the archaeological discipline, including both the paid and unpaid sectors, in order to improve the study and safeguarding of Britain's past.

English Heritage

EH is committed to the promotion of high professional standards in archaeology and conservation, and to the development of career structures and minimum standards of employment. Training is a vital element in achieving these goals and we are firmly committed to supporting the ATF in working towards a training strategy for the profession.

The Institute For Archaeologists

As the professional body representing archaeologists in the UK the IFA has a major role to play in developing a learning environment in which archaeologists will be provided with the skills that they need to carry out their responsibilities. The IFA has already begun an ambitious programme of initiatives within the profession and intends to develop and implement this programme in partnership with the ATF.

"A proper structure for learning and career development, backed up by sufficient training provision and resources, will benefit all members of the profession, all sectors of the discipline of archaeology, and the public. We look forward to working with our ATF partners to this end."

The Standing Committee of Archaeoloy in Continuing Education

SCACE is represented on the ATF because Continuing Education (CE) is the most likely route through which professional training can be delivered. CE departments provide outreach for most universities and usually offer a wide range of courses at a variety of levels. These often include CPD (Continuing Professional Development) courses which are designed to update people's professional skills and knowledge based on the needs of employers and employees. Recent developments in CE include new accreditation frameworks so that courses are assessed and carry transferable credits. An important way forward for professional training in Archaeology is through accredited CPD courses.

Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers

FAME actively supports the ATF and is keen to develop both principles and practice of training within the archaeological profession. To this end, principle 4 of SCAUM's Occasional Paper Archaeology and employment (1999) states that:

"An archaeological organisation will invest in the development of the skills and expertise of its employees."

and defines adherence to this principle as meaning, inter alia, that an archaeological organisation will implement policies and programmes of staff development, monitor training policy to ensure that training is relevant to both the organisation and the individual, and ensure the provision and application of appropriate appraisal and counselling procedures in order to enhance the welfare and development of its staff.

The Standing Committee For Archaeology

SCFA is the committee which represents the collective interests of university archaeology departments. Its membership comprises all professors in universities and also any department heads who are not professors. As the body representing formal higher education SCFA supports the ATF in designing courses to reflect the changing training needs of the profession.

Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) is the professional institute which represents conservation professionals in the public and private sectors in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It has nearly 1400 members, divided between 15 branches. The Institute exists to establish the highest standards of conservation practice to support the effective protection and enhancement of the historic environment.

Society of Museum Archaeologists

The Society of Museum Archaeologists exists to promote museum involvement in all aspects of archaeology and emphasise the unique contribution of museums to the essential unity of the archaeological profession; promote greater public understanding of the archaeological past, and a fuller public appreciation of the importance of archaeology; campaign for the acceptance of museums as guardians of a vital part of the nation's heritage and as the appropriate location for the storage and interpretation of all archaeological material; develop a coherent philosophy of the role of archaeologists in museums.

Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Nautical Archaeology Society

The Nautical Archaeology Society is a non-government organisation formed to further interest in our underwater cultural heritage. It is dedicated to advancing education in nautical archaeology at all levels; to improving techniques in excavating, conservation and reporting; and to encouraging the participation of members of the public at all stages.

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has a leading national role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built and maritime heritage of Wales, as the originator, curator and supplier of authoritative information for individual, corporate and governmental decision makers, researchers, and the general public.

Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)