The Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) is archaeology’s equivalent of the RIBA (except that its not chartered… yet!) and is our professional organisation. They provide a number of different services to the profession including support for all of its members, working to improve pay and conditions, setting standards and issues guidelines and promote and organises training. At LP we actively encourage all of our employees (temporary and permanent) to join the IFA, and all of our permanent staff are either members already or the application is in the post!

Aside from the individual membership of the IFA, top-quality archaeological practices can become a Registered Archaeological Organisation, which means that the company is recognised as an archaeological practise who works to the highest standards, in the field, in health and safety, in training, and who has the interests of their employees as a priority. This is the standard that we were shooting for (and not to pre-empt the decision, but I think we did ok and it looks like the inspectors are going to recommend us to become an RAO on Thursday).


The IFA inspectors look around the site

The inspection itself consisted of a whole day with 4 inspectors arriving at 10am at the Prescot site. They had a site tour (pictured) and took a look around the facilities and operation on site. They had a chat with a few of the diggers and Dave showed them around the GIS. Following this they came back upto the London office and spent the rest of the day chatting with all of the directors and looking through some of our reports and our myriad of policies, etc. Following this one of the inspectors came to our Cambridge facility to make sure that all of our archives and everything are in order.

Becoming an RAO is a big thing for us as a company – it is the stamp that proves what we have already been doing for the last few years is the right way of doing things – I think that Prescot Street is a great example of this and now that we have this as a template we will definitely look to roll this out on other sites.