4.0 Archaeology Training Forum

The Archaeology Training Forum (ATF) is a delegate body, constituted in 1998 with members from all areas of the profession who represent organisations with an interest in the issues of training and career development in archaeology. Its purpose is to review the present provision of training in archaeology and to co-ordinate future strategies to meet the profession's training needs. Importantly, one of the delegate bodies is CHNTO, the Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation, who have held responsibility on behalf of theDepartment for Education and Skills (DfES) for the development of skills in the wider cultural heritage sector. It is facilitated by English Heritage, and its importance to that national heritage organisation is emphasised by the Forum being chaired by its Chief Archaeologist.

The Forum's terms of reference are to keep current training provision by member bodies and others under review; to seek to ensure that funding for training from whatever source is distributed according to need within a framework of priorities; to work towards the alignment of existing and proposed training sessions and units, sponsored or run by bodies represented, into a series of related programmes accessible to all members of the profession and to interested amateurs; and to work towards agreement on the validation of training units and their integration within a widely accepted professional career structure.

To these ends, the ATF has commissioned a series of projects that have established baseline data and has established a framework for future action. The forum also invites training providers to present them with outlines of short courses for their endorsement, which the Forum grants if the courses are seen to be addressing recognised skill shortages within archaeology. ATF validation has then been used to approach national heritage agencies for subsidies, allowing courses to be run at affordable rates.

One of the ATF's first actions was to commission a review of training provision, based upon the premise that training is considered to be essential to sustain a healthy, developing profession, and that within the archaeological community, there is a general perception that training delivery is poorly organised and that current provision does not meet the developing needs of organisations and individuals in the archaeological workplace. The recommendations contained within this project's report (Chitty 1999) have become the reference points for the ATF’s strategy since its publication.


Last updated: Tue Sep 10 2002

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