2016 January – Groups Forum

Groups Forum Meeting

Wednesday 27 January 2016 13.30 to 17.00
Birmingham Midland Institute, Birmingham

Minutes Present: Sam Paul (AAG), Paul Riccoboni (DF), Hannah Cobb (E&D), Laura Templeton (GAG), Colin Forrestal (IMSIG), Chris Constable (London) and Andy Howard (RIG). CIfA staff: Lianne Birney, Anna Welch

1. Apologies Action
Apologies from the rest of the following groups: Archaeological Archives, Equality & Diversity, Graphics Archaeology, and Information Management. No representation from the following groups: Buildings Archaeology, Finds, Geophysics, International Practice, Maritime, New Generation, Project Management, Scottish and Wales group.

2. Minutes from the last meeting
Minutes were agreed from the last meeting in July 2015. The only matter arising was LB to check how many of the current membership who are not members of a SIG (775) are Student members.

3. Three year business plan and budgets update
Three year business plans All groups were reminded that they need to update their three year business plans if their end date is 2016 (if they hadn’t already). These need to be agreed at their next AGM.
We will inform groups which ones we are waiting for.
Group budgets (16-17) All groups were reminded to send in their annual group committee budget by Friday 29 January so we can agree them. If you need any help please ask your group coordinator.
Coordinato rs

4. Inactive groups & non-members
Recently we have had a few non-CIfA group members not renew their subscription of £10 per year and the reason being they have not received anything from their group. In order to keep them and possibly turn them into CIfA members, we want to encourage the more inactive groups to send newsletters or short updates in order to engage the non-members.
If the group is inactive for a long period, we can reinstate them, like the Voluntary & Community group, but we may have to consider the validity of the group moving forward.

5. Toolkit update
The Groups Toolkit has been updated online and all group members should have access to this using their website login and clicking on the Groups committee area in the list on the left hand side. Please let us know if you cannot access it so we can check your permissions.
This is where you will find all the documents, request forms and templates needed to run
Groups & Coordinato rs
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the group effectively. Some documents are in progress and we hope to complete these soon.

6. RO & Member update
Registered Organisations There are 75 Registered Organisations at present. The last meeting of the RO inspection year is 10 March. There are 2 new applications and a further 2 that will be benchmarked shortly before their applications go through. So we should be looking at up to 80 ROs in total shortly. This is an increase from previous years, although it has been up to 80 previously. These include differing types of organisations, big and small so it is varied and Jen can look into this further.
We are aiming to have an ambassador for each RO in the future so they will be the person employees can approach and ask about membership without having to come to CIfA directly in the first instance. This would be useful to help membership and to inform individuals of the work CIfA undertake.
Current Membership As of 15 December, there are 3169 members, which is 2269 accredited and 900 nonaccredited. This is less than the figures from July as we have deleted the subs debtors now, who were mainly student members. Dips in membership can be for many reasons, the recession and not being able to afford fees are key, but some are Students who have not gone into archaeology or do not see the benefit of membership. This leads to the Pathways scheme, which we will come to later.
It was suggested we need to encourage Student membership through Universities by ensuring they become a member when they enroll. Some Universities already do this and even pay for some students but it is then retaining them, which we are working towards. It was suggested that we make it clear members can claim their tax back on the subscription fees if cost is an issue for them.
Re-joiners are on the increase as there were 22 in 2015 and we have had 6 already this year. At present the membership makes up around 50% of the profession as a whole.
Member recruitment figures for members and non-members 14-15 for each group are in Appendix 1.
It was pointed out that many archaeologists who dig do not see the point in being a member when they work for an RO. Again this is an area we are working on to change views as individual accreditation is transferable and a shows their professionalism. CSCS cards will not be available for archaeologists soon and we are looking at ways to be able to gain this in future without an academic qualification, so this could include accredited membership of CIfA as a requirement.

7. Competency matrices & Pathways update
Competency matrices Those groups who have completed a competency matrix will be sending back their amendments to the working party who will finalise them and then we can go live. It was noted that these are not to take the place of the original competence matrix but
Groups Forum minutes
rather to enhance the application process and committee decisions. Equality & Diversity are unlikely to need to complete one as it is not a specialist area in an application sense.
Pathways These are documents to assist those Student and Affiliate members upgrading to Practitioner and they have to sign up to the scheme. They consist of general documents that include how to write your Statement of competence and an introduction to CPD. We also want to develop this information to Associate and Member in future if the trial goes well.
They are not specific to the specialist areas, but this could be developed further with links to websites and documents that could help career starters in the specialist areas, for example Finds.
It was agreed that CIfA can provide the benefits and training to help members progress. The New Generation group are piloting a mentoring scheme to assist in this.
Suggestions for conference to include a speed-dating session annually to continue from New Generation group’s one in Birmingham.

8. Social media policy/guidance update
CIfA have a general social media policy, which is common sense mostly and not bringing the Institute into disrepute. Therefore we do trust group committees to use social media sensibly and to decide which type of media is suitable for their group.
We want to collate these links on one page, so that when people view the website they can just click social media and access any groups from there.
Coordinato rs

9. AOB
There was a discussion about HS2 and the impact it may have. If you have any queries about it, please contact kate.geary@archaeologists.net
Group committee members would like more news about what CIfA are doing and involved with as a lot goes on behind the scenes, for example in TA or the ebulletins.
We are aware that the CIfA website is difficult to navigate and this is one of the things to be improved over the coming years and will include the database and online yearbook details.
There is no file sharing system we ask groups to use, but we can look into this. Google hangouts is useful as a tool for committees.
Add the RO & member complaints information to the figures for the next meeting to see the whole picture.
Information Management group and Research and Impact group are collaborating on an event later in the year. Many groups overlap in their subject areas and we encourage more groups to collaborate with each other. If you want to be put in touch with another group just ask your group coordinator.

The next meeting will be held in July 2016.