Frequently Asked Questions about the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA)
The RPA was established on the premise that archaeology is a profession, and the privilege of professional practice requires professional morality and professional responsibility, as well as professional competence, on the part of each practitioner. If you agree with this, please consider registering.
RPA seeks "the establishment and acceptance of universal professional standards in archaeology.”
The Register has continued to grow each year, and there were more than 2,600 as of the end of 2013.
Since 1998. It developed from SOPA: the Society of Professional Archaeologists
In order to qualify for registration, applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:
If you have not completed an archaeological study that has been reported in the form of a Master's thesis or Doctoral Dissertation, you may still qualify for registration if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
In both cases, formal Acceptance of the Code of Conduct, Standards of Research Performance, and Grievance Procedures of the Register of Professional Archaeologists is also required.
Between four and eight weeks, depending on the registrar's current field work activity. You will then receive a registration certificate and welcome packet in the mail, and you are encouraged to place RPA proudly after your name.
There is a $35 non-refundable application fee, but it’s waived if you have graduated with advanced degree within the last 6 months before the date of your application.
Ask about discount offers at meetings and conferences!
Yes, it’s $45 and has been for years, provided you join one of the Register’s sponsoring organizations: the Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the American Anthropological Association. It goes up to $125 if you aren’t affiliated with one of these.
The RPA’s Grievance Coordinator (an elected position held for two years by an RPA) receives any alleged violations of the RPA Code. If the Coordinator feels that the complaint has merit, a Grievance Committee is appointed to investigate the matter. If necessary, the Committee will then file a formal complaint to the RPA Standards Board. The Board holds a hearing and then makes a decision that can include up to four types of disciplinary action.
Yes, if the RPA Standards Board Determines that the RPA code has been seriously violated.
No, it’s for all archaeologists who meet the registration requirements. A diverse body of Registrants is really important. Over 320 college and university archaeologists, and almost 150 Federal government archaeologists are currently Registered. That’s about 18% of the total.
Register of Professional Archaeologists
3601 East Joppa Road
Baltimore, MD 21234
Phone: (410) 931-8100
Fax: (410) 931-8111
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT.