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Frequently Asked Questions about the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA)

 

Why does the Register of Professional Archaeologists exist?

How many RPAs are there?

How long has RPA been around?

What are the qualifications for registration?

How long does it take for review and approval of an application?

How much does it cost to apply for registration?

Is there an annual fee for registration?

Who can bring a complaint against an RPA?

How does the grievance process work?

Can someone be expelled from the Register?

Has this ever happened?

Isn't the Register just for CRM archaeologists?

How can I get in touch with the Register?


Why does the Register of Professional Archaeologists exist?

 

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.”  

 

How many RPAs are there?

 

The Register has continued to grow each year, and there were more than 2,600 as of the end of 2013. 

 

How long has RPA been around?

 

Since 1998. It developed from SOPA: the Society of Professional Archaeologists

 

What are the qualifications for registration?

 

In order to qualify for registration, applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. An advanced degree with a specialization in archaeology

  2. A completed archaeological study that has been reported in the form of a Master's thesis or Doctoral dissertation

  3. Documentation of professional experience

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:

  1. An advanced degree with a specialization in archaeology

  2. A research study, or series of studies, equivalent to a Master's thesis or Doctoral dissertation

  3. Supervisory research experience

  4. Detailed documentation of excavation, survey and laboratory experience

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.

 

How long does it take for review and approval of an application?

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.

 

How much does it cost to apply for registration?

 

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!

 

Is there an annual fee for registration?

 

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.

 

Who can bring a complaint against an RPA?

 

Anyone.

 

How does the grievance process work?

 

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.

 

Can someone be expelled from the Register?

 

Yes, if the RPA Standards Board Determines that the RPA code has been seriously violated.

 

Has this ever happened?

 

Yes.

 

Isn't the Register just for CRM archaeologists?

 

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.

 

How can I get in touch with the Register?

 

Register of Professional Archaeologists

3601 East Joppa Road

Baltimore, MD 21234

Phone: (410) 931-8100

Fax: (410) 931-8111

Email: info@rpanet.org

Website: www.rpanet.org

 

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT.

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