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The Register of Professional Archaeologists

is a community of professional archaeologists. Our mission is to establish and adhere to standards and ethics that represent and adapt to the dynamic field of archaeology and to provide a resource for entities who rely on professional archaeology services.


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Register News

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  • 30 May 2023 10:44 AM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    Check out Register president Trish Fernandez along with her fellow organization presidents discuss "Experience of Degrees and Degrees of Experience" in this month's issue of the SAA Archaeological record!

  • 17 May 2023 12:39 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    The Register is uniquely positioned to provide resources and excellence to affiliate organizations that represent local or state interests which could extend the Register’s networking, education, and outreach opportunities for their members as well.

    Currently, there are 18 affiliate organizations across the US and Canada, but we would love to see more. That's where you come in. We need your help to reach out to your local and state archaeological societies and encourage them to become RPA affiliates. 

    By becoming an affiliate, these local and state societies can enjoy many advantages, such as:

    - Increased visibility and recognition as a professional group

    - Access to RPA's online database of certified archaeologists

    - Eligibility for grants and awards from the RPA

    - Participation in RPA's networking meeting and workshops

    - Collaboration and communication with other affiliates and the RPA board

    To become an affiliate, a society needs to meet the following criteria:

    - Have at least 10 RPA members in good standing

    - Have a mission statement that aligns with the RPA's goals and values

    - Agree to abide by the RPA's code of conduct and standards of research performance

    - Pay an annual fee

    If you know of a society that meets these criteria and might be interested in becoming an affiliate, please contact them and share this information with them. You can also direct them to our website ( where they can find more details and an application form.

    We appreciate your support and involvement in the RPA. Together, we can make a difference for archaeology and its practitioners.

  • 27 Apr 2023 4:35 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    The Register of Professional Archaeologists (Register) is calling on you as a Registered Professional Archaeologist to submit nominations (that includes yourself) for our upcoming elections. Registrant nominations are critical to the continued guidance of the Register as it presents another forum for you as individuals to make your voices heard.

    The following positions are open for election this fall. Position descriptions are provided below.

    • President-Elect (Jan 2024 – Dec 2025)
    • Registrar (Jan 2024 – Dec 2025)
    • Standards Board Member (Jan 2024 – Dec 2025); serves as Chair for last year of term.
    • Standards Board Alternates (Jan 2024 – Dec 2025); 3 positions.
    • Nominating Committee (Jan 2024 – Dec 2024)

    The Nomination and Election Schedule is as follows:

    August 1, 2023            Nominations due to

    September 1, 2023      Ballots to Registrants

    September 31, 2023    Elections Close (midnight)

    Thank you for your help in guiding the Register through another year!

    Position Descriptions


    Duties of the President-Elect. Basic Functions. The President-Elect needs to be familiar with all phases of REGISTER activities and functions and be prepared to assume the office of President at any time. In the absence of the President or upon his request, the President-Elect must be ready to conduct meetings and assume all duties and responsibilities of the President’s office.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    The most important duty is to assist the President. Responsible for any other assignments made by the President.


    A Registrar shall be elected to a two-year term by a vote of the RPAs. The Registrar is responsible for determining whether to approve applications for registration.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    Responsible for reviewing applications for membership and determining whether to approve applications for registration.

    Standards Board and Standards Board Alternates

    In accordance with the Disciplinary Procedures of the Register of Professional Archaeologists, the Standards Board shall hear and decide on all appeals from decisions of the Registrar and shall make final decisions regarding the disciplinary action resulting from complaints of violations of the Code of Conduct and the Standards of Research Performance that are referred to the Standards Board by the Grievance Coordinator.

    The Standards Board shall consist of three RPAs as well as a First, Second and Third Alternate, all of whom must be RPAs. One Standards Board member and one Alternate shall be elected by a ballot of RPAs each year, and each shall hold office for three years or until a successor shall be duly elected. The Standards Board member with the longest tenure shall serve as the Chair of the Standards Board.

    A Standards Board member or Alternate actively involved in a grievance case or appeal at the time of the election of a successor shall remain a member of the Standards Board with respect to each such grievance case or appeal until final disposition. The newly elected Standards Board Members and Alternates shall assume all other duties of the position.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    Actively participate in appeals and make decisions pertaining to Grievance Actions.

    Nominating Committee Chair and At-large Member

    Each year the Nominating Committee is responsible for identifying candidates for Standards Boards member, Standards Board alternate, Nominating Committee chair, and Nominating Committee member. In even-numbered years, the Committee is also responsible for identifying candidates for Secretary-Treasurer and Grievance Coordinator-Elect; in odd-numbered years the Committee is responsible for identifying candidates for President-Elect and Registrar.

    The Nominating Committee is responsible for preparing a call for nominations, reviewing nominated RPAs and preparing a ballot for the annual September election. The Chair is responsible for managing the Committee, ensuring that the terms of Article 9 of the Bylaws (Elections) are followed, and adhering to the election schedule.

    Duties and Responsibilities

    Actively participate in forming a call for nominations; vet nominees via professional references; create ballot for open positions.


    The Register of Professional Archaeologists

  • 18 Apr 2023 4:01 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    President’s First Quarter Report

    Greetings, Registrants!

    I hope you all had a nice winter and are ready for what promises to be a busy year for all of us. It certainly is busy here at the Register, so I’ll get right to it!

    The President of any organization is responsible for ensuring and facilitating the implementation of the organization’s Strategic Plan. Our Board approved the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan early last year.

    2022 Strategic Plan Activities. The Board prioritized auditing our administrative and governance components and restructuring and revising them to ensure that the Register was functioning properly to support our programs. The audit also served to ensure that there is adequate documentation to provide consistency through leadership transitions. Having set those components on the right path, I am now able to focus on the program aspects of our Strategic Plan: credentialing and accountability, which translate to the registration and grievance processes. One of the guiding tenets of our reorganization has been to focus on credentialing and accountability, which is what the Register was created to do by our Founding Organizations.

    As a result, we have stripped ourselves of activities that other professional organizations do on a much grander scale in the belief that our energy and funds will better serve our archaeological community in the long run by doing so. To help guide this effort, one of my priorities as President has been to reach out to our fellow organizations to build community (also part of the Strategic Plan) and my request has been that we all figure out: 

    • what the community’s priorities are
    • what each organization does best, and
    • how we can all work together toward our common goals while staying in our own lane.

    This effort seems to be working but it takes constant communication and recalibrating when we get distracted off the path.

    So, what does that mean for you, the Registrants, and the rest of the archaeological community?

    We hear you. We know that addressing the issues of adequate training, proper pay, respectful recognition of our various roles--respectful treatment throughout the community for all of us—is so overdue. Our Strategic Plan helps us here, and this is what we have in store for 2023:

    Diversity. First, I am seeking diverse representation in all of our committees, task forces, and advisory groups. And our new Nominating Committee is tasked to do the same for our elected positions (President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, Registrar, Grievance Coordinator Elect, and Standards Board). You should be seeing a voluntary survey soon asking for you to help us in this effort by telling us how you identify.

    Registration Categories. To focus on credentialing, we are reviewing our current requirements through our newly developed Registration Categories Task Force, comprised of a representative of a large CRM company (SEARCH), a small DBE CRM company (Dovetail Consulting), academia (Edward Gonzalez-Tennant, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), a Registered Archaeologist (Jesica Huddleston), and a tribal representative (Wendy Ferris, Hoopa). Their tasks are to determine how we can broaden our categories to include all working archaeologists and to raise our highest level of qualifications to exceed the Secretary of Interior standards. This may require a change in acronyms.

    Professional Pathway. To assist archaeologists gain entry-level positions and advance in their career, we are developing a Professional Pathways program under the umbrella of our Professional Development Committee (which now encompasses the Continuing Education and Field Schools Certification programs). This is a major effort, the vision of which is for the Register to serve as a hub for the vast and growing network of grassroots and institutional training venues available to us. The Register will first have to create a core curriculum (in consultation with our community representatives), then we can certify even the smallest training event or on-the-job activity for Register credit. We would then track training through a sort of Passport program. Our hope is that training for our student members would be free or low-cost.

    Partners. Of course, we need help from our community, so our Outreach Committee will be focusing on strengthening our existing relationships with Founding Organizations and Affiliated Societies, and expanding our partnership program to include other like organizations (such as ACRA, National Association of Environmental Planners, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and the European Association of Archaeologists) and to educational partners that would include universities (through the ACRA Academic Collaboration program), CRM companies (for on-the-job training or specific training courses), existing partners (Founding Organizations and Affiliated Societies) and other non-profits such as:

    Our goal is for registration and partnership funding and pro-bono education services to sustain our overall funding needs. Please send us names of other organizations we should be reaching out to; we know there are so many out there and need your help.

    Financial Health. We also are auditing our financial policies (through the help of our new Financial Plan Task Force) to ensure we are not only running efficiently, but that we are also clear about what our needs are for operations and program expenses, that we ensure our liability insurance covers us in the event of the unfortunate, and that our investment account is appropriately funded. We hope this effort will identify where we may find additional savings and where we may see surpluses to put back into our programs.

    Grievance. We also hear you on the Grievance process and are working to review it to ensure it remains fair, swift, and anonymous. We also want to help archaeologists and other stakeholders understand their role in bringing grievances to us. Finally, we want to ensure the repercussions for breaching our Code are adequate.

    We will have more information updating you on our progress on these fronts throughout the year. Overall, we hope that these efforts continue the vision of the Register to increase professionalism in our industry by setting the standard and holding us all accountable.

    In your service,

    Trish Fernandez, M.A., RPA 12198

    Register President

  • 2 Mar 2023 2:44 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    At The Register, we value the contributions of volunteers who help to plan and implement programs, events, and fundraising initiatives. Volunteers are essential to our successes as they share their knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm to help our organization achieve its mission.

    There are several different areas where volunteers are needed, including:

    • Help with the planning and organizing of events and meetings
    • Participation on committees
    • Serving on the board of directors
    • Assisting in the development of activities, projects, and fundraisers

    We are seeking volunteers who are enthusiastic and committed, who have experience in the areas in which our organization works, and who are able to give their time on a regular basis. If you know of anyone who would be interested, please let us know.

    If you would like to apply for a volunteer position or would like to recommend someone for a volunteer role, please contact our Communications Director, Dina, at

    We thank you for taking the time to consider this important request.


    The Register Team

  • 17 Jan 2023 3:11 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    Our colleagues at the Society for American Archaeology would like to invite you to help define the topics that will contour the future of cultural resource management (CRM) archaeology in the United States.

    In 1974, cultural resource management legislation spurred the organization of a conference at the Airlie House retreat in Warrenton, Virginia. Published in 1977, the report from the conference helped shape federal archaeology and cultural resource management over the next four decades. But the world is rapidly changing, and archaeology needs to convene a new Airlie House-like conference in order to address such issues as improving engagement and partnerships with descendant communities, climate change impacts, decolonizing archaeology, and academic training that supports and advances compliance with our nation’s historic preservation laws.

    Please provide advice about the topics that should be discussed at such a workshop.

    You may have already participated in the October 2022 survey on an initial list of topics; thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    As further outreach, the SAA will host an online Zoom webinar on February 8, 2023. And as a third conduit for information, if you are coming to the SAA 88th Annual Meeting in Portland, you can also join our in-person conversation on Thursday, March 30: “Back to the Future: The National Historic Preservation Act and the SAA/NPS Airlie House Seminars Revisited.”

    Online Zoom Webinar

    Date: February 8, 2023

    Time: 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Eastern

    Register: Webinar Registration

    Content: The digital conversation about workshop topics will review the impact that Airlie House had on the profession, outline the results of a recent survey on priority topics, and open the floor for conversation about missing or additional workshop topics.

    You do not need to be an SAA member to register. Registration will close on February 6. Registrants will receive an email on February 7 with a link to the webinar.

    You may forward this email to any relevant lists, but please only register once for the Zoom webinar as registration is limited to the first 300 registrants. The webinar will be recorded and posted after February 8, 2023, in case you cannot make the online event.

    To facilitate the online discussion, the survey results from October 2022 are posted online here. Once received, interviews from original Airlie House workshop attendees will also be posted on this page, as will the recording from the February online conversation.

    Please help shape the conversation about the future of archaeology in the United States.

  • 11 Jan 2023 1:14 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)


    I hope you all had a joyous and peaceful holiday and can embrace the new year with renewed hope and energy. This is typically a time to reflect on the past year, and for the Register, I believe 2022 will be remembered as the Year of Transition. In the past year, we have drafted new Bylaws and Codes and Standards, begun work on overhauling our Policies and Procedures, and hired a new Executive Director whose qualifications are focused not on archaeology but in running non-profit organizations. We have overhauled our accounting system to more efficiently document our finances and provide historical data for future decision making. In doing so, we have been able to streamline our annual budget. We have completed an internal audit of our human resources, insurance, and finances, and implemented changes to ensure transparency, accountability, and sustainability. We have established and strengthened relationships with our legal, investment, and accounting consultants such that we are truly partners in safeguarding your organization.

    We have also strengthened our relationships with our Founding Organizations and with major Partnering organizations such as ACRA, identifying as a team what we all do best, and how we can support each other toward our common goals while staying in our own “lane”. As a result of this, the Register has let go of activities and tasks that other organizations are doing so we can focus on what makes us unique and important, no critical to our profession:  credentialing and accountability.

    While we will continue this year to focus on administrative efficiencies, our renewed focus on credentialing and accountability has provided the first major step in our Strategic Plan by clearing the way for proactiveness in terms of aligning our Registrant categories with professional practices, providing opportunities for professional development beginning at the student level, and establishing partnering relationships that ensure that the Register not only works as part of the archaeological community but truly serves that community.

    We have accomplished so much this year and this is much yet to do. Please share your thoughts with us and let us know how we can continue to serve you and better reflect our entire archaeological professional community.

    In your service,

    Trish Fernandez, M.A.

    RPA 989366

  • 6 Jan 2023 4:02 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    The Register of Professional Archaeologists is excited to announce that the participation category for Students and Early Career Archaeologists is now live and accepting applications! 

    This initiative is part of our continued efforts to implement the Strategic Plan, the goals of which include promoting shared values and archaeological training and practice, facilitating professional development, and advocating for archaeologists.

    The eligibility requirements for this new category are listed below:

    • Currently enrolled or graduated with a minimum of a B.A., B.S., A.A., A.S, or equivalent in the past 2 years with a Major in Archaeology, Anthropology, Classics, or another germane discipline with a specialization in archaeology from an accredited institution
    • No Experience is required
    • An unofficial copy of Academic transcripts will be required to verify enrollment dates and declared major.
    • Recommended by an active RPA in good standing with the Register
    • Like all Register applicants, Accept Register’s Code and Standards and Grievance Procedures
    • Student/Early Career Registrants will not be able to vote on Register decisions but will be represented through an advisory committee liaison to the board.
    • Annual Fee will be $25 for the length of academic enrollment and up to 2 years after graduation with a Bachelor level degree.

    One key benefit of this category is that it extends the Register’s support to students to provide low or no-cost training as part of our evolving Professional Development Program. Other benefits include access to JSTOR, Registrant focused job listings, and the Archeological Ethics Database, as well as the increased opportunity for broader networking, support, mentoring, and career path assistance.

    Our goal is to provide a place at the Register not only for students, but for those who may have taken a respite from their studies, who may have begun a graduate program, or those that want to return to their studies. We aspire to embrace and encourage all students and early career archaeologists to progress into a profession that wants to help them along the way.

    Learn more at the Register FAQ and Apply today!

  • 5 Oct 2022 2:49 PM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    From our colleagues at the Society for American Archaeology:

    The sale of illicitly-procured objects of Native American cultural heritage in overseas auction houses remains a major problem. Numerous auctions of such items are held overseas, and foreign governments are often unwilling to step in, citing the lack of a U.S. law that specifically prohibits the export of looted tribal objects.

    Congress can fix this now. Bipartisan legislation, the Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act (STOP Act) (H.R. 2930), would create an explicit prohibition on the export of items obtained in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). This measure will make it possible for Native American tribes to access other countries' law enforcement mechanisms to regain their stolen property.

    The STOP Act passed the House last year. Now we need the Senate to follow suit. Because time is short, we need the Senate Armed Services Committee to add the STOP Act to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the Senate will take up in the next few days. Please take a few minutes today and use our Take Action portal to send a letter to your senator, who sits on the Armed Services Committee or is in the leadership, and urge them to support the STOP Act as an amendment to the NDAA.

  • 5 Oct 2022 10:39 AM | Dina Rivera (Administrator)

    We have successfully joined forces with Suntect Apparel to provide Registrants a 15% discount on any of their products. This exclusive opportunity is for The Register Only. Please do not share outside of our organization.

    Visit or scan the QR code below to check out the Suntect product line of high quality UPF50+ apparel; and download this PDF to find out more about Suntect. Your discount can be accessed by using the coupon code: RPA15PCT

    Download this PDF to find out more about Suntect. 

    We will continue to look for opportunities to improve and support the lives and careers of our registrants. If you have any suggestions, comments, or concerns, reach out to The Register's Communications Director, Dina, at

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Join over 4,000 leading archaeologists in 16 countries who are making a commitment to disciplinary advancement through professionalism and accountability!



The organization commits to maintaining all appropriate sanitary, health, and safety measures and encourage registrants to follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.


The Archaeological Ethics Database is an ongoing project by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA).  


GRIEVANCE HOTLINE:  1-410-246-2150

One of the major goals of the Register of Professional Archaeologists is to provide and enforce the organization’s Code of Conduct (Code) and the Standards of Research Performance (Standards). The grievance hotline connects you directly to the Grievance Coordinator, avoiding office staff and intermediaries, for confidential consultation and information.

Find out more

*For non-Grievance queries, please call 1-317-798-2150.

Register of Professional Archaeologists
411 East Northfield Drive, Box 9
Brownsburg, IN  46112

Phone: (317) 798-3001

Grievance Hotline: (410) 246-2150 

You do not have to be an RPA/RA to file a Grievance


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