CBA Strategy: 2001–2005
CBA Roles, Aims & Goals 2001–2005
1 The Council for British Archaeology
1.1.1 The CBA is a non-profit making educational charity, nationally influential for over half a century. It is:
- A membership-based organisation serving a growing number of individuals and organisations who provide links with a wide range of communities and voluntary support
- An educational body promoting understanding of the past, involvement in archaeology and care for the historic environment through formal and informal education and access
- A forum for a wide range of organisations and individuals of national and international stature, providing unrivalled access to a network of corporate and individual expertise
- A statutory consultee for proposals affecting listed buildings in England and Wales.
1.2.1 The CBA is an independent organisation whose chief roles are to act as:
- The key independent voice promoting conservation of the whole historic environment
- The principal non-governmental organisation for involving young people in archaeology
- The foremost independent advocate for life-long learning in archaeology
- The main promoter of voluntary involvement in archaeology across the British Isles
- A leading provider of digital and other information services for archaeology
- A key publisher and disseminator of archaeology to a variety of audiences.
1.3.1 The CBA makes a distinctive and highly influential contribution in promoting people’s quality of life through a number of hallmark activities:
- Championing forward-looking approaches to studying the past and conserving the historic environment
- Informing and influencing decision-makers in education and conservation policy
- Providing high quality information to help people engage with archaeology
- Co-ordinating networks of people and organisations, acting as a forum for archaeology
- Actively involving young people in archaeology
- Developing and executing strategically significant projects.
1.4 Quality of Life through the Historic Environment
1.4.1 People’s awareness of the past, and their appreciation and sense of care for the historic character of the places where they live and work or which they visit, underpin their sense of cultural identity, pride of place and celebration of the diversity of the cultural heritage. They thereby make major contributions to people’s quality of life.
1.4.2 These closely inter-related values are based on a series of more practical, qualities:
- awareness of the past is based on knowledge and understanding gained from research
- a sense of care for the historic environment both supports and is stimulated by effective conservation
- appreciation and enjoyment of the past and of the historic environment is gained through intellectual and physical access.
1.4.3 The effective promotion of these values and articulation of their close inter-dependence is founded upon active communication and participation.
1.4.4 The manner in which the values of awareness, care and appreciation are promoted can help to enhance people’s enjoyment of archaeology, their fascination with the past, the excitement of discovery, the sense of wonder at the achievements of their ancestors, and the sense of spiritual fulfilment to be gained from special places.
1.4.5 The stronger the links between the core values of awareness, care and appreciation articulated by participation, the more significant their contribution to enhancing the quality of life of present and future generations. The practical promotion of these values through research, conservation, access, communication and participation helps to ensure that changes needed to meet society’s wider needs are sustainable through respect for the historic environment and support of people’s interest in the past.
1.5 The Overall Strategy for 2000-2005
1.5.1 The broad goal of the CBA’s strategy for 2000-2005 is therefore to contribute to people’s quality of life and the sustainability of environmental change by promoting awareness of the past and a sense of appreciation and care of the historic environment. We will do so by focussing on practical aims of promoting understanding and research, conservation, and education and access through effective communication and participation.
2 The CBA’s Strategy
2.1 Strategic Aims
Research and Understanding
2.1.1 By promoting, facilitating and undertaking research as well as disseminating its results, the CBA aims to foster better understanding of the past and of the complex processes of social and economic change that are reflected in the historic environment. Such understanding is the foundation for improved conservation and greater public appreciation of the past and its contribution to modern society. In this way, research permeates all the CBA’s strategic aims.
2.1.2 Research-related aims to be pursued will build on the CBA’s successful existing strategy. This focusses on themes and topics that fill gaps in existing knowledge, or promote integrated approaches across periods, branches of the discipline or organisational structures.
2.1.3 In promoting good research our strategic aims are:
- To foster collaboration in academic, professional and voluntary research in order to focus efforts more coherently, by identifying opportunities and constraints in the organisational structure of archaeological inquiry that either facilitate or hamper good research
- To provide or support mechanisms for the exchange of information and ideas between archaeologists who are engaged in related work
- To assist in reviewing developments in research, reassessing priorities, and as appropriate, helping to promote or pioneer new ideas, methods, or media of disseminating research
- To facilitate research through continued provision of supporting materials (bibliographic and other data services; terminologies, gazetteers, methodologies etc.)
- To undertake and publish research on topics where the CBA can make a distinctive contribution
- To publish the results of archaeological research carried out by others for a variety of popular and specialist audiences
- To support research and publication by voluntary bodies through grants.
2.1.4 The towns, countryside, coastal zone and territorial seas of the British Isles contain an abundant, all-pervasive record of changes in people’s long-term social, spiritual and economic relationships and their interaction with all parts of the environment. The historic character of the environment, reflected in innumerable individual historic features of greater or lesser significance and the spaces and relationships between them, represents people’s evolving cultural habitat and reflects society’s roots. Artefacts and archives are further parts of the overall record. In campaigning for the conservation of the historic environment, and the artefacts and records associated with it, the CBA seeks to improve and widen understanding of its value as a fundamental yet ever-changing cultural resource.
2.1.5 The key challenge for conservation is to manage necessary change in ways that sustain the ability of present and future generations to appreciate and reassess their own history, and to continue to enjoy and develop their sense of place and cultural belonging. Within the context of society’s wider needs for change, the historic environment is a fundamental long-term element in a sustainable quality of life.
2.1.6 In campaigning for conservation our aims are to:
- Increase the effectiveness of our advocacy for conservation of the historic environment in relation to planning, economic development and agri-environmental policies
- Stimulate public interest in and knowledge of the conservation process for all aspects of the historic environment
- Promote recognition of the historic character of rural and urban environments, and historical perspectives on environmental change as core aspects of sustainability
- Promote forward-looking approaches to conservation and sustainable change among non-archaeological organisations in the public and private sectors
- Monitor pressures on the historic environment, whether direct threats or wider influences
- Promote and support initiatives to monitor the changing condition and character of historic features and places in relation to sustainability of development and other environmental change
- Strengthen and build on our role as a statutory consultee for listed building consents in England and Wales and consider how to develop an overview of sustainability for historic buildings
- Promote best practice in the study and long-term care of archaeological evidence, not only in terms of sites, monuments, buildings and other features in the environment, but also as portable antiquities, records and archives
- Encourage integration of conservation of the historic environment with other aspects of environmental management across all sectors of government and public services
- Campaign for appropriate improvements in legislation and government services at international, national, regional and local level
- Strengthen our input to European, national, regional and local planning and economic development policy and decision-making processes.
Education and Access
2.1.7 The CBA has always been a champion of life-long learning and involvement in archaeology. This role is in tune with current public policy, which gives a high priority to education, participation, access and social inclusion. Archaeology is an excellent subject not only for developing an understanding of the past; its methods and subject material can also be used to promote multi-disciplinary studies, diverse skills development, practical citizenship and community identity, and an understanding of sustainable development in the context of long-term change.
2.1.8 Through our staff, our network of community contacts and educational activities promoting wider access to archaeology, the CBA is well placed to contribute to improving people’s quality of life.
2.1.9 As part of this role, the CBA will work with others to develop more positive action to challenge the perceptual, social or economic barriers that tend to exclude disabled people, ethnic minorities and people from economically and socially deprived areas from direct involvement in archaeology.
2.1.10 The CBA’s strategic aims in promoting education and access are to:
- Continue to promote public knowledge, care and appreciation of the historic environment, and its diversity, across a wide audience of individuals, local groups, the business community and private and public sector institutions and government bodies
- Promote and publicise archaeology through our own services such as the Young Archaeologists’ Club and British Archaeology
- Promote opportunities for active involvement of individuals and groups in research, conservation and access initiatives
- Promote a heightened sense of community identity through people’s involvement with local initiatives and recognition of local distinctiveness in the historic environment
- Help to address social and cultural exclusion in relation to the historic environment for ethnic minorities and the physically, intellectually, economically and socially disadvantaged
- Encourage teaching of archaeology for all sections of the community
- Promote effective use of archaeological evidence and interpretation in education
- Facilitate public involvement in archaeology and archaeological education and monitor the nature and degree of engagement.
2.2 Strategic Promotion of Communication and Participation
2.2.1 The CBA will extend and develop the engagement of people and organisations with archaeology through expanding our own membership and subscribers to British Archaeology, widening dissemination of archaeology, and promoting a commitment to the historic environment among others.
2.2.2 As an advocate of the importance of understanding the past in shaping the future, the CBA will continue to campaign to improve provision for research, conservation and access for the historic environment in public policy. In doing so, the CBA will seek to ensure that it speaks with authority about issues, based on clear policies for ensuring that publicly expressed views are based on sound information, knowledge and expertise. We will seek to raise the public profile of archaeology by publicising our concerns in the media.
2.2.3 In providing advice through responses to enquiries and listed building and other casework the CBA will seek to promote awareness and access to archaeology and promote high standards in conservation of the historic environment.
2.2.4 The CBA will continue to take an active part in publishing and disseminating the results of research, new approaches, ideas and views about archaeology in a variety of forms for both popular and specialist audiences. In doing so we will seek to set standards for clarity and effectiveness of communication, as well as promoting greater engagement and involvement with archaeology.
2.2.5 Provision of information services is a key means of ensuring that other activities are effective. The CBA has long been a pioneer of digital information services in archaeology and will continue to maintain and develop a range of information services that support the promotion of research, conservation and education and access.
2.2.6 The active involvement of individuals and groups will be promoted by providing more opportunities for our own members, subscribers and supporters to help in our work. The CBA will also encourage others to provide such opportunities, to reinforce the tradition of voluntary expertise, energy and enthusiasm that has always been a strength of archaeology in the British Isles.
2.2.7 The CBA will continue to support national, regional, local, and specialist societies and individuals, by providing advice, practical services and grants.
2.2.8 The CBA will continue to provide a framework for discussion and debate within and beyond the archaeological community. It will organise meetings and conferences, maintain the Britarch internet discussion group and British Archaeology, and will facilitate and participate in networks of organisations with shared aims.
2.2.9 By helping to co-ordinate archaeological endeavour and develop constructive working partnerships within archaeology and with other sectors, the CBA will continue to act as a catalyst for more effective action, building on existing expertise. This is one of the means by which the CBA achieves more than can be done through its own limited internal resources.
2.2.10 By maintaining and developing liaison with government departments and agencies and non-government bodies at international, national, regional and local level the CBA will seek to achieve maximum effectiveness in influencing decision-makers and those with an interest in promoting the historic environment.
2.2.11 By undertaking research projects that further our strategic aims, we will seek to provide authority in the CBA’s influence on the direction of research, conservation and access to the historic environment.
3 The Environment in Which the CBA Operates
3.1.1 As a UK-wide organisation catering for the whole historic environment and bridging the voluntary and professional sectors, the CBA occupies a distinctive place amongst organisations concerned with archaeology.
3.1.2 The CBA’s work sits well with the thrust of public policy about quality of life and sustainable change in the environment, which depends upon people and organisations in the private and public sector working together. The range of people and organisations with whom it interrelates fundamentally influences how effectively the CBA pursues its aims.
3.2 Audiences and Community of Interest
3.2.1 In pursuing our aims, and further developing the means to deliver them, we will continue to address a wide range of audiences who have a stake in the historic environment, or whose activities impinge upon it. These include:
- Council for Scottish Archaeology, CBA Wales/Cymru, and the CBA Regional Groups in England
- The EEC and Council of Europe
- The UK Parliament and, through CSA, CBA Wales/Cymru and others, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, and as appropriate the Irish Dail
- Government departments and agencies
- National heritage agencies
- National and local museums
- National and international institutions and voluntary organisations
- Regional and local government
- Local voluntary organisations concerned with the historic environment
- The British Academy and other academic institutions
- Universities, colleges and schools
- Professional archaeological bodies
- Non-government environmental organisations
- Public utilities, Housing Associations and the like
- Business and industry
- Media and the Press.
3.2.2 Many of the individuals and organisations covered by this list may be members of the CBA or the Young Archaeologists’ Club, or subscribers to British Archaeology.
3.3 Regionalisation, Devolution and Cross-border Relationships
3.3.1 The Council for Scottish Archaeology, CBA Wales/Cymru, and the CBA Regional Groups in England are key stakeholders, reinforcing the CBA’s vital links with the community. The CBA will build on opportunities provided by regionalisation, devolution and cross-border relationships to find the best ways to promote excellence in conserving, understanding and explaining the historic environment.
3.3.2 During the plan period, as the new structures of government bed down, the CBA will refine the means by which it contributes perspectives and acts as a sounding board for archaeology throughout the British Isles, while also providing effective practical support for distinctive national, regional and local initiatives and requirements.
3.3.3 The CBA will seek to improve coverage for Ireland, including the potential for further developing cross-border initiatives to promote archaeology in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
3.3.4 Within these broad aims, the CBA will develop a flexible range of policies and partnerships in order to maximise the benefits, and minimise any disadvantages of regionalism and devolved government.
4 Implementation of the Strategy
4.1 Core Objectives
4.1.1 To achieve our aims and sustain the means to deliver them, the CBA will pursue five core objectives:
- Maintaining the effectiveness and viability of the CBA as an independent public service and a healthy organisation
- Prioritising the many demands placed on the CBA to maximise benefit for the public interest
- Maintaining the CBA’s role in championing excellence through new approaches
- Providing a high-quality, helpful and professional service
- Recognising the importance of the CBA’s employees, active committee members and involvement of individual and corporate members as the key to success
4.1.2 These objectives for the CBA’s internal management rely on ensuring an effective working environment, in terms of organisational structure, funding, human resources and physical resources.
4.1.3 A clear basis of planning and monitoring the implementation of the Strategy will be maintained to help ensure that the CBA achieves its strategic aims.
4.2 Organisational Structure
4.2.1 Key objectives for the plan period are:
- To complete constitutional revisions by autumn 2000
- To explore ways to provide more professional support at regional level
- To review and resolve the pros and cons of realigning the geographical coverage of the CBA’s Regional Groups to match the Government Regions in England as compared with other means of ensuring effective engagement with emerging regional structures
- To explore means of improving coverage for Northern Ireland, including the potential for developing cross-border initiatives with the Republic of Ireland
- To continue to optimise the mechanisms by which individuals and committees contribute to the CBA’s work and to its cost effectiveness
- To ensure that internal staffing arrangements provide an efficient structure in terms of lead roles and support staff.
4.3.1 Key objectives for the plan period are:
- To diversify sources of funding further, giving priority to those that maximise income while minimising the call on existing over-stretched resources
- To improve marketing of subscriptions, membership and publications
- To explore the development of a fund-raising and development campaign
- To implement the CBA’s reserves policy through effective budgeting, cost-control and cash-flow management
- To maintain and further develop effective working practices to deliver services and projects to time, budget and the appropriate standard
- To review the range of services that the CBA could market, without prejudicing our independence or the effectiveness of our outreach in terms of information, advice and support to others.
4.4 Human Resources
4.4.1 The CBA in partnership with the Council for Scottish Archaeology, CBA Wales/Cymru and the Regional Groups in England, combines three kinds of human resources: professional staff, expert advisory committees, and networks of individual members and volunteers. Working together these resources provide enormous potential for the origination of ideas, the implementation of aims, and the raising of public consciousness.
4.4.2 The members of the CBA provide an enormous diversity of skills which could help to promote our aims, but which have only partly been tapped.
- During the plan period the CBA will review how best to link skills available within the CBA’s network with opportunities to assist the CBA’s work, including possible development of a register of members’ skills for those who wish to become more involved.
4.4.3 For a lead non-government organisation, the CBA has a small staff. About 15 times as many individuals contribute directly to the CBA’s work on a voluntary basis, thereby fulfilling and extending opportunities for involvement in archaeology. Apart from their direct output, the CBA’s professional staff therefore have a vital role in co-ordinating the contributions of all the different groupings within the CBA’s network to maximise the effectiveness with which our wider strategic aims are pursued.
4.4.4 This relies on effective management and internal communication throughout the CBA network and on a well-motivated and efficient team of professional staff. Ensuring that personnel are deployed to best effect and remain well motivated is fundamental to the achievement of the CBA’s strategic aims. The CBA will continue to maintain an effective team of internal staff by:
- Maintaining mutually supportive professional working relationships, including clear communications
- Implementing the new staff handbook as the foundation for, not the limits of, effective working practices
- Recognising and maximising best use of staff skills
- Ensuring that good work and outstanding achievement is recognised and celebrated
- Developing a non-bureaucratic system of staff appraisals that provides recognition, encouragement and support, including assessment of training needs that can be delivered
- Promoting career development by seeking positive and innovative ways for staff to develop and use their skills
- Seeking to ensure that remuneration and working terms and conditions are appropriate to the levels of skill and responsibility required for the job
- Maintaining links between the CBA’s Officers and Executive Trustees and staff at all levels throughout the organisation.
4.5 Physical resources
4.5.1 The CBA’s key physical resources are its premises and computing system, both of which are nearing the limits of their capacity. There is now very little space to absorb more staff at St Mary’s House, and maintaining effective IT systems is essential to the CBA in developing good communications, disseminating information and maintaining efficient internal administration. In the implementation of this strategy the CBA will:
- Carefully monitor all additional staffing implications and any new activities, for their implications in terms of working space and IT needs
- Constantly review these requirements and build further needs into funding proposals as appropriate.
4.6 Planning & Monitoring
4.6.1 The detailed requirements of this Strategy will be developed into an outline Business Plan, that will establish monitorable targets and indicators for the achievement of the CBA’s strategic aims. The Business Plan will be updated on an annual basis, linked to the CBA’s Annual Report. The CBA Annual Report will be divided into two parts:
- A general publication setting out the CBA’s achievements for the year
- A formal annual report on progress and the statutory financial and other statements, to which the Business Plan will be linked.
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