AIA News

April 11, 2018

Updated Code of Conduct Adopted by the Register of Professional Archaeologists

Contact:  Caren Madsen

New Code Takes Strong Stand Against Harassment in the Profession

WASHINGTON, DC – To respond to changing professional needs, a revised Code of Conduct released today by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) takes an explicit and direct position on the issue of workplace harassment.  The announcement was made at the meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, one of the Register’s sponsoring organizations.

“ Harassment of any kind is not acceptable in the workplace, certainly not in our profession,” said Register President Christopher D. Dore, PhD.  “Although harassment has always been covered in our Code of Conduct, we believe the topic needs to be spelled out in clear terms.”

The policy language was drafted by a task force set up by the Register in 2017 and took effect immediately when adopted by the Register’s Board of Directors on April 10, 2018.  Dore emphasized that the Register Code and Standards for Research Performance undergo frequent review and are updated periodically to reflect the changing needs of the discipline and professional practice of archaeology.

Led by the Register’s Grievance Coordinator, the task force examined the organization’s former sexual harassment statement and conducted research on statements and policies of more than 60 regional, national, and international organizations. The task force was made up of members of the Register’s Standards Board and submitted their report to the Register’s Board of Directors at their January 2018 meeting. 

“As a profession with a variety of audiences including archaeologists, students and consumers of our services, we have a responsibility to our colleagues, employees and students,” said Dore. “A discipline such as archaeology requires professional responsibility and competence and offering a safe work place on the part of each practitioner.” 

The new Code of Conduct covers a variety of topics such as sexual harassment, professional ethics and responsibilities, plagiarism and protection of research and intellectual property.  The document is posted online at

Established in 1998, the Register of Professional Archaeologists is a non-profit professional organization that serves as the international standards and credentialing body for archaeologists.  The Register provides a means of easy identification of Registered Professional Archaeologists.  At the end of 2017, there were 3,200 Registrants.  

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