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Process for Review of Applications


Review Process

Review Timeline

Recourse if Denied



Review Process


Once the application is received in the RPA Business Office, the application is logged into a database, making sure all the required supporting documents are included. The application is then forwarded to the Registrar or the Registrar Advisory Committee for review.


The RPA Registrar, who must be a RPA, is elected to a two-year term by a vote of the RPAs and is a member of the Board. The Registrar is responsible for determining whether to approve applications for registration, following any procedures established by the Board. A Registrar Advisory Committee (RAC; composed of no more than three RPAs) is appointed to assist in the process of reviewing the qualifications of applicants.


Generally, the Registrar reviews all applications from applicants who have documented a substantive data analysis directed toward an explicit archeological research problem during the writing of their thesis or dissertation. If the Registrar can clearly determine the applicant meets all qualification for registration, the RPA Business Office is so notified, and then in turn, the applicants are notified of their registration as an RPA.


If the Registrar determines information is missing from the application, or if clarification on parts of the application are needed, the Registrar notifies the RPA Business Office on what is needed, who in turn, so notifies the applicant. The applicant then should supply the clarifications or missing information to the Business Office who then forwards it to the Registrar for further review.


If the Registrar determines the applicant does not meet the qualifications for registration, the RPA Business Office is so notified and then in turn, the applicants are notified their application is denied.


If the application form shows the applicant did not present a thesis or dissertation discussing a substantive data analysis on an explicit archaeological research problem, but instead has submitted other reports prepared later with such a data analysis, all members of the RAC are sent the application for review. In this case, the Registrar reaches a determination of eligibility after receiving comments from the RAC.


When Will I Hear Back?


The general answer here is "as soon as the review process is completed and the RPA Business Office has finished the required records, you will be notified.”


However, because of the need for review by the Registrar and the RAC, it may take some time for the application review to be finished. The members of the RAC and the Registrar are working archaeologists who have volunteered to serve the organization. Their real jobs (field work or other travel) may cause occasional delays in the review process. The entire process from start to finish may take several weeks. 


You may expect a minimum of 4-5 weeks after submitting an application to hear your status.  Once approved, you will be mailed a welcome letter with your username and password for the website.  If you have not received this letter within 5 weeks from the day you applied, please contact Dawn R. Lipsey at RPA headquarters. 410-931-8100


What is My Recourse if My Application is Denied?


If an individual is denied registration, the Registrar, through the RPA Business Office, provides information to the applicant as to why the registration was denied. If the applicant believes this to be in error, the individual can provide additional documentation for review to the Registrar and the RAC, who will again review the application.


If the original denial of registration is upheld by further review by the RPA, then the individual denied registration by the Registrar may appeal the decision to the RPA Standards Board (RPA By-laws, Article 7), whose decision shall be final.

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