As outlined in Section VIII of the bylaws, the IAC was formed for the following purposes:
- to strengthen the identification of archaeology as a profession and of archaeologists as professionals;
- to encourage high standards in the training of archaeologists;
- to encourage high standards of performance from practicing archaeologists;
- to communicate to the public the importance of proper practice of archaeology;
- to assist governmental and other organizations, using archaeologists in the course of their activities, to identify those properly suited for the purpose;
- generally, and in all appropriate ways, to support the standards of responsible archaeology.