In October 2012, IfA and ALGAO announced the publication of a new Standard and guidance for archaeological advice by historic environment services. Discussions regarding the need for this Standard and guidance date back at least ten years, although the project to develop them was only recently initiated in March 2011. Funding support from received from English Heritage, Historic Scotland and Cadw, and development took place under the guidance of a project board comprising representatives of the three funding bodies, IfA, ALGAO UK and ALGAO’s committees for England, Wales and Scotland.
The Standard and guidance was proposed for adoption in draft for one year to allow further operational feedback to be sought from the sector. Any proposed changes will be agreed with ALGAO and a final version will be proposed for full adoption at the IfA AGM in 2013. The Standard and guidance for archaeological advice by historic environment services has now been in operational use since October, and IfA are keen to receive any comments from those in the sector currently using the document.
Developing the Standard and guidance
The work was undertaken by consultants Adrian Tindall and Andrea Bradley with assistance and advice during the early project stages from Malcolm Cooper. Laterally, support was gratefully received from Quinton Carroll and, of course, many others who attended workshops and have commented on drafts over the past eighteen months.
The Standard and guidance is based on a comprehensive survey of current practice which identified a number of key issues. These were further explored at a series of workshops with ALGAO members and invited representatives of the national agencies. Two formal rounds of sector wide consultation and redrafting followed as well as detailed discussions with members of ALGAO’s executive committee, the project board and relevant specialists.
Any comments on the Standard and guidance should be sent to Kate Geary, Standards Development Manager at IfA, who can be contacted at kate.geary [at] archaeologists.net.