Consultation on a draft IfA Standard and guidance for archaeological advice and procurement of archaeological services

Comments are invited on the second draft of an IfA Standard and guidance for archaeological advice and procurement of archaeological services. The document was originally developed by a working group consisting of IfA staff and consultants from a range of different backgrounds and comments have been incorporated from a first round consultation earlier this year. The Standard and guidance aims to address issues of ethics, quality and consistency in the provision of archaeological advice on a consultancy basis and in the procurement of archaeological services. It does not apply to advice given by planning archaeologists working for or on behalf of local government historic environment services which is covered by a separate Standard and guidance. Comments from this consultation will be incorporated into a revised draft which will be proposed for interim adoption at the IfA’s AGM in October 2013.

We welcome general comments on the document and specific comments on the following questions.

  1. Does the current title accurately reflect the aim and scope of the document? If not, what should the title of the Standard and guidance be?
  2. Are our expectations of what providers of archaeological advice and procurers of archaeological services should do too high, too low or about right?
  3. Do the Standard and the principles of the guidance adequately apply to the range of contexts in which archaeological advice is given and services procured? If not, what else is needed?
  4. Have we used the terms ‘must’, ‘should’ and ‘may’ correctly in order to make clear the level of obligation imposed by the Standard and guidance? If not, where should changes be made?
  5. Is the document sufficiently future proofed? What changes could be made to make it more so?
  6. How well does the draft Standard and guidance address the visions and recommendations of the Southport Group ( What should be added?
  7. Does the draft Standard and guidance deal adequately with sensitive or contentious issues where guidance is needed by the sector? What have we missed?
  8. Would it be helpful to define key terms in a glossary? If so, which terms?

The closing date for the consultation is 5pm on Friday 28 June 2013. Responses should be sent by email to consultation [at] or by post to

Standard and guidance consultation
Institute for Archaeologists
SHES, University of Reading
PO Box 227
Reading, RG6 6AB

If your comments are based on the collated views of a group or organisation, please make this clear in your response. Your comments will inform the revision of this document which IfA aims to propose for interim adoption at its Annual General Meeting in October 2013. Due to the volume of comments expected, we regret that we are unable to respond individually to points raised but if you do wish to discuss urgent issues in more detail, please contact Kate Geary, IfA Standards Development Manager on 01691 771584.

Consultation files

DEADLINE: 5PM 5pm on Friday 28 June

PDF file of the Consultation letter

PDF file of the revised draft standard and guidance

Word (doc) file of the revised draft standard and guidance

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
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