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The Welsh Archaeological Trusts' Curators' Code of Practice

Welsh Office Circular 60/96 - Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology - provides advice on the handling of archaeological matters within the planning system. It supplements guidance at paragraphs 134-140 in Planning Guidance (Wales): Planning Policy 1996. The circular acknowledges the important role played by the Welsh Archaeological Trusts as providers of advice to local planning authorities.

The four regional Welsh Archaeological Trusts were established in the mid 1970s. They are independent limited companies with charitable status who maintain a professional archaeological staff and provide a broadly-based archaeological service within their areas. Their work includes the maintenance of regional Sites and Monuments Records, the provision of archaeological advice and the implementation of schemes to mitigate the adverse impact of development on archaeological remains.

An Archaeological Trust may therefore both provide advice on archaeological matters as part of the planning process (curating) and competitively tender for contracts arising from that advice (contracting). This code of practice, drawn-up at the request of Cadw, identifies the procedures that the Trusts have introduced to ensure that there is a clear separation between their advisory (curatorial) and contracting roles. It complements, rather than replaces, other codes of practice and conduct and professional standards (see Appendix).

Curatorial staff of each of the Welsh Archaeological Trusts are recognised members of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers. Funding for the curatorial work of the Trusts is provided by Cadw, the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and local planning authorities.

Code of Practice

  1. Curating and contracting functions will be carried out independently by separately staffed sections within each organisation.

  2. The curatorial staff of each Trust will provide impartial, professional advice on the archaeological implications of proposed developments.

  3. The curatorial staff of each Trust will normally provide a brief for archaeological assessments, field evaluations and investigations, as appropriate.

  4. The curatorial staff of each Trust will be responsible for approving the detailed specifications designed to satisfy an archaeological brief.

  5. The curatorial staff of each Trust will advise those inviting tenders for archaeological work arising from an archaeological brief of their freedom of choice in the selection of an archaeological contractor.

  6. The curatorial staff of each Trust recognise that those intending to commission such work may wish to engage an independent archaeological consultant to assess a specification of works intended to satisfy an archaeological brief, to monitor the progress of the work, or to advise on the recommendations for any further action.

  7. The curatorial staff of each Trust have full authority to ensure that an archaeological brief is adequately fulfilled at all stages, irrespective of the contractual arrangements.

  8. The curatorial staff of each Trust will seek amendments to, or if necessary reject, any contracted piece of work which they consider does not fulfil the archaeological brief.

  9. The curatorial staff of each Trust will be solely responsible for determining any recommendations for further action arising from an archaeological assessment or field evaluation carried out by an archaeological contractor.

Appendix to the Code of Practice

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act (1979).
Archaeological Investigations Code of Practice for Mineral Operators (Confederation of British Industry).
Archaeologists and Developers Code of Practice (Confederation of British Industry).
Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers: Constitution (ALGAO, September 1995).
Code of Conduct : The Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA, 1986).
Code of Approved Practice for the Regulation of Contractual Arrangements in Field Archaeology (IFA, 1990).
Draft Historic Buildings and Conservation (ALGAO).
Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology (Welsh Office Circular 60/96).
Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas (Welsh Office Circular 61/96).
Planning Policy Wales (National Assembly for Wales, April 2002).
Regional Sites and Monuments Records: Guidelines for Access and Charging (The Welsh Archaeological Trusts, 26/5/93).
Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (IFA, August 1994).
Draft Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Excavation (IFA, August 1994).
Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Field Evaluations (IFA, August 1994).
Standard and Guidance for the Archaeological Investigation and Recording of Standing Buildings or Structures (IFA, 1996).
Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Watching Briefs (IFA, August 1994).
Strategic Framework for Funding Archaeological Work in Wales (Cadw, 1994).
The Treasure Act 1996: Code of Practice (England and Wales), (Department of National Heritage, 1997).

November 1997

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