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Archaeology by its very nature is often an unknown risk factor in development. Having an archaeological consultant as part of your design team can be crucial in ensuring that archaeology is factored into budgets and construction programmes to avoid unexpected costs, delays and to manage compliance with planning conditionsq.

As well as providing advice and undertaking desk-based site appraisals, an archaeological consultant can be an important interface between contractors and clients.

They engage with planning archaeologists, interpret project briefs, select contractors to undertake the proposed archaeological investigations, and draft specifications and Written Schemes of Investigation (WSIs) for tendering processes. These documents need to be sufficiently explicit to make sure all contractors cost against the same scope, which will assist in the selection of an appropriately experienced contractor.

Archaeological Consultants work to standards and guidance set by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). The Institute has produced a comprehensive guide for developers who need to commission archaeological work as part of their project.