Information Bulletin Number 17 - Revised February 6, 2015

Field Director Qualifications

The Archaeology Branch’s Heritage Permits Policy describes the criteria the Branch requires a permittee (or Field Director if different from the permittee) to meet when conducting work that is authorized under a resource management permit, i.e., heritage inspection permits for archaeological impact assessments or heritage investigation permits for systematic data recovery, or when conducting work that is authorized under a site alteration permit where an archaeologist is a co-permittee. The purpose of this bulletin is to clarify the requirements for a Field Director who is not the permittee. In this context, a Field Director is defined as the person authorized in the permit to direct the permitted work in the field so that appropriate expertise is available to make key methodological decisions.


For an individual who is a Field Director but not the permit holder, the following requirements and conditions apply:


  • MA degree in archaeology, or anthropology with a specialty in archaeology, or BA degree with an equivalent combination of post-graduate training and experience. (upon request, and where extenuating circumstances are presented, the Branch may consider exceptions to this requirement);
  • experience in archaeological resource management (minimum of 360 working days) that includes a minimum of 40 days supervising archaeological impact assessments under the authority of a Heritage Conservation Act permit in the general culture area for which the permit is sought (i.e., Northwest Coast, Interior Plateau, Sub-Arctic/Boreal Forest).  This experience must present a demonstrated ability to supervise archaeological impact assessment studies, including the ability to identify, record, report, and provide management recommendations for the range of archaeological site types found in the culture area as indicated in the application. The applicant's experience should inlcude AIAs in a number of locations and for a variety of development sectors.
  • experience conducting archaeological excavations (approx. 60 working days) under the authority of a Heritage Conservation Act permit that includes site alteration permits where an archaeologist is a co-permittee;
  • When calculating the above noted 40 days' experience supervising AIAs, days during which a supervisor is in the field in the presence of a permittee or Field Director may be counted provided: 1) the supervisor is in charge of the crew, 2) the permittee or Field Director is acting in a mentoring capacity only (i.e. providing guidance, advice and correction as necessary), and 3) the number of training days will be reported in interim reports.



  • All fieldwork being conducted under a Heritage Conservation Act permit must be directed by the permittee and/or authorized Field Directors. Permittees and/or Field Directors must be in the field and able to reach all of the fieldwork locations they are directing on the day the work is being done.

The Archaeology Branch will consider exceptions to these requirements that would allow a permittee or Field Director to direct work at more than one location under more than one permit, if the permittee can demonstrate that adequate direction will be provided (for example because the project locations are close together and/or because key methodological decisions are not likely to be required at some locations).

Please see the detailed rationale Adobe Acrobat Required [37kb] for the above changes to Conditions.

  • All permit applications should include the ability to replace or add Field Directors. Where there is no such provision in an application, a permit amendment, involving referral to a First Nation(s), is required;

  • Where a permit application provides for the addition or replacement of Field Directors, the permittee must submit a written request to the Project Officer responsible for the permit file for a change in Field Director(s), and must include information demonstrating how the new Field Director(s) meets the above noted academic and experiential qualifications;
  • Field Director applicants should complete the attached Experience Summary Spreadsheet Microsoft Excel Required [13kb] and submit a current Curriculum Vitae with three professional references.  Parties may be contacted to verify or comment on the documented experience in the application;
  • Field Director applications must be accompanied by a written request from a permittee or permit applicant to add a new Field Director and a completed Certification for Field Director Applicants, located at the bottom of the Experience Summary Spreadsheet Microsoft Excel Required [13kb];
  • All reports cited in the Experience Summary Spreadsheet Microsoft Excel Required [13kb]must be received by the Archaeology Branch and the Oil and Gas Commission, where applicable.  Supervisory days listed in reports that have been rejected and where satisfactory versions have yet to be submitted may be excluded from the total number of supervisory days counted.  A cursory review of some reports may be conducted in order to verify the number of supervisory days claimed and determine whether the work meets Provincial Standard and requirements (this verification may not be taken as final acceptance of these reports for archaeological site management purposes); and
  • Permit reports (interim and final) must describe how the permittee or Field Director(s) participated in the fieldwork on a day-by-day and project-by-project basis.

The use of unapproved field directors is a breach of permit, and may affect the permittee’s ability to hold future permits, as well as the Branch’s ability to provide impact management direction to the permittee's client(s).

*Note: The Archaeology Branch will continually review an individual’s ability to maintain his/her Field Director status and determine, on a case by case basis, whether or not an individual is qualified to direct work as described within a HCA permit.

Field Director status may be revoked at the discretion of the Archaeology Branch. Examples of reasons for revocation include, but are not limited to: dishonesty, plagiarism, fabrication and/or misrepresentation of results, and a demonstrated inability to conduct work in accordance with Provincial standards and requirements. The permittee and Field Director will be notified, in writing, of the Archaeology Branch’s intention to revoke status. The notice will provide the parties with an opportunity to comment and, depending upon the severity of the infraction(s), will detail the remedial action, if any available, that may be taken to regain status.

Any application for Field Director that is found to contain falsified or fabricated information will be rejected immediately and kept on file. The Branch may refuse to consider any reapplications for status.

Process to Reassess Permit Holders' AbilityAdobe Acrobat Required 

The process to reassess Permit Holders' ability to conduct work under Heritage Conservation Act permits is explained in the above named document. (Click title above to go to document)

Culture Area BoundariesAdobe Acrobat Required   

A map presenting the culture areas of the Interior Plateau, Northwest Coast and Subarctic/Boreal Forest "culture areas" in British Columbia has been created. The map is solely for operational purposes to do with assessing the relevancy of field experience for archaeologists seeking to be Field Directors or Permit Holders. (Click title above to go to document)


  • Bulletin 1: Recording post-1846 CMTs
  • Bulletin 3: Personal Information and Permit Applications
  • Bulletin 5: Winter Methods
  • Bulletin 6: Copying Permit Report Review Comments to Clients
  • Bulletin 7: Standards for Electronic Submission of Permit Reports
  • Bulletin 8: Permit Report Citations
  • Bulletin 9: Client Certification
  • Bulletin 10: Interim Permit Reporting Procedures
  • Bulletin 11: Protocol Agreement with BC Oil and Gas Commission
  • Bulletin 13: Application Review Process and Guidelines for Consulting Archaeologists
  • Bulletin 14: Post-construction AIAs for Oil and Gas
  • Bulletin 15: Permits and Archaeological Site Boundaries
  • Bulletin 16: Using the Archaeological Site Inventory Form and Detailed Data Table to Record CMT Features
  • Bulletin 17: Field Director Qualifications
  • Bulletin 18: Site Alteration Permit Reports
  • Bulletin 19: Minimum Content and Format Requirements for Recording Archaeological Sites
  • Bulletin 20: Permit Report Copyright
  • Bulletin 21: Restrictive Covenant Process for Consulting Archaeologists
  • Bulletin 24: Annual Reporting for Multiyear Heritage Inspection Studies
  • Bulletin 25: Notice of Fieldwork Conducted Under Heritage Inspection Permits