Generic brief for an archaeological watching brief or small-scale investigation

Last updated: 18 August 2021

1. Summary

This is a generic brief for use on small to medium scale archaeological watching briefs / investigations required as a condition of planning permission.

These are normally requested where groundworks being undertaken as part of a development have the potential to impact on archaeological remains.

This intervention requires that a suitably qualified archaeologist be present to record any significant archaeological deposits encountered during works.

This brief sets out the standard requirements for the archaeological contractor who will undertake this work. It can be used to obtain quotes from archaeological contractors (they will also need details of the development) and will inform the preparation of a project design (Written Scheme of Investigation), which must be agreed by the Council Archaeology Service before commencing development.

Watching briefs or small-scale investigations will normally include:

  • the production of the Written Scheme of Investigation
  • provision for the archaeologist to observe or supervise specific site works (normally the main groundworks)
  • the production of a final report
  • a contingency to cover the recording of any archaeological features that may be encountered and any subsequent post fieldwork analysis that may be required

For advice on commissioning archaeological work please see 'Advice on commissioning archaeological work in Buckinghamshire'.