British Archaeological Jobs & Resources

Principal Archaeologist

  Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust in Welshpool
   £34,476 - £38,010
  Apply before: 01/02/2021
Responsibility Level:  Trainee   L 2  L 3  L 3/4  L 4  L 4/5  L 5  L 5/6  L 6  L 7
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Application Address:

Application by email only. No postal applications please.


Overview - Principal Archaeologist in charge of Field Services

An exciting once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape and redefine development-driven archaeological practice in Wales and England, leading a well-established team through a period of transition towards growth and radical reform.

There is everything to play for in this role, which would suit an ambitious senior project officer – perhaps frustrated by an existing structural hierarchy and keen to join a quiet revolution on the borders. On the border of England and Wales, on the border between public and private practice, on the border of a generational shift from old to new ways of seeing, working and doing.

About us

The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) was established in 1975 and delivers a wide range of archaeology and cultural heritage services in Wales and England. CPAT is divided into three teams, all of which work closely together:
  • Historic Environment Advisory Services. Largely public-funded, this team delivers the regional Historic Environment Record, planning advice to six local authorities, and a range of heritage management outcomes for Welsh Government, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Education and Outreach. Supported by a mixture of private- and public funding, this team delivers a range of events, activities and projects to support learning and engagement – with a particular focus on socially-engaged and qualitative outcomes.
  • Field Services. Entirely funded by contract work, this team delivers a range of development-driven projects across mid- and north-east Wales and the Midlands of England. With a diverse client and project portfolio, and a good skillset, the team needs vigorous and dynamic leadership to take it forward to the next level. This will be your job.
CPAT is a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, and takes its role as an active RO very seriously. CPAT staff members currently sit on CIfA Board and various Committees, and take a leading role in CIfA matters. We pay full CIfA membership fees for all staff and encourage staff to attend CIfA-accredited CPD as part of their broader PDP.

We are based in spacious offices in a former nineteenth century model farm just outside the Welsh border market town of Welshpool (although at the moment we are mostly working from home).

About you

You will have experience of managing commercial field archaeology projects in the United Kingdom, together with demonstrable skills in positive management of client relationships. In particular we would expect you to show that you have, or have had:
  • substantial responsibility for your own work in a variety of situations
  • significant accountability for others and/or the allocation of resources
  • experience of dealing with complex work and decision-making in a broad range of activities
Not all of these need necessarily to be in archaeology – many of these attributes are transferable.

We are looking for someone to grow the business, so we would expect experience of developing and delivering new business opportunities. If you have some off-the-wall ideas about where contract archaeology should be going in the next five or ten years – and what steps you would take to get there – then we want to hear them.

You need to be able to manage a team who are used to working with a certain amount of autonomy. So you will need to be a good team worker who can encourage initiative and motivate staff to deliver projects on time and on budget. If necessary you may need to provide mentorship and support. You will need to deal with the challenges of remote and home working (and remote home working) too.

We would expect a good general knowledge of British archaeology, and an authoritative knowledge of current issues and debates around development-driven archaeology in particular. An understanding of the situation in Wales might be an advantage. However the main focus is on creating, developing and sustaining a vibrant commercially-driven, client-focussed and ethically-sound archaeological business for the long term, which can support the wider educational remit of the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust.

Although experience is important, it is more about what that experience has taught you than simply clocking up the miles. We are interested in developing enthusiasm, passion and new ideas.

The aim is to try and develop a future sector leader, and to this end we will provide personal support, guidance, training and mentorship.

About the role

As Principal Archaeologist you will be in charge of the Field Services team, which delivers development-driven archaeology projects throughout Wales and England. We have expanded in recent years from our traditional geographical core of mid- and north-east Wales, with work in the midlands, north and east of England.

You will have responsibility for setting and delivering the department’s annual budget, including targets for growth and expansion. The day-to-day role involves tendering, project management and project delivery. You will be expected to use your archaeological experience to advise clients and support colleagues as projects progress.

The role requires MCIfA-level competencies.


  • Leadership, ambition and a ‘big picture’ vision
  • Ability to use own initiative to achieve targets
  • Excellent organisational and motivational skills
  • Outward-looking, open to innovation and fresh approaches
  • A passion for learning new skills, and encouraging others to make the most of their potential
  • Experience in managing of archaeological projects, including project finance – invoicing and time management
  • Experience in producing tenders, PQQs, Risk Assessments, WSIs, Client Reports, Archiving
  • Excellent understanding of UK commercial archaeology and planning legislation
  • Willingness to travel and be responsible for managing projects across the UK
  • Full clean UK driving licence and willingness to drive company vehicles
  • Use of Microsoft Office packages
  • Active in pursuing Continuing Professional Development
  • Working for an RO, you will agree to be bound by CIfA's ethical Code of Conduct


  • Demonstrable experience of growing a business
  • Broad range of archaeology and heritage interests, contacts and networks
  • Established client base
  • Accredited CIfA Membership (preferably at MCIfA level)
  • CSCS card
  • Use of appropriate survey, GIS, illustration, publishing and other software packages
  • Record of publications in local, regional or national journals
  • Degree or equivalent qualifications
  • Understanding of archaeology in Wales
  • Welsh language skills

Working arrangements

  • 37 hour standard working week
  • 30 days annual leave (including Bank Holidays), rising to 35 days after five years’ continuous service
  • Flexible home/office working arrangements
  • 6% employers contribution to defined contribution pension scheme
  • Generous sick leave and TOIL arrangements
  • 100% of CIfA subscription fees and CSCS card fees
  • All relevant PPE provided
  • Additional clothing allowance
  • Accommodation provided for away work with subsistence

Process and timetable

Application by CV and personal statement only. Neither document should be no more than two sides of A4. Applications by email only to Paul Belford, CPAT Director: Applications that are too long, or incorrectly addressed – however marvellous in all other respects – will not be considered.

Deadline for applications is 09.00 Monday 1 February 2021.

Interviews will be held by Zoom on Thursday 11 February 2021 and/or Friday 12 February 2021.

Appointments will be made with a view to starting work on 1 April 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. Pre-existing commitments (for example caring responsibilities, illness, study or contractual arrangements) will not of themselves preclude a later start date but should be clearly stated in the application so that we can plan transitional arrangements.


If you want to have an informal chat about the role, then please email Paul Belford ( to arrange a phone call.
Further information
CPAT wholeheartedly embraces the ways in which diversity of backgrounds and approaches create a richer workplace environment for individuals and teams. Nevertheless we have inherited some imbalances as part of historic institutional bias and wider systemic bias in UK archaeology. For example the gender balance among our staff is currently 39% female to 61% male, and our workforce is 100% white.

This appointment provides another opportunity to correct some of these imbalances. Therefore we warmly and strongly encourage applications from people whose ethnicity and gender is currently under-represented in our workforce.

Non-UK nationals are also welcome to apply. We have in the past employed colleagues from other parts of Europe, and although our ability to do that has been made less straightforward by recent political changes, archaeology is on the ‘shortage occupation list’ for non-UK visa applicants. However CPAT is not currently registered with the UK Government’s visa sponsorship management scheme, and we are advised that this could delay appointment by up to eight weeks.




Please quote BAJR in your application.

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