Poll: Have you used the ICE Conditions of Contract?
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11 31.43%
17 48.57%
Ice? Yes please and lemon
7 20.00%
Total 35 vote(s) 100%
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Have you used the ICE Conditions of Contract?
How many of you out there have encountered the Institution of Civil Engineers Conditions of Contract for Archaeological Investigation? They have been around since 2004 and were the result of consultation between the ICE and IFA.

We've used them here at VMP with varying degrees of sucess since their introduction and have had positive and negative responses.

I'm interested in how regularly or widely the Conditions are being used and the views of anyone who has come into contact with them either as a consultant, contractor or curator.

Don't hold back.

D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

Don't make me destroy you, Curator
D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of Tony Robinson.
Thank you all for voting so far. Now, how about some comment? I'm interested to hear your experiences.

D. Vader
Senior Consultant

Vader Maull & Palpatine
Archaeological Consultants

Don't make me destroy you, Curator
Morning Sith,
Where can one find this document?
The Conditions of Contract are for sale at ?30 from the ICE bookshop:


You can also buy the 'Guidance Notes' that go with the contract.

My Google search didn't identify anywhere online that lets you look at them for free. However, you may find that your unit or local curator has a copy in the office.

The point of these Conditions of Contract is to regulate the contractual/commercial relationship between the client and the archaeological contractor in a way that controls and reduces contract risk for both parties, including liabilities.

They were written by a joint working party, with 3 IFA representatives (a contractor, a consultant and a freelance) and representatives from the committee that writes and reviews all of the ICE's standard construction contracts (the Conditions of Contract Standing Joint Committee, which represents civil engineering clients, contractors and consultants).

Prior to publication of these Conditions of Contract, there was no established and widely-adopted standard contract for archaeological works. Most archaeological contracts were let without using any specified Conditions of Contract, while others were let using Conditions that were not appropriate (e.g. ICE CoC for Ground Investigation or for Minor Works), which didn't help much.

One of the problems was that most traditional contracts cover either 'professional services' (gathering information, giving advice, preparing reports and making designs) or 'contracting services' (physical work - i.e. building things, knocking things down, digging holes). The engineering industry traditionally keeps these things very separate. Archaeological work includes both, and that made it very difficult to adapt pre-existing contracts, hence the need for an archaeology-specific document.

We have found that it works well. It gives us, as consultants, something clear to control the work done by contractors. Similarly, it means that the contractors know what they have signed up to and can point to contract clauses to protect themselves. They also know exactly what the powers and responsibilities of the consultant are. In the event of disputes, there are clear procedures. It gives the client some comfort that they know the terms on which they have employed the contractor.

They also give comfort to curators, and for that reason some curators (e.g. North Yorkshire) refer specifically to these Conditions of Contract in their standard Briefs.


to let, fully furnished
Good call, 1man!
Shouldnt the contract be with the owners of the archaeology?
Posted by Unit of 1:
Quote:quote:Shouldnt the contract be with the owners of the archaeology?
Not quite sure what you mean, but archaeological contracts are the same as any other - they have two parties:

- an employer, who will pay for the work, and
- a contractor, who will do it.

In our case, the employer is usually a developer or the developer's agent. The developer usually owns the land, or has bought rights to it from the person who does own the land. The archaeology is effectively part of the land.

Therefore, effectively, the employer does usually own the archaeology, except for portable items deemed to be Treasure Trove, which belong to the Crown.

Now, you could argue about whether ownership of land should convey ownership of the archaeology in it, but the fact is that it does. If you wanted to change that, you would have to make some fairly fundamental changes to the nature of land ownership law in Britain. You would also have to find some way of defining where the archaeology starts and the land stops.

If you can do that, and do it in a way that achieves general acceptance by society as a whole, you are a better man than I am Gunga Din.


to let, fully furnished
Mr Din I dont want to change it, I want to have it fully supported that there is an owner of the archaeology and that it is foremost the landowner and any other that has rights to the land. There should be a button on any official out there that says archaeology belongs to the landowner first.

Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology Code 25 -An archaeologist embarking upon fieldwork will secure the permission of the landowner and tenant as appropriate, and of any others with rights or responsibilities for the land and its safekeeping.

This should be first line of anybodies contract if not a contract of approval from the owner.(and if a digger wants to pretend to be an archaeologist they should also establish exactly who owns what they are digging up)

My longstanding concerns are based on the pipe line situation where there are compulsory purchase threats to ownership and in which a developer appoints the archaeologist rather than the landowner and I also don?t like the heritage protection bills intimation that EH can access land and remove objects against the landowners wish. I think that both these examples can bring archaeologists into disrepute with the land/archaeology owners.

Why haven?t the ifa issued a copy? (do they get a cut from the thirty quid?) I ask because I am not going to spend 30 quid to find out whats not in or out. Unless I am paid to do so.
Posted by Unit of 1:
Quote:quote:Why haven?t the ifa issued a copy? (do they get a cut from the thirty quid?)
No, the IFA don't get a cut, although they are one of the four joint copyright holders. The others are the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Association of Consulting Engineers (ACE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), which together make up the Conditions of Contract Standing Joint Committee (CCSJC).

The contract was written by a joint working party of the IFA and CCSJC, with support from the ICE secretariat, and is published as part of a regular series (the ICE Conditions of Contract).

The publisher is Thomas Telford Publishing, which is the publishing wing of the ICE. If there is a profit on the sales (which I doubt, given the likely volume of sales) then it would go to them.

The individual IFA representatives on the joint working party (or their employers) gave their time as a contribution to the profession; no fees were paid. So far as I am aware, the same applies to the representatives from the CCSJC.

The contract was produced this way because the IFA clearly did not have the expertise on contracts in-house but did have the required knowledge of how archaeology works, whereas the ICE/CCSJC did have both the contractual expertise and a specialist publishing house, but did not have sufficient archaeological knowledge to do the job themselves.


to let, fully furnished
Its a pity that they could not use the specialist publishing portal of the ifas website. Is there any mention of the ownership of the archaeology or third parties?

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