All archaeologists who carry out fieldwork in Ontario are required by law to hold a ministry-issued licence to carry out archaeological fieldwork. This archaeological licence is free. It is valid for one to three years, depending on the type of licence. All licensed archaeologists carry a licence card.
As a condition of their licence, licensed archaeologists must file reports with the ministry describing all of their fieldwork. They must also document the archaeological sites they discover or work on by submitting site forms to the ministry.
In addition, consultant archaeologists must follow the 2011 Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists.
To find out more about the responsibilities of a licensed archaeologist refer to Your new archaeological licence: what you need to know: A fact sheet for licensed archaeologists in Ontario.
To apply for an archaeological licence to do land-based archaeology, use Ontario`s Past Portal.
Most people who apply are consultant archaeologists, academics, and staff of research organizations. It gives them permission to:
Most people who apply are graduate students, field directors working under the supervision of a professional licensed archaeologist, and experienced avocational archaeologists. It allows them to:
This licence does not authorize anyone to carry out or supervise fieldwork as a consultant archaeologist.
This licence must be renewed every three years.
It is suitable for anyone who wishes to conduct archaeological fieldwork for personal interest.
People who hold an avocational licence can:
An avocational licence does not authorize anyone to assess or excavate archaeological sites (Stages 3 or 4), carry out or supervise fieldwork as a consultant archaeologist, or act as a field director. New applicants are required to enter into an agreement with a mentor who holds a current Professional or Applied Research licence, or has education and experience determined by the ministry to be equivalent to those of a licensed Professional or Applied Research archaeologist.
New applicants receive a one-year licence. At the end of that year, in order for the Avocational licensee to renew their licence, the mentor has to submit a report to the ministry evaluating the licensed archaeologist's knowledge of archaeological fieldwork. Otherwise, this licence must be renewed every three years.
The marine licensing program is different from the land-based system. Contact the Archaeological Licensing Coordinator for forms.