Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments


Desk-based assessments are important tools for understanding the historic environment and for managing change. Although these reports are increasingly required in the planning process or as an early stage in the development of conservation plans and environmental assessments, many historic environment professionals have little or no training in researching, compiling and presenting them. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area.

Programme details

Tuesday 17 May 2022

9.00 am   Registration and coffee / tea

9.30 am   Introduction

9.45 am   Policy and legislation background 

10:05 am   The role and purpose/s of desk-based assessment

10.25 am   Introduction to the sources

10.40 am   Types of desk-based assessment: matching design and content to the requirements of the client and regulatory authorities

11.00 am   Coffee / tea

11.20 am   Curator’s Perspective

11.50 am   Workshop 1: critical evaluation of examples of desk-based assessments

1.00 pm   Lunch

2.00 pm   Workshop 2: using examples of development scenarios to design desk-based assessments

3.15 pm   Coffee / tea

3.35 pm   Assessment of Significance         

3.55pm   How DBAs fit in with other forms of assessment

4.05 pm   Future Developments

4.15 pm   Questions and answers

4.30 pm   Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition includes coffee/tea £250.00
Baguette Lunch £4.90
Full Hot Lunch £14.00


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking.

Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:


Dr Jill Hind

Course Director

Independent Consultant and former Senior Project Manager in Heritage Management Services at Oxford Archaeology

Ms Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger

Course Director

Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger BA, MA, is a professional archaeologist of more than 25 years’ experience. During that time she has carried out fieldwork, research and lecturing in Britain and overseas including in America, Greece and North Korea. As well as Oxford University, Melanie has taught courses on various aspects of archaeology and heritage at the Universities of Bristol and Reading and the Marlborough College Summer School. For the last 11 years she has been managing the Archaeology Service at Wiltshire Council as County Archaeologist. A particular focus of her work over the last two decades has been the archaeology and conservation of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site.


Depending on availability, it may be possible to book accommodation in Rewley House.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.

Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and prices.