Thinking of Consultancy (Online)


Thinking of consultancy is a short course for those thinking of a change in career. Many archaeologists start their careers with fieldwork, some moving into development control and local government, others to academia, some to consultancy. This course looks at the demands and work of a consultant, the range of job types and the variety of instructions from desk-based assessments to expert witness presentations at Public Inquiry, in the County and Crown Courts.

Intended for those thinking of a change the course outlines the nature of the job, the range scope and complexity of modern consultancy and some of the challenges as well as many of the successes. It will look at the pressures of lone working, communication, self-reliance and team working. The course will use a series of case studies to illustrate not only the subject matter but how to relate to and manage a client list and how to deliver for your client.

This short course looks at consultancy as a career, focusing on skills and job satisfaction.

The course will run on two consecutive mornings. Sessions will be 2 hours, and include time for questions and discussion following the presentations. The sessions will be delivered online via Microsoft Teams, starting at 10.00am UK time each day. There will be time for questions and discussion at the end of each session.

Programme details

Session 1 (Weds 5 May 2021)

10:00 – 10.45 Introduction - Consultancy Myth and Reality
  • Mike Dawson - Making a Career of Consultancy autobiographical sketch
  • Gerry Wait - Making a Career of Consultancy autobiographical sketch
  • Challenges and Opportunities & the Jobs Market
  • Career enhancement? Career directions and interests

10:45-11:00am Group Discussion of motives and reasons for career change

11:00am Break

11:15 - 12:00 Taking the Plunge - Approaches and Opportunities/Business Skills and Personal Conduct

  • Consultancy – The Scope of Modern Consultancy – one-stop shop, multi-disciplinary teams, or specialists.
  • Structures – Formal and Informal – what we join and ones we create
  • Communication, Lone Working, Self-Reliance
  • Team Working, Diplomacy and Effective Management in different kinds of teams or solo – knowing what we want, or need, and what serves our clients 
  • Surviving as a Business – marketing, accounting and time/money management, costs and profits

12:00-12:30  Discussion

12:30   Session ends

Session 2 (Thursday 6 May 2021)

10:00 -10:45 Consultancy in the Real World – Developing a Career and Career Skill-sets

  • Personal Career and skill sets: From Desk Based Assessment to Heritage Statement
  • Specifications and Written Schemes – consultancy and fieldwork interfaces
  • Environmental Impact Assessments – rigour and scope 
  • Local Plan Examinations, Public Inquiry

10:45-11:00 Discussion

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-12:00 Delivering for Clients or ‘what’s in it for me’?

  • Mitigation and Off-set – producing public benefits (and our own job satisfaction) 
  • Project Management – a necessary evil or a principle service
  • Client and other Stake-holder Relationships- how we present ourselves 
  • CPD – where does it lead? Taking control means knowing where we want to go. 
  • Self-Motivation/self-direction/self-reliance - goal orientation
  • Professional ethics – personal v professional ethics and knowing how to navigate
  • Confrontation, collaboration, consultation – combining how we work with what provides value for the money our clients pay.

12:00-12:30 Discussion

12:30 Course Ends

Dates, Times and Delivery

Thinking of Consultancy (Online) course will run over two days, from 5 – 6 May 2021.

Sessions will be 2 hours, delivered online via Microsoft Teams, from 10:00 – 12:30 (UK time).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here:

No attendance at Oxford is required and you do not need to purchase any software.


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford electronic certificate of attendance. 

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.

You will be required to attend all of the live sessions on the course in order to be considered for an attendance certificate. 


Description Costs
Standard course fee £225.00


Fees include electronic copies of course materials.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.



Dr Michael Dawson

Course Director

Michael Dawson, consultant at RPS. Michael is a senior Director at RPS Heritage (RPS Great Britain and Ireland Ltd). He has been a project manager at Bedfordshire County Archaeology Service, Principal Archaeologist at Samuel Rose Farm Management Consultancy. He is a former Chair of CIfA (2004-2008) and has a DPhil in cultural resource management “The Preservation and Display of Roman Period Mosaics). The latter written whilst a consultant and based on a project in Northamptonshire. His research interests include the Roman towns of Dacia, cultural resource management and archaeology of Iron Age and Roman Britain.

Dr Gerry Wait

Course Director

Gerry Wait (BA MA DPhil), Principal Consultant and Managing Director at Triskelion Heritage. Gerry has undertaken conservation planning and heritage assessments for Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) in over 35 countries.  Gerry served as both Treasurer and Chairman of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and is active in both CIfA and the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA). He is on the editorial board of the Society of American Archaeology’s Advances in Archaeological Practice Journal. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and is on the Register of Professional Archaeologists (USA) and many other professional and academic associations.


IT requirements

This course is delivered online using MS Teams.

To participate you must be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.
It is advised to use headphones with working speakers and microphone.