We use cookies to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. See more about our use of cookies.

Overview of the role

Responsible for providing specialist and authoritative advice, guidance and assessment to those working on heritage assets and the legal and policy frameworks for their protection.

Historic environment advisor

Reference Number: ST0831

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the Cultural Heritage, Historic Environment, Engineering, Construction, Design, Planning, Local Government, Education and Tourism sectors.. The broad purpose of the occupation is to be responsible for providing specialist and authoritative advice, guidance and assessment to those working on heritage assets and the legal and policy frameworks for their protection. Examples of heritage assets include historic buildings, places, landscapes, townscapes, monuments, the historic marine environment, archaeological sites and deposits of heritage interest, registered parks, gardens and battlefields. Legislation or policy frameworks may be international, national or local, and include (but are not limited to) the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, National Planning Policy Framework, Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, Town and Country Planning Regulations 2017, Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of clients, colleagues and stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors, within organisations of any size. The Historic Environment Advisor is typically office based but normal duties include activities which require outdoor working, visiting historic sites and attendance at meetings with stakeholders, clients or colleagues.. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for delivering professional advice and recommendations on change, protection, maintenance, interpretation, conservation or restoration within the Historic Environment; through critically analysing, interpreting and evaluating complex information. They assess the significance and/or condition of the historic environment, and its sensitivity to change. They design, provide strategic leadership and monitor the implementation of programmes of work and investigation and where necessary present arguments clearly and effectively on the significance of the historic environment in a broad context. They undertake research within their specialist area to develop understanding of the historic environment, setting standards and best practice and provide strategic leadership within the sector. They provide supervision and leadership to more junior roles within historic environment advice teams where relevant.

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include Historic Environment Consultant; Heritage Consultant; Heritage Advisor; Archaeological Advisor; Inspector of Ancient Monuments; Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas; Heritage at Risk Officer; Conservation Officer; Conservation Advisor; Listed Buildings Officer; Churches Conservation Advisor; Architectural Investigator.

Occupation duties



Duty 1 Define, assess or provide advice on significance with regard to planning and other regulatory systems relevant to the historic environment, e.g. preparation of statements of significance and other heritage statements, supported by investigation where appropriate. This includes special architectural, historical and archaeological interest.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K12 K13 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S6 S8 S9 S14

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 2 Make, or provide advice on, designations, including national and local statutory designations and non-statutory designations e.g. scheduled monuments, listed buildings, conservation areas etc, and non-designated heritage assets.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K13 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S14

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 3 Undertake character analysis of heritage assets and areas e.g. Conservation Area Appraisals, historic landscape or area characterisation, urban design analysis, assessment of setting.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K15 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S13

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 4 Assess the condition of the historic environment, including actioning measures for monitoring, protection and discharge of legal responsibilities.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K18

S1 S2 S4 S6 S9

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 5 Prepare specifications for, undertake, lead on or monitor compliance of, specialist research and investigation where required to support the provision of historic environment advice e.g. desk-based assessment, field investigation and analysis, evaluation or building fabric analysis.

K3 K5 K8 K11 K12 K18

S5 S6 S11 S14 S15

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 6 Prepare, appraise, lead or provide advice on plans for the management of change of heritage assets and areas, and strategies for managing their loss, their protection, enhancement or regeneration, including preparation, appraisal and management of statutory consents and legal responsibilities, including supporting statements, conditions, appeals and enforcement/prosecution.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K13 K15 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 7 Establish performance requirements, monitor and assure quality for projects and schemes which impact heritage assets and areas to ensure they meet agreed specifications, e.g ensure construction works comply with the approved architectural or landscape design and constructional specification.

K2 K3 K5 K6 K11 K12 K13 K15 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 8 Provide advice on or appraise the quality of design proposals involving the historic environment and the impact of proposals for change e.g. the impacts of infrastructure alterations, new build development, extensions, adaptations, refurbishments and public realm schemes. Contribute to Environmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments and Sustainability Appraisals.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K7 K13 K15 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 9 Provide advice on or assess sustainability in the historic environment. For buildings, it includes assessment of building performance and potential for retrofitting.

K1 K2 K4 K7 K15 K17

S1 S2 S3 S4 S13

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 10 Prepare, provide advice on or assess repair and specifications for conservation, maintenance, repair and renovation of heritage assets

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K7 K9 K15 K17

S1 S2 S3 S4 S7 S13

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 11 Prepare, lead, appraise or provide advice on the financial aspects of a wide range of projects and initiatives relating to the historic environment, e.g. project costings, grant applications and monitoring, economic viability assessments, feasibility studies and business plans.

K3 K7 K11 K13 K15 K17

S2 S3 S5 S13 S14

B2 B5 B6

Duty 12 Provide formal and informal oral and written advice and professional judgments to clients, colleagues, external stakeholders and others on historic buildings, structures, areas, archaeological sites and landscapes.

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K13 K18

S3 S4 S8 S9 S14

B2 B5 B6

Duty 13 Lead on the development, interpretation or assessment of heritage legislation, policy and guidance at local, regional, national and international levels.

K1 K2 K6 K7 K13 K18

S1 S4 S5 S8 S9 S10 S11 S14 S15

B2 B5 B6

Duty 14 Prepare, lead or provide advice on, or appraise strategies for heritage, including the role of heritage in addressing economic development and sustainability, neighbourhood planning, regeneration, housing, employment, town centres, rural areas, and other planning and placemaking issues.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K9 K13 K15 K17 K18

S1 S2 S3 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S13 S14 S15

B1 B2 B5 B6

Duty 15 Provide leadership and manage staff, volunteers, external specialists or others, review and monitor others’ work to technical standards. Be responsible for education and skills development in the workplace including dissemination of information.

K2 K6 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14

S7 S10 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 16 Raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of the historic environment, historic environment resources and promote good conservation practice. Effectively lead and manage communications with stakeholders and other interested parties, including statutory consultation.

K5 K6 K7 K8 K13

S5 S8 S9 S10 S12 S14

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 17 Contribute to, or lead, the development of practice through research, publication, participation in professional or academic events. Develop, or lead on the development of, new techniques and best practice.

K1 K3 K5 K6 K8 K9 K10 K11 K14

S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14 S15

B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 18 Prepare, lead on the production of, or review products derived from work on the historic environment for both professional and public audiences, e.g. publications, exhibitions and archives (including Historic Environment Records).

K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K13

S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S14

B2 B3 B5 B6




K1: relevant statutory legislation, policies, frameworks, strategies, and best practice for the historic environment.

K2: standards and compliance processes for the historic environment.

K3: established techniques of investigation, research, documentation and management for the historic environment, as well as new techniques or approaches and their associated risks. How to conduct these techniques, and how to monitor others doing so.

K4: conservation principles and the agents of deterioration, and how to evaluate the significance and condition of the historic environment.

K5: British archaeological or architectural practice and chronology, including expert understanding and recognition of archaeological site or building types, styles, and periods.

K6: wider political, social and economic context of the historic environment and other sectors within the individual’s specialist area of work (e.g. construction, planning, design, tourism), their relationship to historic environment decision-making and the roles and responsibilities of statutory authorities, heritage organisations and specialists.

K7: when and how to provide advice and guidance, either verbally, through written reports, publication or public speaking.

K8: current academic research, and regional, national and international research agendas, developing and expanding on knowledge within their area of expertise.

K9: editorial, drawing and report writing techniques required within the historic environment.

K10: how to develop a personal action plan for learning and self-development with realistic but challenging objectives, expectations and priorities, and how to align this with the interests of the organisation/employer.

K11: techniques for the leadership, management and delivery of projects, including complex projects with many interacting factors. Techniques include budgeting, timetabling and quality assurance, assessment of skillsets and capacity of wider teams. How to review and report on the quality of other’s work.

K12: their Employer’s Health and Safety Policy and Procedures and operational procedures, including risk assessment, and how those relate to industry standards.

K13: the needs and expectations of a range of customers, colleagues and stakeholders. How to communicate effectively, including management of stakeholders, mediation, public engagement and partnership working.

K14: how to practice in line with current theories and methodologies, and to question and reframe these to develop fresh perspectives and new ways of working to manage complex historic environmental conceptual issues at senior level in a strategic context.

K15: appropriate techniques and materials for the repair of historic buildings and monuments.

K16: professional ethics and codes of conduct involved in the management of projects and the historic environment, including recognising conflicts of interests and appropriate processes for dealing with these.

K17: how to assess sustainability in the historic environment, and the contribution of the historic environment to placemaking, planning and economic development issues.

K18: how to demonstrate critical analysis, interpretation and evaluation of complex  historic environmental information, synthesising multi-source data and concepts to make high level recommendations and drive changes in historic environment practice in keeping with organisational and sectoral strategic priorities.


S1 contextualise, interpret and apply relevant statutory legislation, policies, frameworks, strategies, and best practice for the historic environment.

S2 establish and monitor implementation of standards and compliance processes for the historic environment.

S3 provide expert advice and guidance to clients, colleagues and stakeholders, exercising appropriate judgement and decision making and recognising when to involve others.

S4 prepare and deliver evidence for the enhancement or protection of the historic environment, including that required for relevant hearings, inquiries, public meetings, appeals, written statements, proofs of evidence and expert witness testimony.

S5 lead and work as part of a team to manage and deliver projects of all scales and complexities. Be responsible for own work, and where applicable have significant personal accountability for others and/or the allocation of resources, in a wide variety of contexts.

S6 design, execute and monitor project plans and investigations. Conduct specialist research and investigation, reformulate and interpret complex historic environment data to provide specialist analysis.

S7 review and report on the quality of other’s work constructively and effectively, including technical work, be responsible for quality assurance.

S8 lead on, produce, review, or update documentation and information on the historic environment using relevant analytical, editorial, drawing and report writing techniques.

S9 apply policy to decision making, including developing new approaches and policy and best practice guidance. Assess and evidence gaps in knowledge or skills to support heritage protection, management and policy development.

S10 raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of the historic environment, promoting good conservation practice, including through public engagement activities.

S11 contribute to advances in the body of knowledge and historic environment practice, through research, publication, participation in professional and academic networks and events.

S12 supervise, train and develop colleagues, external clients and stakeholders where relevant.

S13 apply relevant sustainability principles to historic environment projects.

S14 present verbal and written arguments clearly and effectively.

S15 manage significant workloads of complex and conflicting data from multiple sources, demonstrating fluency with a wide range of  historic environment theory, method and data sources, that can be used to challenge, reformulate and produced clear strategic recommendations  and significant changes in historic environment advice.


B1: take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of others, including members of the public, who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work

B2: be capable of conceptual thought, independent decision-making and professional judgement in order to solve problems and tackle complex projects with many interacting factors

B3: commit to quality and their continuous professional development

B4: work effectively individually and as part of a team, including providing strategic leadership. Contributing to, and supporting others to, work and drive change and innovation within the context of organisational, sectoral and wider governmental and commercial strategic priorities relevant to the historic environment.

B5: develop and maintain honest and constructive client and colleague relationships. Be approachable and able to communicate with all levels of their own and other organisations, as well as the general public

B6: be resilient and deal with controversial issues and conflicts of interest, difficult situations and confidential data sensitively. Be sensitive to and aware of the significance of the historic environment, and the needs of its stakeholders, being conscious of integrity, honesty and professional ethical requirements.


English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Other qualifications

Mandatory qualification 1: A Masters degree in a relevant Conservation or Archaeology of the Historic Environment or Heritage specialism e.g. Conservation of the Historic Environment, Cultural Heritage Management, Historic Building Conservation, Archaeology of Buildings.

Level of qualification: 7 (non-integrated degree)

Professional recognition

A Member with Chartered Institute for Archaeologists

A Chartered Member with Chartered Institute of Building

Professional recognition

Institute of Building

Additional details

Occupational Level: 7
Duration (months): 36


This standard will be reviewed after three years.


Crown copyright © 2020. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-integrated degree
Reference: ST0831
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 9 June 2020
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway : 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £15000
Trailblazer contact(s): philip.Pollard@HistoricEngland.org.uk
Employers involved in creating the standard: Historic England, Museum of London Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology, Cotswold Archaeology, Essex Archaeology, Arup, Albion Archaeology, Archaeology Warwickshire, ASWYAS, Allen Archaeology

Find an apprenticeship

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 09/06/2020 Not set Not set