The Welsh Historic Environment Assessment Exercise was undertaken at the request of the former Minister for Heritage. It set out to consider the government-funded roles and activities of several key historic environment bodies, and to identify any duplication of activities and areas for greater collaboration or a greater separation of function. The key organisations included in the exercise were Cadw, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) and the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts (WATs). The areas specified for assessment were survey and investigation, records and archives, and public engagement.
Cadw coordinated the exercise and the Council for British Archaeology was appointed as an independent historic environment organisation to undertake the assessment exercise and brought together a small team of consultants for this purpose. The Council for British Archaeology is a UK-wide charity and has been a champion of public interest in archaeology for over 65 years. It is a national amenity society in England and Wales and a leading advocate for the protection and investigation of the historic environment.
The exercise was undertaken between January and March 2011 and included interviews with senior officers of all the organisations and consultation with a wide range of related organisations. A user forum brought together participants nominated by Cadw, RCAHMW and WATs to represent the range of public and private users of historic environment services.