I work in Australia. Over here any disturbance of prehistoric sites has to
be licensed and only professional archaeologists can apply for the Licences.
The situation with historic sites is more varied. Some states have no
historic heritage laws, in some excavations are licensed the same as
prehistoric sites. In my state WA they forgot about archaeology when they
wrote the heritage law.
Therefore anyone can dig up a site for any reason, including wiping it out
with a bulldozer because they felt like it. Only the sites which are on the
state heritage list have any protection but as they also forgot to put in a
requirement that anyone should look for them there is no funding available
to identify and list the sites.
The law is currently being rewritten and the draft at the moment does
include a requirement for local government to identify and list all heritage
within their area not just surviving built heritage. Which will hopefully
get archaeology out of its catch 22 situation.
The State heritage body has a list of vetted architects, builders etc
including archaeologists. Clients don't have to use people on the list but
they are more likely to get government funding for projects or get a project
on a state listed site approved if they use the right consultants. Its a way
for them to impose acceptable standards of work.
The vetting process varies somewhat as it depends on the knowledge of the
heritage council officers. As the heritage council is full of architects and
urban planners vetting of those is excellent but they couldn't tell a
professional archaeologist from a non archaeologist. Our association of
consulting archaeologists has definitions and grades which the council now
have. It all tends to even out in the end as they are trying to impose
acceptable standards so people who do bad work find themselves dropped off
the list the next year.