Archaeology Permit Tracking System (APTS)

The Archaeology Permit Tracking System (APTS) is an online portal used to submit, review, consult on, and manage archaeological applications and permits throughout their lifecycle.

Last updated: June 9, 2021 

On this page:

Who is eligible to use APTS?

APTS is available to professional consulting archaeologists and Archaeology Branch employees. It is not available to the public. 

What if I am not eligible but need information about my permit?

Your consulting archaeologist can provide you with up-to-date information about your permit at all stages of its lifecycle.  If they are no longer with the same employer, you may contact the company they worked for to obtain pertinent documentation.

Additionally, individuals who require archaeological information but who are ineligible for APTS access may submit an Archaeological Information Request Form to the Archaeology Branch.

What kind of data is available in APTS?

The APTS client portal provides users with access to the data that they and their currently-affiliated coworkers have submitted. As a user, you will be able to see:

  • applications, permits, supporting files, and reports that you have submitted
  • applications and permits that your affiliate coworkers' have submitted
  • overdue reporting obligation flags

The external APTS portal for consultants also has some new features in development: 

  • the ability to edit applications until they are in review
  • the ability to upload documents throughout the permit lifecycle
  • more mandatory fields on the application submission page
  • more mandatory fields on the report submission page 
  • repair and revision of broken help text on both submission pages
  • repair of the overdue obligation logic to improve accuracy
  • expansion of available sector classifications
  • revisions to the way permit participants are added
  • revisions to the way new parties are added
  • revisions to the way documents are uploaded

These features are estimated to be released between February and May 2021. 

Follow our Systems news page for updates on new feature releases, unexpected service outages, planned maintenance, and other relevant news.

The internal APTS portal for branch staff houses all information pertaining to an archaeological permit application or issued permit, including but not limited to:

  • all permit application, issuance, and amendment documents
  • relevant email records
  • spatial files and site forms that document the project area
  • reports

Does APTS data have any limitations?

Users cannot access permits they held at a former company.

Users are only able to view applications and permits that they have applied for or held under their active Business BCeID.

To upload reports and resolve overdue obligations that you are still responsible for on permits that were held at a different company where your BCeID has already been deactivated, you will have to contact the branch for assistance.

Report uploads are currently limited to 49 MB due to web browser timeout limitations.

When they think something is taking too long, internet browsers like Chrome and Firefox will automatically stop doing the task a user is trying to do. The browser company sets its own time limits. Since we have to work within these limits, the branch has established that the majority of our clients can upload a 49 MB size file before the browser times out, so that is the size limit we've set for submissions.

Users in rural areas where high speed internet is not available are especially prone to being timed out by their web browser. However, since urban technology infrastructure has advanced since we first imposed this limit, the branch is currently researching the possibility of increasing the upload size for high-speed urban users who are able to upload a large file before their browser reaches its timeout ceiling.

Until then, the branch requires you to split your reports into parts 49 MB or less prior to submission.

Design Limitations

We know that APTS imposes some limitations on what a user is able to do themselves. Some of these limitations will be addressed early this year, including: 

  • the ability to edit applications until they are in review by the branch

  • the ability to upload documents throughout the permit lifecycle

  • repair and revision of broken help text on both submission pages

  • repair of the overdue obligation logic to improve accuracy

  • expansion of available sector classifications

Follow our Systems news page for updates on new feature releases, unexpected service outages, planned maintenance, and other relevant news.

How can I apply for access to APTS?

To obtain access to APTS, you will have to submit a signed form to the Archaeology Branch. 

The Request System Access page contains the latest form, and will help you apply for the access you need.

Troubleshoot APTS issues

Here are some solutions to the most common APTS access and operational issues.

For other application issues, please check our System news page for outage announcements, or click on the help icons in the APTS system.

 Access Issues

If you have switched companies or discontinued your former work email address, you will have to contact your company's BCeID administrator or the BCeID helpdesk to create a new Business BCeID and then request access from us again. When you do this, you MUST choose a Business BCeID Username that is different from your previous usernames. If you do not, we will reject your application with instructions to reapply when you have done so.

If you have a different Business BCeID than the one you were initially approved for access with, you will have to request access from us again so that we can confirm you are still eligible and relink your permissions.

For IDIRs, the same applies only in the rare case that you have had to change your IDIR username or email address (not just your password).

If you haven't been active for several years but have the same valid Business BCeID or IDIR, you may be locked out because both PARL and RAAD have been upgraded and require our users to accept different terms and conditions than they did previously. If you haven't used our systems since January 2019, you will have to request access from us again.

If none of these are the case, please contact your company's BCeID administrator, or the BCeID helpdesk. If they are unable to fix it and instead create a new Business BCeID to remedy the situation, you will have to submit a new Archaeological Information Sharing Agreement for us to reissue your permissions.

If you have already tried clearing your web browser's cache and cookies, and if you have tried it in more than one web browser (chrome, Firefox, edge) and it is happening in all of them, it is an irreconcilable problem between your Business BCeID and APTS. 

You will have to get a new Business BCeID and submit a new Archaeological Information Sharing Agreement by following Steps 2-4 on our Request systems access page. Please mention in your email to us that this was due to a 'too many redirects' error that could not be resolved.

 

People from a company I don't work for anymore can still see my permits. How can I remove them?

The Business BCeID you log into APTS with is irrevocably tied to the company that created it for you, and APTS is designed to let people from the same company see each other’s permits. You should ALWAYS get a new Business BCeID when you change employers to protect the privacy of you and your clients.

To resolve this, get a new Business BCeID and request access again by following Steps 2-4 on our Request systems access page. Your other systems accesses (RAAD, PARL etc.) should be linked to your new BCeID too  - don't forget to check them on your agreement.

 Use Issues

 

I can't see all of my applications or permits in APTS.

APTS is designed so that all of the staff affiliated with the company they work for can see all of the permits that the company owns. This ensures that companies never lose track of their work, and that all company members can work on a file as needed. 

Currently, you and your coworkers will only see applications and permits where EITHER:

  1. you or an APTS user currently at your company initially created the file in APTS
                                                      OR
  2. you or an APTS user currently at your company is the Permit Holder in APTS

The branch recognizes that this may be problematic for co-permittees who may be unable to access a permit they have obligations under, or for companies that may lose access if the permit's creator has already left and they forget to transfer a permit before the permit holder leaves. 

A revision to the viewing rules listed above is currently being investigated.

 

I see a red screen that displays an error message and a page full of code.

 

  1. Maximize your web browser window so it takes up your whole computer screen.
     
  2. Make sure you are at the very top of the page showing the red screen so that you can see the title. 
     
  3. Find and press the Print Screen button on your keyboard or take a screenshot / snip / capture of the error page, that will show us:
    • the URL of the page you are on (the .com address)
    • the error title at the very top of the page
    • as much error text as possible (these pages tend to be quite large, so don't worry about getting it all)
       
  4. Open a new email, click into the body of the email, and press the control and V keys at the same time to insert the screenshot.
     
  5. In the body of your email, explain what you were trying to do when you saw the error. Include as many steps as you can remember taking so that we can try to do it too.
     
  6. Put "APTS Red Screen Error" as the subject line. 
     
  7. Send the email to and send to gary.brewer@gov.bc.ca and maria.e.schmidt@gov.bc.ca.
     
  8. They will try to reproduce the error, and escalate the issue if can be duplicated.
 

I want to recommend a change to APTS or report a function that's broken.  

If there's a feature you'd like to see in APTS, or something that you believe is broken, please email a project officer for first assessment, and ask them to forward it to the appropriate person. If they believe it is something we may be able to do, they will escalate it to our systems team. 

If you are having trouble submitting a permit application to us, please first review Appendix A of the HCA Permit Process Policy Guide. It contains screen shots and instructions to help you through related issues you may be experiencing.

If it is related to something else, please email archaeology@gov.bc.ca with 1) a description of exactly what's wrong and 2) screen shots of what you are seeing. If we aren't able to solve the problem in-house, we will escalate it to our systems team.