Establishing of the Centre for Preventive Archaeology means the discontinuity of the current practice, when the protection of archaeological heritage was in the exclusive domain of regional offices. The conservator–archaeologist performed both executive tasks of controlling interventions in archaeological heritage and carried out protection policies of archaeological heritage. From the establishment of the Preventive Archaeology Centre onwards the work of Slovene archaeologists is more coordinated, systematised, and shared.
There are 8 departments with seats in the regional offices of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia in: Celje, Kranj, Ljubljana, Maribor, Ptuj, Nova Gorica, Novo mesto, and Piran. There is also an Underwater Archaeology Division.
The Centre for Preventive Archaeology manages and carries out preliminary archaeological research (arial photography, field research, underwater surveys), ensures methodological and infrastructural development in the area of archaeological research and post-excavation procedures, carries out research projects commissioned by the Ministry of Culture in the area of preventive archaeology, provides internships and supplementary training, provides work experience for those engaged in courses of study in conservation and restoration, and develops public awareness of preventive archaeology.
In the project SAAS (Skupina za arheologijo na avtocestah Republike Slovenije), carried out from 1994, archaeological excavations and research work on motorway sections are implemented. Another important project on preliminary archaeological research takes place on the area destined for a future hydroelectric power plant on the Sava river. Contrary to the project SAAS, where preliminary archaeological research was parallel to building the motorways, the Preventive Archaeology Centre carries out research work throughout Slovenia and in all interventions. Within the public service the centre will carry out also preliminary field investigations in accordance with the plan of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia.
The results of research work are published in a new serial publication Monografije Centra za preventivno arheologijo [Monographies of the Centre for Preventive Archaeology].
Archaeological finds discovered in preliminary archaeological research are maintained at the centre in temporary storage. Such finds are then handed over to a competent museum within five years of completion of any fieldwork research.