BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: IfA campaign to require archaeological work to be undertaken by ROs
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Clare King Wrote:These are all things which the RO scheme checks regularly.
or 4 years which I think is the time between RO inspections. Though I was made aware of one recently down south (no names no pack drills etc) - The company did well - no problems there. unless you count.......... but then - that would be unprofessional. needless to say - I know about it, they know I know about it. That seems to be enough. :face-plain: sure it was an unfortunate hiccup that has been resolved now.

I rely on people to talk to me... and indeed I have.. and will continue to let companies know that am not daft.. and don't take kindly to the idea I won't find out.

There are conditions for advertising. Including adherence to the IfA Codes of Conduct AND providing accurate information in the advert. A few times people have advertised only the jobs that get past my criteria - but not the ones that don't. That is seen as a breach of trust and conditions of being included. I can't win em all, and I can't be everywhere. but all that people have to do is email me.

Clare King Wrote:don't always see eye to eye with planning archaeologists on what's appropriate, but that's where discussion comes in!

Oh how true... now I have been on both sides :p
Every 2 I think, more often in some cases. I'm prepared to be wrong though! I think it would be easier if there were more, suitably experienced/qualified, people available for the panels.

Thanks for the info, I just wondered!

BAJR Host Wrote:Oh how true... now I have been on both sides

Split personalilty? :face-angel:
I prefer twisted in knots.. :face-confused: xx(
Matters of quality are of course not unique to archaeology. The key to quality is to define what is required in terms of "quality" and to specify it, and then to measure/monitor and when required enforce it. It is no use at all talking vaguely about principles, in a contracting world specification is all important. Thus if something is not up to the required quality (not in accordance with the contract, as we say in construction contracts) payment is withheld until the work is rectified - or in the case of archaeologiucal work, for ever, if the work cannot be rectified. This is pretty basic stuff really.

The question then is who does what. In construction (upon which commercial archaeology is modelled) there are in effect two controls, "authority" (planning and building control being the obvious examples) and the consultant (usually the architect). Both set down requirements, the former in the form (poor grammar!) of legislation backed up by site inspections, and the latter by a rigorous set of contract documents (bills, specifications, drawings and a proper form of contract). This is also backed up by site visits (not strictly inspection or supervision). This does not mean the (building) contractor is not wholly responsible for his own work and for compliance with the contract, but the architect will have a good look at the work at least once a week (maybe daily) and invariably some work will have to be taken down and re-built, in most contracts. Contrary to popular belief, the architect is not "on the client's side", but is strictly neutral in administering the contract.

So, in archaeology, who does what? It seems to me that we need curators to be very much more directly involved, more akin to the Building Control Officer than the planner. Of course we therefore need more of them, much better resourced... like that's going to happen. We also need consultants (paralleling the architect) to produce much better specs - contract documents - and to stringently administer the contract to ensure that the specified quality is provided. It will be far too expensive for a contractor to continually have to re-do work or not be paid for unsatisfactory work, or indeed not to complete within the contract period (as is the case with building contractors). BUT if poor quality work is common, as is suggested on BAJR, then not only is someone doing it, but someone else is letting it happen.

Several consultants post on BAJR effectively espousing this view, and I'm sure that they do what they can, but the general view of archaeological consultants seems to suggest that this is not universal. I have to say that my own experience of them suggests that many, shall we say, could do with improving their management capabilities.
The Invisible Man is quite right - sorting out these issue of quality, purpose and 'managemnet capabilites' of teh Bad Apples is nessescary - personaly i think this will have a greater and more direct positive impact on teh proffesion that full unionisation....
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