BAJR Federation Archaeology
Improving historic environment practice - consultation - Printable Version

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Improving historic environment practice - consultation - Relictor - 18th April 2011

Quote:This is the most important point in this section of the report. It is not all about volunteers taking jobs away from professionals; it’s also about professionals working with people who have already set up projects in parallel with the commercial sector. It’s happening so lets get more involved rather than trying to stem the tide.

No it is not just read the actual report an not the mission statement

3.1.7. calls for "Public participation alongside commercial organisations during and after development"
3.1.8. demands that?" historic environment advisors including a requirement for public participation in the brief"


The thrust of this section of the report appears to be about localism within the commercial sector, not just professionals helping out local groups. The other sections about increasing professional standards etc are fine, I see no problem here, although they do seem at odds with section 3.1 However I do see the potential for job loss



training volunteers .... that,s one job created per company (perhaps)


ten volunteers working on a site ...... that ten site assistants not required to do so


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - Madweasels - 18th April 2011

Has anyone asked the amateurs and volunteers if they want to be involved in commercial archaeology? I work with a Local Archaeology Group and I know for a fact that none of them do - not if they are going to take away professional paid jobs and, if they did attend, be the cause of discontent among the pros on site. And in any case? It is impossible to get a voluntary rota for every day of the week, week in and week out throughout the year. That is why most societies - which attract the amateurs etc who would like to participate in archaeology - work on research projects at specific times in the year.

I despair. Sometimes, I feel that groups like the Southport group and IfA are trying to repaint the stern of the good ship British Archaeology while it is sinking by the bows.


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - moreno - 18th April 2011

Point well taken madweasels. Personally, I often wonder...often about what to wonder about...


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - Comarch - 19th April 2011

ten volunteers working on a site ...... that ten site assistants not required to do so[/QUOTE]

Do you, or have you worked in the commercial sector? Does anyone really believe that volunteers can dig a site, or would want to, in all weathers, 5 days a week. What unit or PM would do that? None. The point is that I have worked with volunteers on commercial sites and it is not impossible to increase numbers. Although, as has been pointed out ad infinitum, most volunteers do not wish to work on commercial sites, but those that do should be given opportunities when possible. Heads need to exit fundiments on this question.


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - Jack - 19th April 2011

I guess if the IfA demand that RO's 'employ' volunteers on commercial digs, more companies will leave IfA. :face-stir:


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - P Prentice - 19th April 2011

Jack Wrote:I guess if the IfA demand that RO's 'employ' volunteers on commercial digs, more companies will leave IfA. :face-stir:

there is a big difference between 'allowing participation' and 'demanding employment for volunteers' and if you read the proposal you might see that the pressure is building to disqualify non-ifa registered from doing development control work anyway - so you can really get your knickers in a twist:face-stir:


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - kevin wooldridge - 19th April 2011

P Prentice's last point is very valid.

Last year the IfA announced that they had received legal opinion suggesting that insisting upon IfA membership or registration, rather than being a constraint on trade could be held legal in certain circumstances. I and several other persons highlighted this on BAJR forums at the time of the announcement, but it didn't seem to strike much of a response..... Without second guessing the intentions of the government or the Southport grouping of the IfA, I would suggest that the effects of the recession and the spending cuts are moving us closer to that scenario and it is possible that it might effectively be achieved by default i.e if the vast majority of the excavating units and the DC officers left over after the wreckage is cleared just happen to be members of the IfA.

I am in two minds over the Southport Group. In trying to take the initiative with PPS5 they may be in a much stronger position to effect its wider implementation and in doing so I am sure are hoping to maximise the trading advantages of IfA/RAO membership. Again they might benefit from the default position here as being even only marginally pro-active with regard to PPS5 places them in a much stronger position than those in our profession who are adopting either a 'wait and see' policy or worse burying their heads in the sand. As an IfA member of long standing I think this is a positive move. From a purely mercenary personal point of view, it might need something like the meltdown of a large part of our industry to convince some waverers that IfA membership could be advantageous, if only that in years to come, it might rank slightly above possession of a driving licence on the top 10 CV requirements.

My difficulty with the Southport group as an entity lies in its relationship to the main body of the IfA.... I didn't for example notice that the IfA held an election for membership of the Southport group, despite the fact tha recently it appears to have been promoted as the public voice of the Institute. I wonder if that lack of democratic accountability may become a hindrance (or at least a target for critics) as this campaign develops....


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - P Prentice - 19th April 2011

kevin's last point also resonates with me. high handed comes to mind. but i do agree with most of the draft document albeit with a few minor caveats about the phrasiology. i look forward to a clear resolution after the consultation period is over and also to Taryn selling it to BAJRs


Improving historic environment practice - consultation - kevin wooldridge - 19th April 2011

I too look forward to widespread implementation of the detail of PPS5......but on the last point I think Taryn gave up trying to sell me anything about 20 years back.....