BAJR Federation Archaeology
The next question: recording - Printable Version

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The next question: recording - Jack - 7th November 2013

P Prentice Wrote:but they have - they gave us standards and even you have acknowledged you abide by them.

He does, I does, we does................shame everyone else doesn't in the race to undercut.

I'm in three minds over this. Tool's observations from other industries seem relevant, registration or chartered status does little to improve standards and conditions, these are maintained by individuals who fight for them from within or through independent vigilance and reporting of malpractice and companies caring about reputation vs profits.

Look at the building trade and small companies.........it's really easy to get accreditation, do shocking work, get away with it until you finally get caught, settle or go bankrupt, then start the cycle again under a different company name.........The big ones do too............not naming names..........but companies change name often....Balfor Beaty/Birse, Tarmac/Carnellion etc etc.

It seems in this profit-is-all world the only checks and balances are the public, small claims court, the press and tv shows like 'rogue traders' Odin preserve us!


The next question: recording - Kajemby - 7th November 2013

Tool Wrote:So, the IfA would become the self-appointed guardians of archaeology, but with a charter next? So the majority of archaeologists/diggers won't have any influence unless they pay lots of money to join? It gets better and better!

I'm no advocate of the IFA, but surely an organisation is only as strong as its membership - If 99% of archaeologists are registered with the IFA, logically the IFA would be endorsed by 99% of archaeologists?

Therefore surely then, the IFA would not be self appointed? They (the leadership) would be appointed by people that share the values of the IFA, pay the money and join the organisation. Whether that is 99%, or 1% of archaeologists, they would still not be self appointed.


It might be different if the IFA claim to represent all archaeologists, but they don't - they say, clearly, that they represent their membership.


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 7th November 2013

Kajemby Wrote:It might be different if the IFA claim to represent all archaeologists, but they don't - they say, clearly, that they represent their membership.

Hence their efforts for force the rest to join and bow down by inflicting the Charter on everyone


The next question: recording - P Prentice - 7th November 2013

Jack Wrote:He does, I does, we does................shame everyone else doesn't in the race to undercut.

I'm in three minds over this. Tool's observations from other industries seem relevant, registration or chartered status does little to improve standards and conditions, these are maintained by individuals who fight for them from within or through independent vigilance and reporting of malpractice and companies caring about reputation vs profits.

Look at the building trade and small companies.........it's really easy to get accreditation, do shocking work, get away with it until you finally get caught, settle or go bankrupt, then start the cycle again under a different company name.........The big ones do too............not naming names..........but companies change name often....Balfor Beaty/Birse, Tarmac/Carnellion etc etc.

It seems in this profit-is-all world the only checks and balances are the public, small claims court, the press and tv shows like 'rogue traders' Odin preserve us!
actually i think undercutting on performance becomes harder if standards are adhered to. undercutting on cost price is easier if you pay low wages and dont provide adequate training, sickness benefit and holidays etc. ro's are required to but non-ro's are not. there appears to be a lot of hyperbole regarding chartered industries failing to come up to standard but nobody has presented any proof. sure builders are cowboys but we are trying to be architects and surveyors!!! our industry is small enough that rogue traders will and do stand out a mile. the status quo whereby if you can get passed the curator it is fair game, will have a second row defense under chartership.


The next question: recording - kevin wooldridge - 7th November 2013

Tool Wrote:So, the IfA would become the self-appointed guardians of archaeology, but with a charter next? So the majority of archaeologists/diggers won't have any influence unless they pay lots of money to join? It gets better and better!

Not self appointed but appointed with the permit of the Privy Council as a Chartered body with a clearly defined agenda.

There will be no compulsion to join, but as you rightly say those that do join will be in a position to influence the direction of the Institute within the parameters of the Charter. Cost of joining is actually fairly minimal once you take into account tax rebate for membership fees and/or the fact that many organisations cover the costs of staff membership.....less than £1 a week for those in the lowest salary bracket.....that's about what 2.5 fags, or a third of a pint or a bag of chips!! Bargain!!


The next question: recording - Dinosaur - 7th November 2013

Fancy a long-term bet that once the charter's received the next long-term aim will be to prevent any commercial organisation that's not signed up from carrying out commercial work in whatever bits of Britain it covers? [as if that isn't the real point anyway]


The next question: recording - Tool - 7th November 2013

kevin wooldridge Wrote:Go on, I'll go for it.....how about 'higher professional standards, better qualified and more highly incentivised staff cannot be considered a backward step'.....whether that needs Chartered status to achieve is maybe questionable, BUT with no other alternative on the table (or even in the pipeline) it has to be the only path worth following. I'd be happy to consider an alternative if one presents itself, but I don't think the profession can wait another 30 years (The length of time it has taken IfA to reach this point).....failure to follow this lead is by default an acceptance that there is nothing wrong with the current state of the industry....that is just not defensible!!

OK, I can agree with the first part, obviously. But I'm afraid I can't be doing with the premise that just because option 1 isn't ideal, option 2 has therefor got to be a better alternative, for all the reasons I've given. Saying that 'failing to follow this lead is by default...' is just plain wrong. Not choosing a bad option in place of a bad situation is not indefensible, it is entirely sensible. And I have to say the slightly patronising attitude of some proponents of this idea (not from you Kevin, I hasten to add) really doesn't improve the image or help quell the feeling that this is about imposing will rather than doing what is right.

Now, before I get really bored with people failing to realise that there are a lot of genuine concerns here (as an aside, I have yet to meet an archaeologist, who doesn't hold some kind of very senior position, that supports the IfA, so for anyone to say they are representative of the profession is frankly laughable) I'll ask one more time: can anyone show me the evidence that this will work both for the benefit of archaeology and of archaeologists? None has been forthcoming yet. All that seems to be given so far is patronising comments or illogical statements that it has to be better because it's not the status quo.

My arm is starting to ache... :face-stir: Wink


The next question: recording - P Prentice - 8th November 2013

i'll make no bones about it - i want to see clear air between those that dabble and those that provide a professional service. currently even metal detectorist can call themselves archaeologists and con some old ladies into thinking that they can provide them with a service; anybody who once spent a summer on a training excavation can set up as a business and destroy the resource. i know of people without any credibility at all teaching courses and skanking their students. i know people who have set up local clubs and are busily destroying some important sites with the help of people that they have conned by calling themselves archaeologists. the term has no meaning at all but a great deal of currency. chartered archaeologists should unambiguously be able to do provide all these services and do them to agreed standards. why would you not think this was a good idea?


The next question: recording - Jack - 8th November 2013

P Prentice Wrote:i'll make no bones about it - i want to see clear air between those that dabble and those that provide a professional service. currently even metal detectorist can call themselves archaeologists and con some old ladies into thinking that they can provide them with a service; anybody who once spent a summer on a training excavation can set up as a business and destroy the resource. i know of people without any credibility at all teaching courses and skanking their students. i know people who have set up local clubs and are busily destroying some important sites with the help of people that they have conned by calling themselves archaeologists. the term has no meaning at all but a great deal of currency. chartered archaeologists should unambiguously be able to do provide all these services and do them to agreed standards. why would you not think this was a good idea?

Yeah, thats my second mind...........'trade' needs to be restricted to those actually capable of doing the job.

And adhering to standards will make undercutting more difficult, so it follows trade should be restricted to those adhering to these standards.

But............how can this be enforced. In the rest of the world enforcement of adherence to standards seems to be largely 'self-certified' which in business terms translates to.....

A:do whatever makes most profit until you get caught,
B: When caught pay fine, say sorry, its not our fault
C: If first offence goto A
D: If repeat offence, change company name. goto A


The next question: recording - kevin wooldridge - 8th November 2013

Jack Wrote:Yeah, thats my second mind...........'trade' needs to be restricted to those actually capable of doing the job. And adhering to standards will make undercutting more difficult, so it follows trade should be restricted to those adhering to these standards. But............how can this be enforced....

Predictions for the number of folk employed directly or indirectly in UK archaeology is about 5000. IfA has something in the region of 3000 members, CBA claims membership of nearly 5000 and 600 affiliate groups. Some of those numbers clearly overlap, but all need to be accomodated in some relationship to Chartered archaeologists, as do whatever number of archaeologists there are, that out of principle are members of nothing or are in training (students, apprentices etc). I welcome the idea of a Chartered archaeologist, but am also happy to accomodate unchartered archaeologists...the only difference I would make is one of professionalism.

That is where I suspect folk outside of commercial archaeology will end up making the rules. So for example curators might insist that any work undertaken as part of the planning process is overseen by a Chartered archaeologist (much like the licenced field director in Ireland and other places). Insurance companies might stipulate that public liability and professional insurance rates for archaeologists are linked to Chartered status with increased premiums for non-chartered applicants....It would be for unchartered archaeologists to find their own level within the broad church of archaeology contingent with those rules.....and I am sure therefore that there will still be a place for both amateur and non-chartered participants.