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Return to the bad old days.
#11
Quote:quote:1man1desk, make your mind up sir-either you specify professionalism across the board or, make fawning allowences for this sort of sh*t simply because big boys names are on the project...... - originally posted by Troll

Troll,

As you know from my previous posts, I do specify professional experience. However -

Students have to get experience somewhere, so why not have a small number on some commercial jobs? It would give them more realistic experience than training digs. I did say they should be supplementary to a team that would be adequate without them.

Retirees can take up a second career as professional archaeologists, and I have seen some good ones.

Graduates of training digs - can't see any argument against them; every professional archaeologist has to start somewhere, and at least this means that your newbies have been on a site before and have some on-site training.

The point is that any team can include a small proportion of such people, but a team that is made up entirely/mostly of them is not going to be a good team. That needs to be avoided. However, describing these worthy people as "this sort of sh*t" is pointlessly offensive. If there is anything wrong, then it is the unit management's fault, not the people they employ.




1man1desk

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#12
I suppose that I must have been part of the "sh*t" problem too, as I started as a 13 year old volunteer. In fact thinking about it, that must have been in the good old government funded pre-PPG16 and competitive tendering days.

But seriously, it was only the experience that I got through doing that and other paid work in the years before I got to university that enabled me to embark on a not particularly sparkling but fairly satisfying and successful career in archaeology. Based on most employment practice, the need to keep professionals in work and the attitudes of some in the discipline most keen youngsters are denied the kind of opportunity that I had. I know that they can now access things like the YAC, but it's not the same. by spending time with hardened professionals (and hard drinkers also) in working units I saw what it was really like on site, discovered that I liked the team spirit on site and learned a hell of a lot about digging, recording and interpretation (far more than I learnt at university or possibly after that).

Ahh, I remember the good old days. Did I ever tell you about the time old.....

S
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#13
Quote:quote:However, describing these worthy people as "this sort of sh*t" is pointlessly offensive.

A re-reading of Trolls posting suggests he was referring to the employment practice of filling teams with inexperienced staff, and not in any way referring to the staff themselves. This is exactly my complaint too.

Some of you out there seem to have taken offense where none is intended. At issue is unit experience levels not individual experience levels.
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#14
Thankyou Mercenary. Filling teams with inexperienced staff and in lots of cases nowadays, filling supervisory/site management teams with similar, results in hideously poor standards-ie sh*t. Why is that "pointlessly offensive"? What is pointless and offensive is that the IFA have laid down clear guidelines to ensure that ability must match the task in hand-"professionalism" if you like. If we are to simply ignore this most basic of concepts whenever we feel like it then what`s the point? The "offensive" bit for me is simply this, the IFA do not and, have not policed this guideline.The people are not sh*t, I never said that. The practise of taking on projects that require competent and experienced people (coal-face/supervisory) and then staffing them almost entirely with people who dont fit the criteria is just not on. How does an RAO justify this to the IFA and, the commercial client?
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#15
Sorry if I took the comments out of context, I must have been having an off day. However, we seem to have returned to a familiar theme here: whinging about bad practice rather than taking action to stop it (or at least try).

If the company in question is an RAO then inform the IFA. They are not going to feel a disturbance in the Force! If you don?t tell them they cannot do anything about it.

It may not be relevant to the structure of this particular employer, but the following is taken from Example 2.1 of the IFA ?Regulations for the Registration of Archaeological Organisations?:

?There is an assumption that archaeological work would only be carried out (or supervised) by persons qualified for, and possessing, appropriate IFA membership and holding Responsible Posts. The applicant organisation will have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the IFA, if required, that archaeological work will not be carried out or supervised by anyone else.?

I?m sure that it could be used in the case of an RAO using inexperienced staff, supervised by inexperienced supervisors. The implication is that someone qualified should be in control and surely this must apply in the field as well as in the office. It is the Institute of FIELD Archaeologists after all.

S
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#16
Good point Sith.

The issue here is that the IFA is quite a small organisation, and it cannot go out and check up on every project run by every unit. It sets down rules, makes units show the procedures they have in place to implement them (annually), and monitors on an occasional basis. That is actually quite a lot to do.

If a unit transgresses, the IFA can only take action if someone makes a complaint to them and can back it up with evidence. They have recently demonstrated willingness to take action if they do get a complaint (cf de-registration of Archaeological Solutions). I hope that no one is asking them to de-register RAOs when there is no actual evidence presented! Gossip on this website does not constitute either a formal complaint or evidence. So - go and complain!

All of the above applies, more-or-less, to every professional body in the country (with the possible exception of the General Medical Council). The only significant difference at the IFA is that too many members of the profession stay outside the IFA, complaining that it is too weak while making sure that it stays that way.


1man1desk

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#17
?There is an assumption that archaeological work would only be carried out (or supervised) by persons qualified for, and possessing, appropriate IFA membership and holding Responsible Posts. The applicant organisation will have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the IFA, if required, that archaeological work will not be carried out or supervised by anyone else.? [:0][:0][:0]

Mmmm...I don't possess appropriate membership and I've been supervising and managing sites for years. Ditto nearly all of my peers I can think of. I reckon the vast majority of RAOs are not sticking to their own rules.

I also know of several IFA members at all levels who wouldn't have a clue with site supervision. Sorry, had to have a pop at IFA - I haven't done it for ages [:p]
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#18
Quote:quote:Originally posted by achingknees
I don't possess appropriate membership and I've been supervising and managing sites for years. Ditto nearly all of my peers I can think of.

I don't think that the RAO guidelines on this are particularlly clear (or maybe I'm having a thick afternoon). I would have thought that IFA would have to make allowances for staff at all levels to be suitably "experienced" rather than qualified or in possession of IFA membership, otherwise it would be impossible for most companies to become RAOs ("No bad thing" chorus many Bajrs). I'm assuming that your years of experience supervising sites have left you competent in your job otherwise you wouldn't still be doing it. That probably ought to be sufficient. IFA's problem in all of this is spotting the rotten apples in the barrel.

S
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#19
Agreed-IFA membership at any level is no guarantee of ability. Membership of said organisation would possibly increase if they were seen to be carrying out their obligations as outlined in ppg16. Plenty of us have worked under MIFA types who could barely write their own name. Surely, we have to have standards and, effective methods of policing them.
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#20
Troll,

I agree with you in most ways, but see my previous post on this thread about why the IFA is weak.

We do have standards, and like most professions we have two strands for policing them - regulators (curators) and professional bodies (the IFA).

Both policing strands are weak. The curators are another topic, but it is in our hands as archaeologists to make the IFA stronger. Many archaeologists don't like it much, but it is the only professional body we have. If you want it to take a stronger policing role - then join it, get all your friends to join it, vote in the election of council, and make your voice heard at AGMs and conferences.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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