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professional institute
I got edited! What a whily webble! Was thinkin whilst supping cool fluids in the near east...who says the IFA are THE institute? It`s about time we thought long and hard about a new one that has British archaeology as the fundamental.Ideas and comments please...
I thorughly agree: if you look at whats out there now: the pressure from the digger, the flagging up of problems by this message board and the bajr hotline, the impartial job service provided by bajr, the invisible diggers project (A REAL profiling of the profession) and the diggers forum group (minus the IFA) it wouldnt take a lot to encourage small subscrptions, employ a couple of people to co-ordinate all the stuff, use the web as a contact vehicle and we would have a real professional association. debate the statutes and principles publicly and on the web and thats already far more broad based and democratic then the IFA

oxford and wessex wouldnt support it but hey, every dog has its day

Hey troll..... gotta keep you (or is that me) on our toes.

anyhoo... taint fair you sittin in a sunny place!
A REAL professional organisation needs to be a closed shop, and needs statutory powers. It needs an organisation (IFA, BAJR, Martians, etc,) to lobby government for some kind of licenced status. I think having two or more competing organisations would not be very productive in the long run. As long as companies require you to be an IFA member to get jobs, they're always going to have the upper hand.
Greetings all! Have landed back in old blighty and shaken the sand from me feet.Mr Hosty-absolutely right sir-I need a slap every now and then (will even pay for it sometimes..)- Whilst I agree that two competing organisations would present rather a divided "front", I do however, feel that the existing one is well past it`s sell-by date and should move over. Whilst I applaud the efforts of the new digger`s forum, I am afraid that the IFA simply know better than everyone else and are not interested in opinions other than their own.Unfortunately for them, I`m a member of the public as well as an archaeologist and as such, I will ask/prompt any damn questions I please and, call them to account for themselves on every available occasion. I should`nt have to- my heritage should be safe in their hands.It`s clearly not so, how about an organisation consisting of professional heritage peeps? Developers and clients only insist on IFA membership because in their own professional environment, membership of such bodies is the norm.What no-one has bothered to explain to them is that the IFA can no more guaruntee standards or professionalism than say, Daffy Duck.Nor even illustrate a motivation to do so. Oxford and Wessex Archaeology may disagree, so be it.There is a huge world of professional heritage workers out there-these two units are not the end of everything.Let`s seriously consider a new body and, explain the reasons for it`s existance. By the way, God it`s cold here.....can`t wait to get in my trench on wednesday...Big Grin
What you describe sounds more like a pressure group than a professional institution. The IFA may not be perfect but it's all there is and it is the only body likely to become a prof. inst. It has a head start and is lobbying for chartered status, which is necessary to become a "profession." A rival group will at best do nothing, at worst discredit archaeology as a divided, disorganised, unprofessional field. Errr.....

One big problem is the unrealistic expectations of what a professional institute is and what it does.

A second major problem is the undermining of the concept of professionalism in general since the 80's. Commercial archaeology is not strictly a professional activity: it is a tender based contracting activity - the same as a building contractor (which is why they're called contractors).
One of the comments of the APPAG was that there were three overlapping organisations CBA IFA and IHBC and there ought to be a consolidation of the various organisations.

Understood and, to a certain extent agree on most counts.I would take issue however that because the IFA is all we have and, have a head start that we should accept the status quo.At present, PPG16 could be seen as "all we have" and an improvement on the past. My stand, is that across the board, we need to evolve and quickly too. Dr Wardle and his observation on the position of APPAG may hold the key.A cross-body re-assessment of our "professionalism" and a vision for the future discussing the range of issues in need of modern and unified representation by a single and dynamic body.conference anybody?Big Grin
No quibbles with that, Troll and Dr Pete.Big Grin I have always wondered what exactly the CBA is for and what it does! (Nice comic though - better than the other "popular" one, IMHO!)

I don't mean to suggest that the status quo should be accepted, by any means, rather that some progress has been made (i.e. an institution exists and is recognised outside the trade) and it seems to me to be better to fight to "improve things" from within.
Agree with Invisible that a pressure group is more appropriate. I suppose these things already exist but are not as co-ordinated as they could be. The only thing is (like Troll intimated) is that 'pressuring' the IFA will only work if some sort of fluke is pulled off, or there is an accident of timing. I think the 'being in it (the IFA) to change it' mentality is an easy way out (and the more years you're in whilst nothing happens, the closer you might get to being a MIFA) but I cant offer any easy ways forward.

THe IFA is so f***ing New Labour: see the IFA site about Tessa Jowells 'warm reception' at the conference (re: other threads here on BAJR). THe only accident or fluke that might instigate change is if Tony Robinson does a 'state of archaeology series' in the same tokenistic way as Jamie Oliver's School Dinners, then we can night the sh**head ba***rd and have done with it.

Sorry, realised Im ranting a bit.


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