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"Industry code of practice" a possible need for further development?
#1
Taking the motor industry as an example German car manufacturers around the early 2000 headed off German government calls for strict limits on German car performance the car industry ?Audi, BMW plus more? limited their cars to 155mph to avoid more draconian limits ?there where calls as low as 75mph?.

British Archaeology does have ?industry code of practice? there is the IFA codes and also more specialist code such as the Archaeological investigations code of Practice for mineral operators.
However what are the benefit these ?code? bring into the archaeology industry and are there improvements such as:

+ An actual industry code of practice set up by leading archaeological firms such as Wessex Archaeology and Oxford Archaeology ?maybe not always popular but still large firms with relatively large industrial clouted behind them, the BMW of British Archaeology?.

+ A code which is recognized and reputable not only within archaeology but with our clients.
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#2
Interesting concept you have thrown into the ring there... would you care to expand on your view here. Are you suggesting the creation of an industry driven, industry standard... or the industry endorsing the IfA codes.. which I feel we already do. The end result keeps coming back to the policeman of standards and codes... the curatorial service.

+ are they fit for purpose?

+ are the well resourced enough?

+ have they the expertise to recognise good/bad practice within the guidelines.?

+ should the client be able to decide this for themselves.?
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#3
Would there be problems if small outfits were expected to operate in the same was as the big boys setting the code of practice? There are many ways of cracking the same egg, that's part of the flexibility of British archaeology in its current form. Some small jobs are better suited to small operators who are prepared to do them at near-cost, and cease to be economically viable if subjected to the 'full package' which might be dictated by an 'industry' code of practice laid out by one or more of the big outfits with their own ideas of how to do projects
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#4
I have come across both good and bad curators.............who polices them .....????
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#5
We have been here before....back in the 80s there was a Code of Practice agreed between SCUM (as they then called themsleves) and the British Property Federation.....about the time we started calling them developers instead of speculators!!

Got to say this mail has me a little confused.....are you suggesting Archaeo...karl that a 'new' Code of Practice is required to regulate UK archaeology practice or to set standards and to promote UK archaeology. I would have thought that the new PPS5 is one step towards the former (apologies to readers in Wales, Scotland and NI) and I am sure that the larger archaeological companies sign up to IFA Registered Archaeological Organisation to QA the latter. So whilst accepting that no one should ever rest on their laurels so to speak, I am not quite sure where the problem lies....(now expecting flurry of responses!!)
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#6
In response to Kevin and how PPS-5 can help regulate UK archaeology practice it places the regulation onto two groups; the local planning authorities, but it also places regulation duties on industry
As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets themselves should have been assessed using appropriate expertise where
necessary given the application’s impact.” HE6.1 of PPS-5
To me this line place the emphasis on the archaeology industry to apply appropriate expertise to assessing the heritage assists. Also it seems that PPS-5 lacks statements on appropriate levels of recording, while PPS-5 states the step needed and considerations for the application of a planning policy in relation to the archaeology it says little on the process of recording.
On this issue of small outfits which Dinosaur suggests, I have to say I personally have little sympathy for smaller outfits which are “better suited” due to the project becoming uneconomical. Has they were not better suited as they could not find a market for their services, while I’m not advocating using methods inappropriately just for the sake of using method “i.e. wet sieving all spoil just because you can wet sieve” but I disagree that smaller outfits should be allowed to run under the “full package” just because they are smaller. Smaller outfits should talor their services to certain needs of the developer focusing on certain types of jobs or face being sqeased by the large more robust outfits.
I try and answer all of the administrator questions one by one.
+ are they fit for purpose? Industry codes of practice are fit for purpose when they are used to resolve issues which negatively affect an industry or to bring a level on quality to an industry.
As shown in the German auto makers speed limits.
+ are the well resourced enough? Some are, some are not. But look at ofcoms reaction to mobile phone companies which were breaking their own codes and now are being subjected to more regulations. While I doubt that government or local authorizes will be beating down the door of archaeology unit which conduct less than adequate recording/surveying of the archaeology, is this really an excuse not to try and form a standard code of practice saying this is the minimum.
+ have they the expertise to recognise good/bad practice within the guidelines? Probably not, but archaeological companies can impress upon developers the benefits of the industry code of practice show a standardization of a certain level of competence. Which intern could lead developers to see the code representing:
. A more aureate level of survey/desk base assessments thus a better understanding of the potential archaeology.
. and many more ideas for selling it to developers.
+ should the client be able to decide this for themselves? Are we not the experts who understand the historic environment, if you buy a house in Spain you go to a Spanish estate agent for his expertise in the local markets.
I’m suggesting an industry driven, industry standard/code of practices which lay out the minimum standards which should be achieved. It would be in the best interests of the archaeology industry to drive up standards allowing for a better product to be offered to our paying custom “the developers” and also our none paying custom “the HER and the public which use it”.
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#7
i'd suggest a standard of meeting and delivering an economic data recovery as a standard, with informational detail and expertise providing additional value from long and credible experience comprising the above and beyond as a metting in the middle regarding why the hell we do this job in the first place.

if you wana bargin down a base without considering a potentiality then you don't even kow what your selling CHEAP

(to be taken as general comment on industry, rather than targeted)
...................

not again
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#8
Going back to the original post, presumably BMW said something along the lines of 'If you do this, no-one anywhere will ever buy our cars and our motor industry will fall over, leading to massive problems for the German economy". Can't really see the same clout from UK archaeology.......
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