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Proposed AAI&S and IfA merger
#51
This still seems to be getting bogged down with MIFA stuff, whilst important it is a distraction from the main question: Is merger likely to benefit Illustrators & Illustrators and if yes how, why and how would it work?
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#52
Isn’t some of the issue about whether the organisations are financially viable. Have you had a chance to analysis ifys books and how it expects to pay for any benifits?
Reason: your past is my past
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#53
Colin Berks Wrote:This still seems to be getting bogged down with MIFA stuff, whilst important it is a distraction from the main question: Is merger likely to benefit Illustrators & Illustrators and if yes how, why and how would it work?

Sorry I meant Illustrators & Surveyors, not Illustrators & Illustrators, it was early morning, thats my excuse anyway.
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#54
I am a trained surveyor, illustrator and field archaeologist but specialise in none of these areas and practice all of them occasionally. To me personally my IfA grade is useful only in terms of salary, as it represents a fledgling attempt to up the standards across the board. It is really only useful in this regard for fieldworkers, where quality control is otherwise often missing and inexperienced people are often sent into the field at minimum wage or near enough in place of an expensive and competent fieldwork specialist. Even in this one essential regard it is already failing, as even ROs are now refusing to abide by IfA rates.

Illustrators and surveyors don't really need to be in the IfA for any other reason as their skills speak for themselves, it is much more obvious to clients and councils (and project managers looking at their profits) when skills are lacking. However by merging the two organisations it undermines the status of MIfA and PIfA even further because it is even more unlikely that commercial units will be willing to pay an illustrator who has been working in commercial archaeology for a couple of years the recommended MIfA rate.

Not that all illustrators are in junior positions by any means but it is possible to graduate with a very good set of skills and the ability to produce work of the standard shown in that video a few pages back without years of experience as long as you have a bit of talent. Younger illustrators are even at an advantage in many cases having been weaned on Illustrator and 3D modelling software. For a fieldworker the opposite is true, field experience takes even talented folk several years of field experience to get to what most would consider the competence to run a medium to large complex site.

My point is that by expanding the remit of the IfA specialists will be pleased in the short term and no better off in the long term as the IfA dissolves into an amorphous group of managers, scientists, academics, enthusiastic amateurs and lastly and leastly fieldworkers. It will have no ability to even suggest wages or enfore fieldwork standards. It will mean nothing to prospective employers and clients where you are a MIfa, a Milf or a MoFO.

Maybe it is already too late and fieldworkers should think about a new breakaway grouping... maybe the Institute of Field Archaeologists? Has a certain ring to it...
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#55
Grumblestiltskin Wrote:I am a trained surveyor, illustrator and field archaeologist but specialise in none of these areas and practice all of them occasionally. To me personally my IfA grade is useful only in terms of salary, as it represents a fledgling attempt to up the standards across the board. It is really only useful in this regard for fieldworkers, where quality control is otherwise often missing and inexperienced people are often sent into the field at minimum wage or near enough in place of an expensive and competent fieldwork specialist. Even in this one essential regard it is already failing, as even ROs are now refusing to abide by IfA rates.

Illustrators and surveyors don't really need to be in the IfA for any other reason as their skills speak for themselves, it is much more obvious to clients and councils (and project managers looking at their profits) when skills are lacking. However by merging the two organisations it undermines the status of MIfA and PIfA even further because it is even more unlikely that commercial units will be willing to pay an illustrator who has been working in commercial archaeology for a couple of years the recommended MIfA rate.

Not that all illustrators are in junior positions by any means but it is possible to graduate with a very good set of skills and the ability to produce work of the standard shown in that video a few pages back without years of experience as long as you have a bit of talent. Younger illustrators are even at an advantage in many cases having been weaned on Illustrator and 3D modelling software. For a fieldworker the opposite is true, field experience takes even talented folk several years of field experience to get to what most would consider the competence to run a medium to large complex site.

My point is that by expanding the remit of the IfA specialists will be pleased in the short term and no better off in the long term as the IfA dissolves into an amorphous group of managers, scientists, academics, enthusiastic amateurs and lastly and leastly fieldworkers. It will have no ability to even suggest wages or enfore fieldwork standards. It will mean nothing to prospective employers and clients where you are a MIfa, a Milf or a MoFO.

Maybe it is already too late and fieldworkers should think about a new breakaway grouping... maybe the Institute of Field Archaeologists? Has a certain ring to it...

How right you are. It is vital that clients and similar are able to have confidence and rely on accreditation. This is a two way process, the client is assured that the person is competent for the task and the person accredited may expect preference over those not accredited. Also to be meaningful it must be clear to others what level of expertise, experience and range of ability is being accredited. Unless this is how it works, accreditation is pointless. It has been argued that the way MIFA is being used it not achieving this. At recent IFA conferences it has been suggested that there should be some form of Super MIFA being a person who complies with the original objective and or that there should be categories of MIFA. This is seeming to indicate that MAAIS could be a more valuable and relevant accreditation, if promoted as such, this would seem to be a powerful argument for not merging.
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#56
Quote:This is seeming to indicate that MAAIS could be a more valuable and relevant accreditation, if promoted as such, this would seem to be a powerful argument for not merging.

Absolutely... Its fine to be a MIFA if you want... but what does it mean... If I want an illustrator I would trust a MAAIS accreditation first...
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#57
Apologies for not being more involved in the discussion - really interesting to hear the to-ing and fro-ing over MIfA level membership of IfA.

It seems to me that the proposal for merger is on the table and I don't personally see how that would benefit the membership of the AAI&S other than giving administrative support. However that proposal is on the table and there are no succinct alternatives in circulation.

There definitely seems to be a need for the re-structure of the AAI&S membership grades. They seem to be most important within the commercial world for getting a job and recognising what level of skills and competencies you have when talking to colleagues/clients etc. So it makes sense to me to re-structure the corporate levels of membership of the AAI&S in line with the BAJR grades.

What would people's opinions be of putting two further proposals together to put to the vote on the future of the AAI&S alongside the merger... Firstly a simple internal restructure and secondly a restucture formalising and making closer ties with the IfA? Obviously details would need thrashed out and I reckon here's one of the best places to do it!!

Thoughts?
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#58
Good thinking. The situation at the moment appears to be: "we cant go on as is" "here is a vague proposal to merge" "little detail or how it would work" "just accept as we don't intend to propose an alternative" "but if others want to its up to them not us". You suggested as alternatives, merger, stay separate, or if I read you right a closer association with IFA. It maybe that these are the only options. However putting forward a workable alternative is not easy as we don't know what constraints are imposed by the financial situation or what IFA might agree. I would also draw to your attention that AAI&S had a representative at a high level in the IFA and that the ISSIG was formed a few years ago to achieve closer association but neither of these seem to have worked. I support your suggestion that members must be given the facts and alternatives but at the moment don't see how this is achieved
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