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Southport consultation
But surely if it's a cost that every unit has to bear, it doesn't disadvantage any one individual company, so no-one is commercially penalised. I know that in Scotland all fieldwork is by custom and practice reported in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, published annually by Archaeology Scotland, formerly the CSA. This provides a useful round-up of where fieldwork has taken place over the preceding year, and what was found, and commercial companies contribute to it despite the fact that they have to pay for it, with the costs passed on to the developer. As most people accept the value of DES, this is accepted as a normal expense, and to my knowledge only one company has ever queried it.

However, I appreciate that this is wildly off-topic, so it probably doesn't need much further discussion
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
Apart from the slide into occasional cynicism (me that is), I think it is important to hear what people have to say on the subject (Invis, Troll, Martin etc) and I would hope that my agreeing to disagree does not offend! I'm grateful to "hear" opinion on the subject. It forces me to review my own. So in that respect thanks! Debate can be healthy.

I will admit I do not support the IFA, they may have their place and role in the profession, but I feel it is in the best interest of the field workers (diggers) to have their own representation.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, this is actually a fair point - as every member of Archaeology SCotland and every company and every history centre and every library gets a copy (hence the charge ) It is just accepted. It is a great paper resource (also available via the ADS in pdf format going back to 1947) LEts people know what happened, where and what the results were. Kind of Like OASIS but with over 50 years of history. tens of thousands of sites. Smile

That is public accessibility sent to your door every year. you can join Archaeology Scotland for as little as ?20 per year. and this is only one benefit.

I have mine and in fact used it today for checking on a site I am working on. :face-approve:
moreno Wrote:"at present, pretty much anybody can call themselves archaeologists and do planning work"

Not in my experience.

"this means that curators have to specify, monitor, approve each project to ensure standards are maintained"

Lets spin this in a different manner. Not all LPA's require IFA membership to engage in commercial archaeology. I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that the many who frequent BAJR, individuals (non IFA members) and those working for archaeological companies (non RAO) have worked hard to built up a working relationship with the LPA (s) in a relevant area (s). This would imply that an LPA (curator or whatever label you choose) has used their judgement to allow these people to undertake "planning" work.

If an LPA is not comfortable with an individual or company undertaking such work, they can "strongly" recommend IFA membership (or by working with someone whom is MIFA). If the individual or company can't or doesn't comply, "they" are highly unlikely to obtain the work.

So what is the real reason for hegemony?

"the proposal is that archaeology becomes chartered (either growing of IfA or not), and because the chartered bodies will have to maintain standards to maintain their chartered status, curators can be much more light touch"

I sincerely have a hard time believing this is a universal opinion, one shared by all "curators". To be cynical just for a moment, perhaps the motivation is an IFA membership drive to achieve chartered status. This push by the IFA for chartered status is begining to sound like a Byzantine court. What's next? IFA pro forma that all individuals and companies must adopt and purchase? Standardised permatrace sheets? IFA issued soil descriptions? Why not employ monkeys and be done with it. Better yet robots, they don't require feeding.

I have certainly seen, quite recently, examples of archaeological work carried out essentially by the developer on their own site. A DBA for one quite large development which, surprise surprise basically said there was nothing there, and at least two so-called building recordings - I saw one and it did not do what it said on the tin. Not all of these have got through, but the issue in this case is the difference between the condition being placed and approved by the local authority, often ignoring the advice given by the county Historic Environment Service, who do not appear to get the final say, and which makes a mockery of the whole thing. So yes, anyone can call themselves an archaeologist and do planning work and perhaps get away with it. I have also seen plenty of reports produced by supposedly qualified archaeologists that are truly dreadful but apparently accepted, perhaps under similar circumstances. Not sure what the answer might be in that case.
"So yes, anyone can call themselves an archaeologist and do planning work and perhaps get away with it."

I haven't yet dealt with a situation like this, and if it were to arise, I certainly wouldn't validate the claim. I would absolutely draw attention to it, and do whatever was within my ability to correct the situation, rather than take a sideline view. I have noticed over the years a well entrenched mentality of an inability or unwillingness to speak out. Perhaps if more individuals when faced with these situations, spoke out, they would occur with less frequency.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
perhaps I can clarify that I meant that because anyone could propose themselves as appropriate for doing planning-related archaeological work it placed a large regulatory load on the curators to consider on a case-by-case basis whether they were in fact qualified and suitable for the project in hand, and then whether the work was specified and undertaken to the right standards, etc. In contrast to say architects - planning authorities do not spend much time on wondering whether buildings have been competently designed - they assume that chartered architects will have done their job properly.

Add in the complication that the applicant is choosing their contractor, or doing the work themselves, then the current arrangement creates a lot of curatorial work which is completely unrelated to the core question of the archaeological resource and how it is to be managed.
Thanks for clarifying, I appreciate the point you're making. Add in the cuts and yes, I can fully understand the increase in workload. Would this be an area where incorporating volunteers into the curatorial services be useful?

Many of those wh
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
We could always go the licence way al la Ireland/NI to ensure good practice....

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