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Standard and guidance for archaeological advice by historic environment services
#31
The national heritage agencies have provided some funding to allow the IfA to employ a contractor to undertake the donkey work of preparing a draft standard and managing a a consultation process. The agencies have no control over the content of the document. Control of the content is up yo those who read it and respond to the consultation, and then ultimately with the IfA membership who will decide whether to adopt the final version. The agencies could have gone down a different route and just issued binding guidance directly if they anted to act as Unit believes.
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#32
RedEarth Wrote:It might sound like heresy but I don't necessarily agree with this - the archaeology is only made into anything by the skills understand hard work etc of the archaeologists who find, explore, record and explain it. Without them it is essentially nothing. So, no, the archaeologists need to be seen as the most important thing, hence dealing with the poor employment conditions and pay, excuses, bad decision making and basically exploitation that mean that make it inevitable that bad practice will result. Continue the mantra of 'the archaeology is the most important thing' but that will only increase the pressure on those trying to do a good job (which I would assume is more or less everyone) because once one person or organisation starts to cut corners (without necessarily cutting standards) everyone is essentially forced to. Any discussion about standards needs to acknowledge that it will basically mean nothing until employment standards are generally increased at the same time, although it is a bit of a Catch 22 situation. Why should anyone be forced to martyr themselves to standards while being forced to worry about whether they will still have a contract after Christmas or whether that receipt for fuel is going to be reimbursed, or whether the site will have a cabin this time etc etc. We will all be held hostage over archaeological standards while our ability to treat each other as professionals continues to diminish.

I hear what you're saying RedEarth (I think) but the way I see it, there needs to be one body - whether that's a Union or the IfA that can place pressure on those commissioning work to ensure the environment for raising employees working conditions is created. The current model where profit margins are so slim that cut corners (not standards) are necessary to win tenders is, I agree, the problem. However, if it is stipluated that work can only be carried out by RAOs and the IfA is setting standards and pay minima alongside all the other working conditions its' members must provide to their workers it generates a more level playing field as undercutting to get work can no longer be used as an excuse to cut pay. Then pay can gently move upwards as was the idea after profiling the profession.

The only way I see it working is if there is a requirement.. otherwise we're back where we are now and the loophole is being exploited!
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#33
ecmgardner Wrote:I hear what you're saying RedEarth (I think) but the way I see it, there needs to be one body - whether that's a Union or the IfA that can place pressure on those commissioning work to ensure the environment for raising employees working conditions is created. The current model where profit margins are so slim that cut corners (not standards) are necessary to win tenders is, I agree, the problem. However, if it is stipluated that work can only be carried out by RAOs and the IfA is setting standards and pay minima alongside all the other working conditions its' members must provide to their workers it generates a more level playing field as undercutting to get work can no longer be used as an excuse to cut pay. Then pay can gently move upwards as was the idea after profiling the profession.

The only way I see it working is if there is a requirement.. otherwise we're back where we are now and the loophole is being exploited!

That's fair enough, but obviously standards are cut to win work, both in the top-down manner, that is the bosses are directly instructing it to be done, or indirectly - people who want to do a good job aren't given enough time or are put in impossible working environments, and are then forced to cut standards to fit. And why shouldn't they, after all it isn't their fault? Of course, what often happens is that the people on the ground put in these kinds of positions don't want to cut corners because of bad decisions they can't change so they end up making up the slack in their own time or at their own expense. If the IfA had a set of standards covering this (in detail) or a person in post to deal directly with such things it might be better sorting that out first. I suspect I have lost my own thread somewhere.
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#34
Quote:[SIZE=3]The national heritage agencies have
provided some funding to allow the IfA toemploy a contractor to undertake the
donkey work of preparing a draft standardand managing a a consultation
process.
[/SIZE]


How much and where did the funding come from? Who prepared the pre-draft standard? Are you saying that ifa thought about preparing a standard based on apre-draft standard generated from some committee and then thought lets go tothe heritage agencies and get funding for a consultation? And then all the heritage agencies thought this is a good idea lets fund it?

Quote:[SIZE=3]The agencies have no control over the
content of the document.
[/SIZE]


By what mechanism is this arranged? Is there a contract?

Quote:[SIZE=3]The agencies could have gone down a
different route and just issued binding guidance directly.
[/SIZE]


Why don?t the agencies (statutory advisors to the government) then, wouldn?t that be binding and direct- particularly in their own jurisdictions with all the implications for ?statutory? local government funding and spending?

Have tried reading the draft and don?t understand why an institute of archaeologists would have standards for charging polices for local government

Quote:[SIZE=3]charging policy and schedule based on
full cost recovery should be published.
Why not five times or a half full cost.[/SIZE]


Apart from that I think that the rest of the draft is crap and that the ifa should make it their standard and put it with all the other nails in their coffin called "they do not represent archaeologists but civil servants looking to get themselvesthe coat of indispensability for life".

PS I don?t need an HER to do a field evaluation ?it?s a human right you know.
Reason: your past is my past
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#35
No doubt there is a cost implication any time the government loads statutory obligations onto local authorities or central government. I would imagine that someone who obviously dislikes the idea of LAs or government adding to their salary costs would embrace this approach.....but therein lies the elusive contradiction that is Uo1...!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#36
Unitof1 Wrote:[PS I don’t need an HER to do a field evaluation –it’s a human right you know.

o'great sage of the east (anag) - how do you evaluate a field if you dont know what was found in the adjacent one?
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#37
thoroughly?
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#38
Exactly.

However, Uo1 you divert us from a reality, rather than a wish.

Comments on the consultation would be a better route to take, rather than the baffling idea you don't need an HER ....
You do, we do, and where this goes is a better discussion
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#39
Quote:baffling idea you don't need an HER

so this is a standard for the HER and if I dont consult it I cannot undertake a field evaluation?
Reason: your past is my past
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#40
You need a HER to give the report to?
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