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UK government acknowledge IfA membership as pre-qualification to tender.
#1
Picked up this ad from the other BAJR site and noticed that IfA membership appears to be a pre-requisite to tendering.....Is this the beginning of the Brave New World? Discuss.....


http://www.government-online.net/tender-...s-swansea/
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#2
In fairness that's not the UK government, that's one local authority. Interesting point though.
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#3
.....advertised on the government-online website!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#4
Quote:advertised on the government-online website!!
That doesn't make it central government policy.

Having managed tendering projects for a local authority (a few years ago, admittedly), I was obliged to specify some kind of measureable standard for those who wished to tender. IFA membership is one way of doing this for archaeology as there are few other across-the-board standards available. If other local authorities find other ways of achieving this, then they're at liberty to do so.
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#5
I don't have a problem with using the IfA as a standard, far from it. However, I wonder if the advert should state that an European equivalent qualification to IfA would also be acceptable. Pretty important it seems to me if you are advertising a project funded by the EU, and thus nominally open to any EU based agent or agency to apply....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#6
Theoretically. Only tender invitations worth over £100,000 are actually obliged to be advertised in the standard EU publication (Official Journal of the European Union) though. I'm pretty sure that if a non-UK EU-based company fancied tendering for the Swansea job then they could oblige the council to permit their application on an equivalent quality measure. How many such organisations exist, remains to be seen.
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#7
If Ifa becomes like other professional bodies, especially when Chartered, you will find Government departments etc will use Chartered Membership as evidence of appropriate qualification and experience with the usual 'or equivalent' or 'to the standard of'. However, few individuals would want to take the responsibility for employing someone who is not formally recognised by the appropriate professional body! Effectively, membership of the body becomes a requirement.

Over the years, professional bodies usually become increasing demanding in terms of academic standards and practical qualifications/experience and ongoing education, as they tighten their professional requirements. University departments can then become increasingly pressured into the requirements of the professional body as students become aware of the need to fulfill the requirements to gain employment and to have a career. In some fields, the requirements, especially for graduate 'professional development', include extensive assessed work which is costly to have 'marked' by already Chartered Members of the body, leading to effective control of those available in the job market and the level of salaries or fees that can be charged. There may be course requirements too, extending through ones career.

Whether or not this evolution is a good thing for an individual depends on personal circumstances. In terms of political clout and professional standards it is usually the way to go.
At present, archaeology is too readily dismissed and archaeologists too readily disposable!
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#8
Interesting. What's an "IFA accredited Archaeologist", exactly? Presumably that means corporate-grade (AIFA or MIFA) because these are the only levels where a candidate needs to provide evidence of experience. (Am I right in thinking ROs aren't vetted for past accomplishments prior to gaining RO status - only obliged to promise to meet minimum IFA standards in future?)

The LA can ask for whatever they want as a criterion, as long as none of the "disqualified" potential applicants feel they can afford to mount a legal challenge! But I'd like to see the outcome if one did...

Once IFA gains Chartered status, then there will be more solid grounds for using membership as a pre-qual, but at the moment it sounds shaky...
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#9
Quote:Once IFA gains Chartered status, then there will be more solid grounds for using membership as a pre-qual, but at the moment it sounds shaky...
What would the alternative be at the moment? There's not much point saying they can't use that criteria if there's nothing else to use instead. Remember that the local authority is trying to meet a legal obligation to have a measurable quality standard for all tender applicants. Unless anything more likely exists, then the IFA requirement might just be the best they can do.
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#10
Kel Wrote:What would the alternative be at the moment? There's not much point saying they can't use that criteria if there's nothing else to use instead. Remember that the local authority is trying to meet a legal obligation to have a measurable quality standard for all tender applicants. Unless anything more likely exists, then the IFA requirement might just be the best they can do.

Fair enough - they want some measurable standard, but as IFA isn't an industry body with regulatory status a clever lawyer might successfully claim unlawful discrimination. They'd be safer with something akin to "IFA Membership (or demonstrable equivalent skills/experience)" to let non-IFA folk prove their suitability. There is a certain safety in the fact our business generates such low pay that few of the potential applicants for this post could seriously afford the legal fees needed to mount a challenge...
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