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IfA and the Royal Charter - update on progress
The following message has been posted to IfA members who subscribe to the IfA e-bulletin. I don't think I am breaking any confidences in reproducing it here....

'We are pleased to inform members that IfA has been invited to proceed to the next stage in the process of applying for a Royal Charter of Incorporation by submitting a formal Petition to the Privy Council.

In order for us to submit this application, Council will be taking a formal resolution to the 2013 AGM in October asking members to vote on the proposed Petition and revised proposed charter and by-laws. These will be prepared by our legal advisors and released on the website following the August Council meeting for members to read and consider....

....The resolution to submit the formal Petition will require the support of 75% of the members who vote. The motion will be conditional: if it is carried the Institute will continue under its present constitution until and unless the Privy Council approves the application'

With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
How to measure the abilities of "an archaeologist"
what is a chartered archaeologist?
can a professor become one? is an archaeological illustrator or surveyor or is it policy and legislation?

going to be intersting
Bit wierd that its on 75% of the members who vote...given the low 'turn out' on previous IfA votes - if only 4 people vote its hardly going to be a ringing endorsement!
Sorry for the rather long post, but I thought it was time to stop lurking Big Grin

I am a non-archaeologist, in fact an electrical engineer (but my other half is one) and I cannot see what the fuss is about the IFA gaining a charter (properly described as a Royal Charter of Incorporation). The IFA is currently a company limited by guarantee, registered under the company's act, and so is an independent legal entity. What will change is that the IFA will be outside the company's act and instead the Royal Charter will be its governing law.

The problem for you guys is what legal powers the IFA is asking for in its charter, is it just the right to style its members as Chartered?

In the engineering world we have tonnes of Charted Institutes .. virtually one for each flavour of engineering there is. However the styling of yourself as a Chartered Engineer and the standards you have to meet for this are governed by an independent body called the Engineering Council. This way any chartered engineer you meet in the UK will have achieved the same basic level of expertise, whether he or she is Mechanical, Electrical, Civil or something more esoteric.

The other thing to remember is that the title Chartered is just a description of ability. What that ability is, depends on the institution doing the setting, if the institution is academically minded, charted will mean of the ability of a senior lecturer or professor, if it is management minded then someone of the middle layer and above. It basically means senior/experienced/knowledgeable, but in what, is dependent on the people writing the rules.

I would like to point out that Engineers in the UK also have two other types of Professional Registration, Incorporated and Technician. Where Chartered = Senior Manager, Team Leader, Incorporated = Subject Matter Expert (But not a manager of people) and Technician = Practitioner.

In the longterm if I was you guys I would be pushing for a similar tripartite registration, let Chartered Archaeologist mean the same as Chartered Engineer, someone who loves paper and process more than getting their hands dirty and take pride in being an Incorporated Archaeologist or an Archaeological Technician, who actually goes out, digs and discovers stuff.
Hi RandomGeorge, good to have some new blood on here. Welcome :face-approve:

Good comments, but, err, think you've missed the point, IFAs move towards Chartership has always appeared largely intended as part of its long-term strategy to wipe out all non-member organisations, whether they conform to or even exceed IFAs professional standards or not. Much of the IFA hierarchy consists of management (or employees thereof) of a small number of large commercial organisations who obviously would like to exterminate any commercial competition. This was amply demonstrated recently when same organisations asked IFA to drop their longstanding recommended minimum wages policy (which Registered Organisations were supposedly meant to adhere to), presumably cos it was inhibiting their ability to undercut said competion - and IFA did! [although they were subsequently embarrassed into backtracking a bit]. Whatever IFA like to pretend, most archaeologists and a significant number of archaological companies in Britain are not members, and there have been plenty of testimonies on here in the past to indicate that a proportion of those who are, are such out of fear of/pressure from the same few organisations as employers, or were mistakenly told it was good idea and have since never got around to resigning.

In summary, IFA offers nothing useful to most of its members (while happily taking their subs every month), seems unable/unwilling to enforce its own rules, doesn't represent the majority of workers in the profession it perports to represent, and is frequently held up, not least on here, as a laughing-stock. I'd suggest that it's hardly an organisation fit to receive a royal charter? :face-stir:
You are right, I probably did miss the precise point, however having not worked in the profession I cannot comment about the way the IFA seems to be acting and its history of rule enforcing!

Also I am aware of the love Smile a lot of Archaeologists feel in general for the IFA, however as a practising Engineer its not really my place to rant about it (but I had to laugh when I discovered that it wasn't really an institute for field archaeologists and laughed even louder at its current brand name), I save that for my own institutions. Which while a little more effective, are just as influenced by big business, or in the case of the IET its a journal publishing house and commercial conference organiser, which sometimes remembers it has members (tale wagging dog syndrome).

The thing I find puzzling is that since there are a large amount of dissatisfied archaeologists out there, why a rival institution hasnt been set up?? one that addresses the concerns and interests of the site workers rather than business management and academia. There is enough room for everyone to have a home, not just the big business types.

Perhaps the founding members could be those on here who have expressed their dissatisfaction publicly? because someone has to lead the way for the apathetic. From the comments on here and from our friends at home its clear something needs to be done, so perhaps now is the time to do it? as it would neatly scupper the IFAs argument that it represents the profession as a whole. (I am more than willing to lend a hand if an outsider is welcome).
Unfortunately most archaeologists would rather spend our time doing archaeology (like me) - its one of those jobs most people do for the love of it, getting paid's just a handy enabler (good thing considering how poor the wages are, and IFA have just washed their hands on that particular issue) - hence we rather object to being f***ed-over by people with apparently nothing better to do than throw their weight around on some sort of power-craze ...but equally since we'd rather be doing something useful, arsing-around setting up committees etc doesn't appeal - long long ago there was a real archaeologists organisation called ACT, to which IFA was the manager counterpoint, obviously ACT fizzled out and the manager mentality won out, but then that's why they're managers...although to be fair they've since invented the pathetic PIFA membership grade for people who can be milked for membership fees but aren't deemed worthy to rub shoulders...and made it as hard as possible along the way for anyone to upgrade to the club - back in the mid-80s I qualified for MIFA, but with all the little tweaks I'm not sure 25 years on that I do any more! you pretty much have to be a manager these days. Luckily most people are pragmatic enough to see through the b******s, non-membership has certainly never been any sort of career handicap. IFAs current aim is ultimately to see only chartered archaeologists operating commercially in Britain - their next aim after attaining Chartered status will be to seek a licencing system, which actually I'm in favour of, just not administered through their little club which would attempt to restrict it to Chartered members (i.e. a closed shop). that'd be time to go remove my decades of experience/knowledge to another sphere and I know other people of the same view - archaeology's loss [maybe not in my case?]

On the up-side, their little club certainly doesn't get it all their own way commercially at the moment, their members despite their efforts can't even grab all the big contracts for all their undercutting, they can't remotely claim to have a monopoly on quality or professionalism, and they certainly don't hold the academic high ground on end product. Long may it remain so :face-approve:
Some of the other contributors are going to going to go up in flames when they read all this! }Smile
I do hope so... and indeed while I was having a lovely birthday lunch with my loverly wife Maggie, this was the main topic of conversation... that and her lovely eyes... ( of course)

Fortunately this lunch lasted 3 hours .. and as RandomnGeorge says ( and a big hello! there ) we need a tripartate system. interstingly the ones we came up with were Chartered - ( Managers and Consultants ) Licensed ( actual people who do the organisation and work - including directors/project officers and senior supervisors ) and Practitioners them that dig, survey, draw etc

Each must have a series of externally assessed qualifications ... skills if you would.

each position is assessed for the skills required.

interstingly - the issue comes with the flavours of archaeology from academic to field, from consultant to surveyor, from photographer to lithics specialist. - Random has give me heart in relation to engineers. THanks for that...

Also - we have issue number two.

and sad but true... it is currently teh IfA --- in a way like the BAJR/ you must accept it is here... but many don't like it. however - it is better there than not. ( again that goes for both )

I would love to see a profession that was able to look a chartered architect in the eye... and have the clout to back me up. I would like to see the respect be at ALL levels. I wish we saw a good digger as important as a good manager. ( but then I am a bit of an anarchist thinker - where all people are equal in importance. ) where a lithic specialist is needed and paid as a specialist whose input enhances a report rather than gets it past the curator with minimum argument and effort.

Anyway I digress.. there should be no wiping out. I would and will oppose that as strongly as ever. I am currently a MIfA and before I was not. I have had no change to the workload not my reputation...

I would like to see the professional as a whole recognised as useful... I guess it is this video that manages to actually worry me, rather than convince me. where be passion? where be understanding of the reality on teh ground? where be powerful and compelling argument.

Sorry if I have caused such controversy Sad .. well when they do come on here and flame us, perhaps they also can answer this question. What would you want your institution (within normal common sense bounds) do for you, which BAJR and BAJRfed dont do already, David does a really good job with these sites, what would over people have to do on top of this to help create an institute that you/they would be happy with?

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