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the curators bit
#1
C`mon now...don`t be shy....Big Grin
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#2
Well, as you know, I'm not a curator, but I've got some relevant ideas.

Firstly, curators are not necessarily interested in ensuring IFA standards are adhered to. Many of them are not members, and therefore presumably don't entirely endorse the IFA and/or its standards.

The core of what curators are interested in, so far as I understand it, is three things:

1 - get their voice heard and attended to in planning decisions;
2 - where permission is granted, get appropriate planning conditions imposed;
3 - ensure that the planning conditions are properly discharged.

They are interested in other things, but they are mostly subordinate to the above (any curators out there - is this about right?).

To achieve no. 3 above, they usually need a WSI. They can, if they wish, insist that the WSI is written to IFA standards and stipulates that the work it describes must be done to IFA standards. Then, if the work is not done to scratch (and the failures are spotted), it could be deemed a breach of the planning consent.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#3
Good morning sir and a happy new year to you and yours. I have to admit that I`m confused now.I was under the impression that curators were there to ensure that archaeology (amongst other things)was carried out to a standard? Whilst I accept that holding our corner aginst the tide of council planning desires is the main thrust-surely IFA standards are the benchmark they use?

..knowledge without action is insanity and action without knowledge is vanity..(imam ghazali,ayyuhal-walad)
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#4
Quote:quote:I was under the impression that curators were there to ensure that archaeology (amongst other things)was carried out to a standard? ... surely IFA standards are the benchmark they use?
- posted by Troll

Not really. Curators were there before the IFA standards ever existed, and their purpose has not changed - essentially they are part of the development control process. Their purpose is not to ensure that archaeological work is done to a specific published standard, but to advise a planning authority on the following:

- are there archaeological reasons to refuse planning permission?
- if not, is there a need for an archaeological planning condition?

If there is a planning condition, they are then responsible for agreeing the scope of work and monitoring its implementation to make sure it is done up to scratch. 'Up to scratch' in this context means to whatever standard is defined in the curator's brief and in the agreed WSI. That may be an IFA standard, but it could just as well be something devised by the curator or the contractor/consultant, or there could be no defined standard at all.

The IFA have no power over curators or over the organisations for which they work, so they can't make them use the standards. All they can do is define the standards and hope people adopt them. However, if the work itself is done by an IFA member and/or RAO, they can take action against the member/RAO if it is not done to the standards, irrespective of whether the standard was specified by the curator.

This can put RAOs in a bind, if they are tendering against organisations that are not RAOs and the use of the IFA standards is not specified. However, that does not mean that the standards will only ever apply to RAOs/individual members.

If the curator specifies the IFA standards, then they can take enforcement action through the planning system if the standards are breached - irrespective of the status of the contractor - but only if their authority will back them, and I don't know if this has ever been done.

If I specify the IFA standards in my Specification, then I can take action if they are breached, on contractual grounds - and I have done so.

Irrespective of whether anyone reports a breach to the IFA, they can only take action if the contractor is an RAO or the work is done by a member. They have no powers over anyone else.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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#5
As a curator I am a bit confused as well. I spend a good length of time each week rejecting reports which do not adequately answer the requirements of the brief I have issued. I am currently writing letters rejecting four reports.
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#6
Hi all

I've only skimmed this, but will add a few thoughts.

1 man - your list of curatorial 'interests' only cover the narrow band of PPG16 work. Our remit extends much beyond that - my own job description runs to several pages, with advising on development control work being mentioned only once or twice. I would personally add the following to your list. 1. the setting and revisiting of research agendas; 2. the management and structure of the SMR/HER; 3. the involvment and inclusion of the general public in heritage management; and 4. the setting and revisiting of local, regional and national heritage policies. I don't, and the other curators I know well, consider these to be subservient - we have to do them all.

My area has its own Guidance Papers that detail the standards we expect here, which we are in the process of revisiting to make even more watertight and current. However, we also refer to the IFA guidlines in briefs and letters, so that all bases are covered - may be the easy way out, but it works for us. In my experience the IFA guidelines can be a little vague, so ours are more specific to complement them. We expect all persons working here to uphold these standards, ptherwise don't approve specs and toss reports back. But to be honest, upholding the standards isn't really very hard, is it? The IFA ones are pretty basic, really.

And finally, I wish I held all the cards! It's the planners who do, and behind them sits the elected representatives. Don't cross the Councillors! I recently tried to take enforcement action against a new school, and as you can imagine that went down like a lead balloon in the Council offices!

Sorry have been wordy - may have a further think and write again

Happy new year

ML (MIFA)
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#7
Sorry to give you too narrow a remit ML - what I was really trying to concentrate on was curators' interests as relevant to the upholding of archaeological standards in commercial fieldwork/reporting, which as I understand it comes out of the DC process.

1man1desk

to let, fully furnished
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