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Council contractors list and the IFA
#1
I recently received a brief for some work in another county however after reading the form it stipulates that in order for the council to let me do the work i have to be a MIFA? Can anyone advise me if this is allowed? Thank you.:face-huh:
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#2
I think that local government is allowed to ask for membership of a relevant body where that membership is a legal requirement of undertaking contracted work. Not sure that applies to the IfA.

However, local government is allowed to satisfy itself that any tenderer is qualified to undertake both the scope and quality of any tendered work. That may be based on an assumption that you have reached a quality standard, equivalant to that required for MIFA grade in the IfA and that you adhere to an ethical code equivalant to the IfA Code of Conduct. In my limited experience that is normally carried out through a pre-tendering questionairre not specific to a particular project. They may also enquire as to external quality control, insurance and other requirements in such a questionnaire.

My advice: if for the sake of a couple of hundred quid a year through joining the IfA you are saved a lot of hassle and pass though pre-qualification.....join the IfA.

If you want to make a case out of it, local government lawyers are normally pretty cute and will almost certainly have approved the legality of a contractual arrangement. If you care to dispute their opinion it may need a law department of your own...



With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#3
I assume that the brief is for work to be commissioned by a developer not the council itself.

In this case the Kevins comments are not relevant.

The answer is actually complex. I have yet to actually see it specified in a brief that the person in a full member of the IFA. Recommended yes specified no.

If the work is controlled by planning condition there is usually a clause saying that the LPA must approve the contractors or the contractors are suitablely qualified. This is what PPG 16 says.

The complexity is it the head of the organisation or a project manager who must be a MIFA or the person on site. Lets consider small watching briefs or evaluations. Is undertaking such work sufficient to gain memebership of the IFA? Clearly it isnt. I would suggest that it is thus an absurdity to demand this level of experience from the person actually on site.

If the work is building recording MIFA is the wrong qualification. MIHBC is the right one. My advice is ring up the curator and ask them.

Membership of the IFA and being an RAO should automatically mean approval.

There are futher difficulties specifying that an organisation or a person must belong to the IFA before they can work in an area I think this may infringe EU competition and work regulations. Any archaeological company is entitled to work any where in the EU and I believe local government cannot inhibit this.

Dr Peter Wardle



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#4
I have read the project brief again (it was issued by a local authority) for a building survey and it does state that the work `MUST` be led by a member of the IFA or IHBC or equivalent. I am a bit reluctant to copy and paste from the brief as it may become apparent as to where it is from. Advice please :face-huh:
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#5
I think 'equivalent' is the get out clause. And 'led by'. Fairly standard in my experience. And meaningless in my experience too.
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#6
And as it is apparent that this is a local government project, my original post still has some legs.....

With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#7
The complicated bit comes by specifying a specific requirement IF there are others that can fit the criteria without being for example a MIFA

This is all part of the Wednesbury Legal case, where it is 'unreasonable' to ask for a criteria IF they exclude others who are just as competant.

Kevins suggestion that 200 quid is better than the hassle... I would say that if you are going to join a group, it should be for the right reasons... and becasue you want to be part... rather than feel that you have to.



"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."
Niccolo Machiavelli
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#8
I agree David that one should join the IfA for all the right reasons, but ... if potential clients are going to insist on MIFA before you can even be considered for a tender, then there is the consideration between principles and practicality or as someone said on Britarch earlier today....(no forget that)... I mean I am sure that even the IfA would admit that the vast majority of members are inactive rather than pro-active....

As I said the other day in another thread, whilst there may be lots of principled reasons for not wanting to join the IfA 'club', surely none of us could argue that we actually disagree with the ethic that the IfA represents or the minimum standard it espouses.



With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#9
Thats the thing... you cannot legally insist on MIFA

one can agree and abide by the ethics that the IfA represents or the minimum standard it espouses but that does not have to mean you are forced to join.

Join if you want to. its like the difference between the anglican and episcopalian churches...

"Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage."
Niccolo Machiavelli
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#10
I agree David, but if the council wants those standards and that ethos and and you are not an 'obvious' adherent (through the route of being a MIfA) then furnishing 'alternative' evidence of qualification and quality control can be a time consuming and potentially expensive path.



With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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