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IfA campaign to require archaeological work to be undertaken by ROs
#31
Warren asked this: Question, in a non-idealist view, what would drive the competition for increased skills? I don't think it would be a case of efficiency as it is more efficient to do a quick and bad job. I don't see how a developer client is interested in skills as long as the job gets done as cheaply as possible, so having more qualified staff isn't going to win contracts. So what's in it for the employer? (Accepting my own cynicism)

Price is not always the principal thing on which an archaeological project is awarded. Timetables and quality are also very important, as they actually reduce the risk to a project's programme. An organisation which uses expperienced people is more likely to have a good reputation on delivery and be used on big projects. In the end, a delay to programme because of an organisation employing people who aren't up to the job is usually a darn sight more expensive than extra money on the original budget. Most of the jobs I've awarded recently have had a weighting of about 30-40% for price and the balance on deliverability and quality.

And for the archaeological employer (as in an archaeological organisation), much better to have professional staff that you can reply on to do the job right first time, especially on fixed price contracts.

As to the proposals for ROs pay. At least there are pay minima for ROs. There aren't in the non Registered organisations.
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#32
Clare Wrote:'As to the proposals for ROs pay. At least there are pay minima for ROs. There aren't in the non Registered organisations'....

Except that if a non-RAO advertises on BAJR....when the BAJR minima apply.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#33
Quote:"Price is not always the principal thing on which an archaeological project is awarded. Timetables and quality are also very important, as they actually reduce the risk to a project's programme."

Delivery on time surely depends on the quality of the product being produced, and corners can and will be cut. I agree that timetables are a major consideration for developers but that, in the end is just about reducing costs. I don't agree that developers award contracts with regard to quality of the archaeological product. Nominally maybe, but what developer is going to hold their hands up to admit to bad archaeology having been done on their watch? We should be very, very, wary of allowing the developer to be the judge of what constitutes acceptable standards of archaeology.

I do not believe that trying to ensure quality by grading ability will have the long term desired goal. I believe the only way to ensure quality in the product is to be able to assess the product itself - ie the results of the work. If work is completed below standard, then the main contractor and sub contractor should be held accountable.

The way towards this is to agree sets of minimum standards, as is (too slowly) being addressed, and build on those standards. Then you have to police those standards so that there is some kind of yard stick or template. I think you have to be able to judge a job done badly before you can affirm an RO or whatever accreditation system you use, has broken any rules. And of course this has to be punishable.
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#34
Kevin Wooldridge Wrote:Except that if a non-RAO advertises on BAJR....when the BAJR minima apply.

Indeed the BAJR Grades (based in part of IFA grades) have become a standard - with only a few people not adhering.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#35
how would you cover the subject of a disabled person (as having equal opportunities in the pursuit of career, whilst yet their professional preformance may not be of a industry wide 'regarded' equal standard.

if this is the case then we are exploring the issues of one rule for one, and another for others.

sub standards, sub equivilence, SUB equalities

standards are great at creating parrameters, but i am still uncertain to our ability to manage and work with such parrameters.

we are still working on the basis of standards and non-standards are bad.

what are those standards, and by having standards does that make an industry more aware of what it does as a thinking industry, or does it fall into the area of causing fear of loosing house and home if you do not submit, or co-operate with externally derived standards.

we still need to address the issues of subjectivity and objectivity within the profession.

we have ample subjectivity, but we do not have evidentiary support to the diversity (white middle class) subjectivity.

objectivity is hard to come by in a recession

so which, or whose standards are we going to adhere to?

whose standards are we going to TOLERATE?

who do we not want around conducting these tolerated standards?


sounds sinister to me!
txt is
Mike
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#36
YellowPete Wrote:so which, or whose standards are we going to adhere to?

You adhere to the IfA Standards and Guidance. This is checked by the Curatorial Service to be seen as meeting the required standard, you hope.

As for pay... this should be a negotiation between Union and Employers group. Until then... and for the past decade.. well you still have BAJR }Smile
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#37
sorry
but those issues aren't tackling the lack of diversity within the workforce and the area of inclusivity that we are leagally bound to within the equal oprtunities.

if someone is old and slow they loose their jobs

if someone is visually impared, and draw thick lines, do they loose their jobs

if someone is unable to acheive that standard, at what point will we throw out the door the notion of equal opportunites?

:face-plain:
txt is
Mike
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#38
Equal opportunities and adhering to standards are different things.

A surgeon who cuts a wobbly incision... is a they would not be up to standard
A person who is visually impaired and draws thick lines... if it did not detract from the accuracy of the information recovered ... why should they lose a job.

If someone is old and slow (you could be young and slow) surely this would only matter if speed was essential for the job. So it is down to the job and what is required. A standard is there to ensure quality ... quality is the important part.. not equal opportunities. Plenty can be done to ensure people with a range of disabilities can work in arhcaeology - see here:
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/collecti...bs/736.cfm

To put it another way... I don't care if you have to draw thicker lines... I care that the line is in the right place.
For really I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he
Thomas Rainborough 1647
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#39
Yellowpete, you dingbat!

Hi Warren, welcome to the forum, I?d be interested in hearing how things work in your own county.

Warren Wrote:Delivery on time surely depends on the quality of the product being produced, and corners can and will be cut. I agree that timetables are a major consideration for developers but that, in the end is just about reducing costs. I don't agree that developers award contracts with regard to quality of the archaeological product. Nominally maybe, but what developer is going to hold their hands up to admit to bad archaeology having been done on their watch? We should be very, very, wary of allowing the developer to be the judge of what constitutes acceptable standards of archaeology.

This is a typical criticism levelled at the commercial sector from academic archaeologists. The two sectors have different ways of measuring ?quality?. The former focuses on quality as process, as measured through health and safety compliance, management systems and financial capacity; the later focuses on publication and other knowledge products, as measured through peer review. These definitions of archaeological quality are not mutually exclusive, but it is notoriously difficult to design a procurement model that achieves both. Earlier in this thread Ken Whittaker described how this ?tension? between the construction industry and the wider archaeological community could be overstated, ?if either choose to look at respective priorities from polar positions?.

Developers themselves realise that they have little understanding of what constitutes acceptable standards in archaeology, and the larger and financially astute appoint consultants to act as intermediaries. Clare King describes above how she (as a consultant) can advise a client to award a contract to the archaeologist who may not have the lowest tender, but offer the least risk to project delivery.

I suspect that this is a different type of proposition to your own focus on quality assurance:


Warren Wrote:I do not believe that trying to ensure quality by grading ability will have the long term desired goal. I believe the only way to ensure quality in the product is to be able to assess the product itself - i.e. the results of the work. If work is completed below standard, then the main contractor and sub contractor should be held accountable

My question is concerned with how you would see this other type of quality ? the products and publications of the excavation ? delivered and monitored by the market place. The Anglo-Saxon model is to let business regulate itself, which is what the IfA is trying to do here by creating a barrier to entry. If this is supported with a rigorous (and independent) monitoring of all RO's the hope is that it will bring standards up across the board. It remains to be seen if this will work, let alone how this will work, so I'd be very interested to hear how this compares with your own county? What ideas are circulating there for raising the standard of archaeological work and its social and economic value?
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#40
BAJR Host Wrote:Indeed the BAJR Grades (based in part of IFA grades) have become a standard - with only a few people not adhering.

David - serious question - If someone advertises a post with you and appoints, do you have a process for checking that the individuals did get that salary? Or that anyone else employed in the organisation gets the minima? Or, if they're not advertising this year, that they meet the minima?

These are all things which the RO scheme checks regularly.

Diggingthedirt - Thanks. I'm glad someone got the point that it isn't all down to money! My employer pays for the archaeology to be done to an acceptable standard on their projects. I'm a member of the IfA - so I abide by the Code of Conduct. If I see archaeology not being appropriately dealt with, then I say and do something about it. And as I'm the client's representative, they have to listen to me. Mind you - I don't always see eye to eye with planning archaeologists on what's appropriate, but that's where discussion comes in! Big Grin
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