26th October 2011, 11:10 AM
(This post was last modified: 26th October 2011, 03:24 PM by trowelfodder.)
It appears that some planning departments will only allow RO's to work on their patches - how can this be right when the IFA no matter its claims cannot claim to represent all of the proffession and has a terrible track record for disciplining units who fail to work to their required standard!
If units are not allowed to discriminate and only employ ifa members than how is this practice acceptable for planning authorities?
26th October 2011, 11:43 AM
I would guess the arguement is that with ROs they would have some comeback if they breach a requirement.
That said, the biggest comeback is not being able to work again as you made such a pigs ear.
I would question the ability of a council to decide only to allow ROs to practice in that County, as that would be seen as a restriction of work to legitimate and hard working people who are not ROs . IT should be up to the client as the council can't really provide an approved list without a rigerous and transparent system for vetting and choosing - being an RO is not in itself good enough - as it can't be shown that non-ROs are not of a high standard as well.
Send me a council that does and I will ask them to respond publicly as to why and how this works. They would have to, given they are a public body.
26th October 2011, 11:55 AM
(This post was last modified: 26th October 2011, 11:58 AM by trowelfodder.)
Will email you off record x
Was just thinking that this policy would discriminate unfairly against new units and small units as RO status is not attainable without holding MIFA but how can experience be gained without being able to undertake the work?
26th October 2011, 12:14 PM
As indicated by the article in The Archaeologist - IFA's magazine, this is quite probably a legally defensible position. As such it was only a matter of time before a Council stuck their neck out. I suspect this may relate to Council funded work/projects? In which case they would be well within their rights to expect a company to have an appropriate level of professional accreditation. However, it has also been suggested that this may also defensibly be applied in a development management context. Many consultancies only deal with ROs already - their clients - the developers are used to using subbies with some form of accreditation, so are unlikely to be surprised when this is required in respect of archaeological works.
As for the IFA having a poor record on enforcement and disciplining ROs I would dispute this. Even if it were true, it's surely better to have some standards and enforcement than the alternative presented by non-IFA members and non-ROs - i.e. nothing.
26th October 2011, 12:30 PM
Have never come across any of this before, working for a non-RO, are the councils in question perchance in southern England? Never heard any hint of it oop north
26th October 2011, 12:43 PM
I've heard a rumor that one large Scottish council is going to stop providing a list of archaeological contractors to potential developers, because of problems with work they've had done by non-RAOs. Instead, if someone asks how they can find an archaeologist to undertake commercial work, they'll be directed to the RAO list and the phone book. I'm not sure what would happen if the developer found a non-RAO contractor through the phone book and wanted to use them, i.e. whether the Council would say that they couldn't, or whether they'd still accept them if the person had the qualifications and experience to do the work, but I think the decision was based on the fact that they're not obliged to provide a list of contractors, and doing so essentially acts as free advertising for organisations that the HER team feel are not capable of doing the job to a suitable standard (not that being an RAO would necessarily be any guarantee of quality work!)
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
26th October 2011, 01:13 PM
I would only see this as a good thing but, unless a few things have changed since I looked into this, I have three questions:
1 - will the IfA be increasing the rate paid by ROs with a turnover of significantly above 1millon? At present the highest fee is for '?1millon and above', which means that the largest organisations (with turnover in the region of 10millon) are paying a proportionately lower fee to be an RO.
2 - the online and search facility for finding an RO is utter rubbish and needs to be enhanced. At present if you search for one on your doorstep you get the details of every organisation on the list, which I would imagine is quite off-putting for potential clients.
3 - what happens to literal one-man-bands who are in the IfA or small organisations, all of whose staff are members (paid for by their employer or otherwise). What is the point of them paying the RO fee when a larger organisation might have less individual IfA members. I would suggest that any organisation/one man band which is 100% corporate members of the IfA should automatically become an RO. If they are found to have been naughty it would only take one individual to be kicked out and the company would revert to not being an RO.
I still can't understand why counties have lists of contractors - they aren't recommendations and yet in most cases you have to pass certain criteria to get on (that sounds like a recommended list to me, plus would people surely not assume that a list held by the council is a list of reputable companies?). Why not point people in the direction of the IfA and the phone book, or BAJR for that matter, if recommedations are not going to be made?