Home Deontology and ethics General Policy Statements of the Institute of Field Archæologists
Policy Statements of the Institute of Field Archæologists PDF Print E-mail
Written by Institute of Field Archæologists   
Friday, 20 July 2007 15:40

Policy statements #1

Equal opportunities is an issue integral to every aspect of archaeological work. It is an aspect of human resource management concerned with the provision of equal access in staff recruitment, selection, training, promotion and retention, and equal opportunity for a positive work experience and environment. While structural inequalities are not specific to archaeological practice, the Institute of Field Archaeologists takes responsibility for formulating policy on archaeological standards, and thus equity issues are implicit in its Code of conduct.

1.1 The Institute of Field Archaeologists is committed to a policy of equal opportunities in archaeology, and its implementation through a programme of positive action.

1.2 This policy aims to heighten awareness of equity issues amongst the membership of the Institute, and to encourage employers to adopt guidelines ensuring that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment or access to opportunities for training and development on the grounds of age, gender, marital status, disability, race, religious belief, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation, or any other grounds not relevant to employment practice.

1.3 The Institute will observe this policy in relation to its own employees, and will consider the policy applicable to its membership. According to the Institute’s Code of conduct, all members must practice ethical and responsible behaviour in archaeological affairs (Principle 1), and in dealing with employees and colleagues (Principle 5). Appropriate professional conduct includes refraining from racial and sexual discrimination and harassment. Such behaviour may lead to allegations of improper conduct requiring an investigation conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Institute’s Disciplinary regulations.

1.4 The Institute is committed to equality of opportunity for representation on its committees, working parties and Council, and in the validation process leading to membership.

1.5 Henceforward, the Institute will observe a policy of nonsexist and non-discriminatory language in its by-laws, administration, publications, presentations and annual conference.

1.6 Though its Equal opportunities and Career development and training committees, the Institute is committed to a programme of positive action to make this policy fully effective.

Policy Statement #2
The Institute of Field Archaeologists recognises its individual members’ responsibilities as regards Health and Safety. This is reinforced in the note on Rule 5.2 of the Code of conduct, as ratified and adopted as a by-law by Annual General Meeting in 1985.
Responsibilities are further defined in individual Standard and guidance documents.

It is recognised that all archaeological work should be undertaken in accordance with current Health and Safety legislation. The IFA accepts that both employing/organising bodies and individual employees/workers have a duty of care to those working for them, to each other, and to the general public. Archaeologists’ attention is therefore drawn to the Health and Safety Executive’s publication Successful Health and Safety Management HS(G)65, which points out the need for all employers, regardless of the size of the organisation, to have in place an effective Health and Safety policy.

The IFA will treat any complaint against a member regarding nonfulfilment of Health and Safety obligations as a breach of the Code of conduct, and will act accordingly.

Policy Statement #3

1 Introduction

1.1 In the face of differing opinions on the role of volunteers and students in professional archaeology, IFA wishes to offer guidance to ensure that opportunities exist for public involvement in archaeology while at the same time promoting the highest standards of ethical and responsible behaviour.

1.2 Through its Code of conduct and published standards, IFA insists that inter alia archaeologists shall only undertake work for which they are adequately qualified (Rule 1.4); shall comply with all applicable laws (Rule 1.6); shall have due regard for terms of employment and career development (Rule 5.6); and have a duty, not only to observe the code but to encourage others to do likewise (Rule 1.12).

At the 1986 Annual General Meeting a resolution was passed which regarded the system of ‘paid volunteers’, under which full-time archaeologists were employed without reasonable pay and in disregard of their individual statutory rights, as unethical
and contrary to IFA’s professed professional standards.

1.4 IFA acknowledges the continuing, invaluable contribution made to archaeology by volunteers and recognises the necessity for students to gain experience in field techniques. Furthermore, it believes that the following guidelines offer a framework for the involvement of such individuals in such a way as to avoid misunderstanding and accusation of unfair practice.

2 Glossary of Terms

2.1 Volunteer
someone who by agreement does not receive either a wage or salary.

2.2 Student
someone who is pursuing an organised course of tuition in archaeology.

2.3 Employee
an individual who works under contract (implied, oral or written) with an employer, and who normally receives proper remuneration for work done.

2.4 Professional
pertaining to the standards of work promulgated by IFA and confirmed through its validation procedures.

2.5 Personal research
investigations which do not normally result from the requirements of a development control authority. Such research may be sponsored or grant-aided.

2.6 Development-led projects
work which is a direct consequence of planned landuse change, such work may be in compliance with government guidance (eg Environmental Impact Assessment, Planning Policy Guidance 16 etc) or may be required by a controlling authority.

2.7 Commercial work
work undertaken as part of the business of a client or contractor and for which payment is usually axiomatic.

3 Guidelines

IFA wishes to encourage the participation of as many people as possible in archaeology and recognises the need to give students practical experience in fieldwork. However, this cannot be done at the expense of professional standards or risk to the limited archaeological resource.

3.2 When landuse change (for example development, road construction, forestry, public utility services etc) is proposed, any requirement by a statutory advisor or authority for archaeological response, in which suitably qualified and experienced employees will be used, is appropriate for development-led projects.

3.4 It is normally inappropriate for organisations to bid for commercial work if there is the expectation that they will use staff who will not be paid a proper wage or be appropriately contacted.

3.5 Employers will not use volunteers and students in place of employed staff when funding is agreed for the latter, as this would be tantamount to exploitation.

3.6 There may be occasions when timescales are more relaxed and the required professional standard of work can be achieved outside normal commercial pressures. Subject to agreement by the site owner, developer and curator, such situations may provide suitable opportunities for the participation of volunteers or for the training of students. Similarly, there maybe opportunities for such participation or training aspects of a site’s archaeology which are outside the scope of the controlling authority’s requirements, but which could enhance the overall results of the project.

3.7 So as to avoid misunderstandings, IFA recommends that on every occasion on which volunteers or students are to be used, and especially when competitive tenders are sought for a commercial contract, the full extent of their activities in respect of the services offered must be declared and included in the submitted written project proposals. The implications (for example financial, timetable, insurance, competence etc) must be full explained so that both the client and curator can satisfy themselves that requirements can be discharged satisfactorily.

3.8 Personal research should also be conducted to the highest standards and in accordance with published IFA standards. With prior agreement of the sponsors or grant-aiding agency, it may offer opportunities for voluntary or student participation.

3.9 All archaeological work, especially where there is the likelihood that the resources will be eroded, must be adequately supervised to ensure that professional standards are met whatever the funding arrangements.

3.10 It will be the responsibility of the relevant curators to monitor and control archaeological work to ensure that professional standards are attained, and of the IFA to investigate alleged cases of breaches of the Code of conduct.

3.11 Organisations working with voluntary and student participants are encouraged to develop suitable policies with due regard to IFA’s Code of conduct and 1986 resolution, to recognise the positive contribution made by them, to offer reassurance that their efforts form an integrated component of the organisation’s overall activities and goals, and to clarify working arrangements.

3.12 No archaeologist will denigrate valuable contributions made by volunteers and students.

Policy Statement #4

1 Introduction

The archaeologist has a responsibility for the protection of the archaeological heritage (Code of conduct, principle 2). Our environment has been shaped over millennia by human activity, and the Institute of Field Archaeologists recognises that its members’ professional responsibilities to the built heritage extend to the ‘natural’ environment.

1.2 The archaeologist shall adhere to the highest standards of responsible and ethical behaviour in the conduct of archaeological affairs (Code of conduct, principle 1). Archaeological activities have the potential to affect the environment, and the IFA recognises its members’ ethical responsibilities to care for the environment.

1.3 All archaeological work should be undertaken in accordance with current environmental protection legislation.

1.4 This policy aims to heighten awareness of environmental protection issues amongst the membership of the Institute, and to encourage archaeological organisations and individuals to adopt and implement environmental protection policies. A model policy is appended for the use of IFA members: the IFA does not require its members or registered organisations to use this form of words

1.5 The Institute will observe this policy in relation to its own activities.

1.6 The IFA will treat any complaint against a member of nonfulfilment of environmental protection obligations as an allegation of a breach of the Code of conduct, and will act in accordance with the provisions of the Institute’s Disciplinary regulations.

2 Model policy for organisations and individuals
  • Conscientious protection of people and the environment is an integral part of this Company’s working practice.
  • It is this Company’s intention that all work be carried out in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions and that all reasonably practicable measures will be taken to avoid and/or ameliorate potential damage or nuisance to people and impact on the environment.
  • Avoidance of nuisance or damage is the first objective. Where this is not practicable, the second objective is to ameliorate the impact by appropriate methods.
  • This organisation’s management and supervisory staff are responsible for implementing environmental policy throughout the Company, and must ensure that, subject to requirements of Health and Safety, environmental protection has a high priority in planning and day-to-day supervision of work.
  • All employees, sub-contractors and visitors are expected to co-operate with the Company in carrying out this Policy, and ensuring their own work, in so far as is reasonably practicable, is undertaken without risk or nuisance to themselves or others, or to the wider environment.
  • X has particular responsibility for environmental matters, and reference should be made to that person in the event of any difficulty arising in the implementation of this Policy. Appropriate external advice will be sought where necessary.
  • The operation of this Policy will be monitored by the management and staff of the Company at all permanent and temporary workplaces.
  • This statement of Company Policy will be displayed prominently at all sites and work places and all staff will be issued with a copy.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 08:38

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