Institute of Detectorists

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Oxgirl
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Ladies and gents please try and keep criticisms to the organisation rather than the individuals involved.

I know it’s tempting but it can fuel an already emotive situation. We don’t want to be responsible for adding to the anger against specific people, some of whom have experienced rather nasty threats. That doesn’t sit well with us.

Thank you :thumbsup:
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DaveP
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You have to ask a simple question. "If you get an IoD accreditation, what new detecting opportunities would it open for you?"
Steve RC
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Accreditation would take some time if an individual has to attend a number of course to get the proposed Passport. There is no mention of the frequency of these and what level of training would be needed for example to detect on ELS agreement land, private non agreement land, beaches, public land or archaeological excavations and so on.

One course was run by Keith Westcott in November 2018 at Rewley House Oxford University, entitled "Metal Detecting for Archaeological Projects: an Introduction." Hence from the title it would imply that to gain accreditation would require a series of course to be passed. This one cost £67 plus your own travel expenses to the venue and was attended by about 40 people.

The original intention of the Institute was to provide training for detectorists who wished to be able to seek work in the commercial archaeological sector. The term used was to embed experienced and trained detectorists into archaeological practice. Despite discussion over the very limited numbers of posts that might be available, this remained the goal. However since the tie up with the archaeological establishment the goals have evolved into something very sinister when you see the headline " no IoD Passport no detecting “.

Therefore, the basic idea to provide training for archaeological detectorists seems to have gone to be replaced by a series of restrictions on the freedoms to detect for all non archaeologist wannabees.

Similar to any training courses in the wider domain they do not always mean you can use them once taken and passed.
Steve RC
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Oxgirl wrote: Sun Mar 14, 2021 9:10 pm Ladies and gents please try and keep criticisms to the organisation rather than the individuals involved.

I know it’s tempting but it can fuel an already emotive situation. We don’t want to be responsible for adding to the anger against specific people, some of whom have experienced rather nasty threats. That doesn’t sit well with us.

Thank you :thumbsup:
Naturally there should not be a repeat of the goings on on another Forum. This is a much more civilised arena for debate. :thumbsup:
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DaveP
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Rather than thinking about the process, jump to the end and assume you are standing there with your lovely new certificate courtesy of the IoD - what opportunities will it open up for you?
For example:
Access to commercial digs - there are already companies filling the gap and nobody seems to know how many digs there will be.
Join a company - I suspect there are very few jobs available but I could be wrong.
Access to academic digs - possible, but again, how many will there be.
A convincing certificate when you ask for your next permission - really!
But what about being allowed to detect on Stewardship land I hear you say. If you've already been told "no" then it's probably still a "no".

If it's a course just for training, and knowledge is the outcome, then call it what it is. But, I can already find most if not all of the information online or in the library. You'll just pay to have it all in one place. If it's to open opportunities then a retrospective survey of dig numbers and commercial group involvement would tell you what to expect in the future. Then we'll have some idea how many lucky IoD certificate holders stand a chance of taking part in a dig. More importantly, you'll have data to show that the IoD plan for 'dig certification' alone is not viable. Which, of course, means to be viable there will need to be a Plan B.

Just a thought.
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Steve_JT
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The main concern if they convince farmers no certificate no detecting it will add paperwork to an already busy farmer, it will result in a possible blanket NO for any permission, unless people have a special relationship with their permission owners

Just hope it does not gain traction, I will make my thoughts know to my FLO and fire a couple of emails of to the DCMS

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
Steve RC
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"Access to commercial digs - there are already companies filling the gap and nobody seems to know how many digs there will be.
Join a company - I suspect there are very few jobs available but I could be wrong.
Access to academic digs - possible, but again, how many will there be.
A convincing certificate when you ask for your next permission - really!
But what about being allowed to detect on Stewardship land I hear you say. If you've already been told "no" then it's probably still a "no"."

I doubt if it has been thought out yet as the IoD await responses to their questionnaire and see how many potential members they could expect.

It has been suggested that there would be access to digs or at least surveys prior to excavations. These are the general 10 m Transect surveys beloved of the field walkers yet prove pretty useless for detector finds. Fieldwalkers will find plenty of pottery and flints on their transects ,but metallic finds are fewer and far between unless the field has been spread with contaminated green waste.

Such land if excavated will see the top and sub soils excavated mechanically and so the general exercise is pointless and anyone who has done these will confirm that conditions are rarely good with heavy stubble, long crop growth, long grass or heavy plough and they expect you to find items under those conditions.

The commercial companies tend not to employ detectorists unless they also have another specialism or a degree in archaeology so they can become members of the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists and so obtain easily a CSCS card to be able to work on construction sites where excavations are taking place. Detectorists are also a problem because they tend to find too many small finds which then have to be curated, processed, identified and added to the site report which all costs money when the company has won the contract at the lowest tender price.

All in all it is not as straight forward as the I o D make out. If they had carried out proper market research then it would have been clear that the demand for detector users in the commercial sector is minimal and in the academic sector almost non existant.

As you say farmers dont have time for yet more forms and papers to check nor let any detectorist onto stewardship land and risk a fine for non compliance.
Pete E
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Steve,

I think you are looking at it from the wrong perspective...The IoD concept is obviously based on generating an artificial demand for training by getting the Government to make it either a legal requirement, or restricting access to detecting to such a degree that it will become mandatory by the back door...I doubt the people behind the concept care whether the average Joe will gain anything from doing one of these courses as it's simply a way of making money...

I have seen exactly the same thing happening in the shooting/deer stalking community with the Deer Management Qualification, but that's another story....

Regards,

Peter
Steve RC
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Thanks Peter, you are correct in some ways. The intent overall is to reduce the numbers detecting and by influencing the access conditions to Agri-agreement land this alone will put a brake on numbers on any one holding assuming that the landowner is happy with allowing detecting access. I doubt very much if Natural England who administer the schemes, ( which will eventually cover most farmland), will take a positive view of dozens or more detectorists on each holding.

It will have an administrative limit added along with lots of hoops to jump through as we saw with the Higher Level Stewardship Schemes some years ago requiring a research proposal agreed with archaeological parties before limited access was granted to the persistent few.

As you say by stimulating ( or forcing) an artificial demand for training, and this will also be promoted by the PAS, then detectorists will be seen as amateur archaeologists rather than hobby searchers looking for random casual losses in ploughsoils.

Mandatory training to ensure proper archaeological strictures are applied to detecting is a concept that would be difficult to argue against if it is perceived to be the key to adding more knowledge from detector finds. After all archaeologists can obtain a skills passport and to enjoy the best from employment as an archaeologist they need to join the Chartered Institute of Field Archaeologists. Now that is a paid employment requirement whilst the proposed I o D is not. Detecting is a pastime and has provided the PAs with about 1.5 m finds to date on its database at a very reasonable cost to the public purse to achieve that.

Mandatory reporting would be the next logical move and all the difficulties of administering the volume of finds would come to the fore unless the process also includes restricting the number of detectorists to match finds to be recorded, to the PAS recording capacity. Little extra funding would then be needed from the public purse and HMG would be content continuing to reap the publicity rewards from the Treasure finds as they do now.
jcmaloney
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Interesting to note that the crowd funded relaunch of Time Team is taking place at....Broughton Castle.

Guess who "found" said villa complex?

Yep..... Mr W himself......

http://www.bajrfed.co.uk/bajrpress/one- ... fordshire/
I`m Marmite me. Opinionated, obstinate and somewhat tenacious.
Steve RC
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Yep seen that. I heard that he paid Oxford Archaeology to excavate part of the site on which he is seen posing for photographs.
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