EAA CODE OF PRACTICE FOR FIELDWORK TRAINING
Practical training should only be undertaken by those competent to provide the particular training offered (e.g. field survey, excavation, geophysics, laboratory expertise). Where possible they should have recognised professional documentation of their competence.
Documentation provided to participants and potential participants should state clearly:
Who are the competent people running the project and their professional and training qualifications.
What specific training will be on offer (e.g. field walking, excavation, finds processing, drawing, etc.), and to what level (where this can be defined, e.g. under the Institute of Archaeologists proposed levels of competence).
The date of the site and its nature.
Which categories of student or volunteer are being catered for. This can vary from people for whom the project is a working holiday with an educational aim, school children wondering whether to study archaeology at university, students fulfilling requirements for the courses, or young professionals seeking professional training. All these groups have very different needs.
What kinds of students or volunteer are being catered for (e.g. the level of previous experience, those with disabilities, age restrictions, etc.).
The way in which teaching will be carried out, preferably with a defined programme (e.g. lectures, on-site training, site documentation, mentoring by competent workers, etc.).
Ratios of competent staff to students.
- A statement of the methods to be used, where possible with specific reference to manuals and text books.
- A guide on the length of the course.
- Clear advice on living conditions, personal insurance, hazards, equipment to be provided, etc.
The project must be fully insured for accidents, professional indemnity, etc. It should maintain legal standards of Health and Safety, e.g. in working conditions, protective clothing, first aid training, provision of first aid kits. Every member of the team should know what to do in an emergency, e.g. telephone numbers of medical services, where to find the local doctor or hospital.
Field projects should conform to the legal requirements of the country in which they are carried out (e.g. for permits, legal access to land, deposition of finds and archives, publication, etc.). This will also normally involve carrying out an official ‘Risk Assessment’.
There should be concern for the local social and political environment in which work is being carried out (e.g. students should not be seen to have privileged access to historical sites from which local people are excluded). It is the responsibility of the participant to enquire what are the working languages for the course, and ensure that they have sufficient command to participate fully.
Given the limited nature of the archaeological resource, due concern should be given to its preservation, and it should not be destroyed merely to provide training. Preferably sites which are threatened or where there are pressing research interests should be chosen rather than unthreatened sites.
Sites should be chosen which are suitable for the level of training being given, e.g. beginners should not start on complex and difficult deeply stratified sites.
Students should not be exploited. Training excavations should not be used merely as a way of financing research; equally they should not be used as a means of undermining professional activities, e.g. by offering cut-price rescue excavations where these should be properly funded under state and European planning legislation.
Any certificates given out should be endorsed by a recognised institution, e.g. a university, museum, professional body, etc.
Participants should be asked for feedback on their experiences, and proper consideration be taken of complaints and suggestions. Where possible these should be passed on to the relevant institution overseeing the standards.
Any participants should be informed where they can make formal complaints if they are dissatisfied with their training and treatment (e.g. the professional institute, university, etc.).