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Subject: Accreditation


From: Deborah Rohan <county_records_cambridge>
Date: Friday, July 23, 1999
In reply to Sr. Galea's protest at the inflexibility of the official
channels, he has my sincere sympathy. This is a cause of some
anxiety to me in the U.K., as we are going through the accreditation
process at the moment, with three major professional bodies working
together to devise a common system of accreditation. One of the
harmonisations that they have put in place is the adoption of the
E.C.C.O. Guidelines and Code of Ethics


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    email. There is no newline.

In these, I believe it is explicitly stated that a full-time
university course is the only proper training for a
conservator-restorer. I have pointed out, both to the Institute for
Paper Conservation and the Society of Archivists, that many very
valuable members have never been inside a university, and that
flexibility on this point is essential. We must remember that
'guidelines' are no more than guides, and are not intended to
straitjacket a profession, and prevent its developing in
non-standard but fruitful ways.

In my limited experience of bureaucratic management, I have found
patience my only resource. These take guidelines or recommendations
as hard and fast rules because this makes their work easier, and
they find the evaluation of non-paper criteria (and in some cases,
thought) very difficult. It would appear that Sr. Galea and his
colleagues have simply been slotted into the existing mechanism
designed for untrained adolescents--not a deliberate insult as such,
but an oversight that amounts to insult. These bureaucrats are also
very aware of the importance of their own work, and consequently of
the value of their own training, which is usually a university
degree; and they will tend to value other people's work and opinions
less if they have not had similar training.

The best solution might be to find a friendly member of this tribe,
who will take the trouble to understand their problems and 'work the
system' on their behalf. He will be able to translate their language
of common-sense communication into appropriately silly jargon (if
Italian hierarchies are anything like British ones) and the
systematic schedules that officials seem to live by. In any event, I
wish them every success.

Mrs. D. Rohan,
Cambridgeshire Archives Service,
Shire Hall, RES1009
Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3  0AP

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:10
                   Distributed: Monday, July 26, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-10-010
Received on Friday, 23 July, 1999

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