Working with outside experts
Working with other organisations or people can be very beneficial: you don’t need to deliver every session yourself! For example, outside experts may provide:
- Knowledge of subjects outside the experience of your leadership team.
- Hands-on learning of a particular skill.
- Knowledge of how to conduct specific activities safely.
- A chance to visit new places not normally accessible to the public.
- Access to a network of people or places that could be useful for future meetings
Remember: outside experts must not be asked to take responsibility for any of your members at any point. They do not count towards the 1:8 adult:child ratio. If they are running a long term project with you (involving more than 3 sessions), then they must formally apply to be a YAC volunteer.
The Training Online Resource Centre is a good place to start when looking for outside experts. Visit www.torc.org.uk and type your postcode into the ‘map search’ to find a list of archaeology organisations in your area.
You may also find some useful contacts through your region’s CBA Group. You can find contact details for these via http://www.archaeologyuk.org/cba/groups/.
Before you ask any outside expert to come to your sessions, do a little research so you are reasonably sure what you can expect from them. Visit their website if they have one, or speak to someone who has worked with them before. It is important to assure yourself that they are suitable to work with YAC members, and won’t go off on any unexpected, unwanted or inappropriate tangents.
Guest speakers may also not be used to working with young people or with such a wide range of young people. To avoid misunderstanding and make sure everyone gets the most out of the experience, it’s vital that you talk in detail about the proposed event with the expert. We recommend that you talk about the following things:
- What your aims are for the session: for example, it’s best to mention right at the start if you don’t want a slide lecture!
- The atmosphere of your club sessions and any group rules: for example, do your members usually raise their hands to ask questions or do they just speak up?
- Any special needs that your members have.
- Give any outside experts a copy of our Code of Conduct, and make sure that they understand they must work within sight and hearing of you and your team at all times during the session.
- That YAC Leaders are responsible for the management and safety of the members, including toilet trips.
- The need for risk assessments for every activity. Ask lots of questions and make sure you fully understand what they plan to do and will not suddenly introduce an activity you weren’t expecting. If they are providing risk assessments, make sure you get them in advance.
- If you are going to a new environment, talk about the facilities you need access to, such as toilets, refreshments and parking.
- When everyone will arrive and leave.
- Agree any price for the services they are providing: you should get a written quote from them which will be legally binding. For any quotes over £1000, please forward this to YAC HQ to authorise.
- Finally, make sure you exchange contact details!