Mandatory Progression - A tale of two hobbies
Those of you who are regular readers of the blog will be aware that I have two 'main' and somewhat contrasting hobbies, those being Ballet and Amateur Radio.
This post is about both, yet neither of these activities.
Both these activities have a structure of exams and awards and in the case of radio - active participation hinges on passing at least one of the exams - to get your Foundation Licence, as while you can listen without, transmission requires a licence.
Meanwhile ballet while there are a variety of awarding bodies, active participation does not require any awards, exams or certificates and for many adult dancers excatly that situation applies. - it's 'legal' although extremely unusual to be a professional performer or a teacher without having done any exams or certifications. (in the UK the majority of professional performers will have undertaken some element of full time professional training - often at least 3 years , more likely 5 to 8years - although in contemporary dance the CAT scheme has changed that, and we'll see what impact AoNB CAT has in professional ballet education - although the quality and quantity of professional training from the CATs is no less than those who go away to a vocational school at secondary school age)
But, as I said at the top of the post this post isn't about either of those activities, it's about the concept of Mandatory progression within an activity.
Firstly what do I mean by 'Mandatory Progression'? - the concept that continued participation in an activity must be driven by progression through grades or levels until the highest / professional level is reached and that failure to progress should result in the individual being unable to continue to participate in the activity.
In the past it was rather presumed in the case of ballet in that adult beginner and improver classes were very rare consequently adult classes presumed knowledge and ability, however we've seen a massive change in mindset there over the past 5 or so years where the choice has expanded from a 'mum's class' at a local dance school or a pro-level class often at times that were not necessarily practicable for people with regular 'office hours' jobs to the range that we see ( or saw pre-Covid and will hopefully see again in due course)where all around the country one can find adult classes of all levels from absolutely beginner to advanced / pro-level
Where the mindset of 'Mandatory Progression' in Amateur Radio is a view expressed by a small number of Full Licence holders that the Foundation and Intermediate Licences should be time limited and none renewable, meaning that if a licence holder doesn't wish to upgrade or repeatedlyfails to meet the assessment standards to progress they may have their licence revoked for no actual failure of operating standards or transgression of the rules. There appears to be no logical reason for this ( although similar mindsets have applied to sports governing bodies with assistant instructor / coach awards - however this appeared to be a tool to allow the assistant instructor to take up paid work while building hours instructing under supervision )
so is Mandatory Progression a good thing ?
in my opinion no it is not outsdie of limited situatiosn related to paid work or vocational training.