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.


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