Like water spilt on loose soil

Like water spilt on loose soil

24 April 2019 Off By Facto Edizioni

/ by Aldo Avancini /

Aldo Avancini looks at regulations.

Ing. Aldo Avancini / Proposta Srl

This time I will be examining a topic that I think is extremely important, but often neglected in discussions; the general concept of “regulations” – of “standards”, so to speak and go directly to the point – which I have repeatedly addressed.

I personally believe that any regulation must generate beneficial and universally-accepted effects, and this result (the effectiveness of standardisation) is achieved by following a process. This process first requires correct preparation (partly spontaneous and partly managed) of the environment being addressed, careful identification of the crux of the problem, and continuous control of the work defined, so as to immediately highlight any initial problems or discrepancies from the desired result.

A good standard therefore requires:

1. excellent initial preparation: investigation on specific problems and associated risks, theoretical and documentary preparation by technicians with real experience and knowledge of the typical problems of the sector, which will be the core of the standard; 

2. the dissemination and preparation of the environment (i.e. offices, technicians, authorities that will have to check its correct application); and finally

3. a check not only on the application of the standard but also on any deviations not considered in the preparation/definition phase.

I should underline the importance of giving correct information and proper training to those who will be responsible not only for application and control of application of the standard, but also all those who will need to adapt their work based on it (‘compliance’). In the absence of such training, it is not surprising to see a sort of DIY, not so much aimed at truly understanding the standard but rather at producing the famous ‘piece of paper’ to ‘demonstrate’ how the work is being done correctly. 

No-one is surprised when after spilling a bucket of water on loose soil, the water starts flowing in the direction that offers the least resistance to flow. Why then should we wonder if a standard imposed without adequate preparation (the soil) triggers the same effect, i.e. to follow the least expensive, least difficult to implement and above all the least intrusive way as a control authority? 

I can cite the example of an old Italian ministerial decree (commonly known as ‘18 May’), which has come to the fore in recent times and above all not for positive reasons.

There are basically 3 criticisms levelled at this decree, the purpose of which is worthy of merit, namely: 

1. having merged together the travelling and permanent parks (2 entities that have different resources and services and require different responses); 

2. having defined the needs but without setting economic goals. This has set off a race to the bottom, without considering the quality, professionalism and competence of the technician responsible;

3. not having verified the professional availability of the control body, which has led municipalities to take a range of positions, ranging from a preconceived no to an absence of responsibility with a yes beforehand (“They tell me; I acknowledge”), with somewhere in the middle destructive negotiations that have little technical content, if not a fear of the new and the lack of preparation of the technical approach.

I can leave readers to guess where the water has flowed.

Taken from Games&Parks Industry April 2019, page 84

Ing. Aldo Avancini /  Proposta Srl /