Adjudication and Quality Control

From Paddy's Welsh Area thread ( http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=42819&page=7 )
All I can say, and I have said it many times over the years, is that the adjudication system in banding is simply not accountable to anyone but themselves, and that is just not good. For banding to be able to progress significantly, to go anywhere, to take a huge stride move forward, there must be a way to measure, monitor, & moderate, to ensure there is a consistent and high standard of adjudicators.

For as long as there isn't, and they continue to police themselves, there simply cannot be any way of ensuring consistency in grading.

There are many brilliant adjudicators and many OK ones, but there are a few who simply should not be doing it or who just do not have the credentials to be doing it. It's these few who spoil it for the rest and who cause continued controversy.

It's one of the reasons I no longer have or want anything to do with playing or conducting.
From Criticism of Adjudicators thread ( http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=32104&highlight=adjudication )
I have said it several times before on tMP, and that is of all the adjudicators associated with the ABBA, some are absolutely superb and are top class adjudicators, most are very good, but there are a few who in my opinion are not good at all.

The only real thing we can criticise regarding adjudication in the UK is that adjudicators are not accountable to those they represent i.e. bandspeople. They are appointed to the ABBA by invite, and it seems sometimes, with little or no credibility from the people they represent.

There is absolutely no quality control system or feedback mechanism in place in any contest judged by adjudicators from the ABBA which would otherwise ensure the standard of adjudication is monitored and maintained, and where erroneous or inconsistent performance was identified could be remedied. As long as there is this 'break' in the feedback loop, we will always experience these type of issues.
From the 'UK Banding: Yesterdays people, yesterdays ways?' thread ( http://www.themouthpiece.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19737&highlight=Yesterdays+people ) {This thread is an article written by TheMusicMan about a number of Banding topics, and is well worth reading if you have not seen it before.}

"If there were a process in place that defined exactly what adjudication standards should be; that assessed an individuals ability to reach and maintain these standards via some form of accreditation, a process that monitored these standards throughout our movement, and finally ensured that a mechanism for feedback and evaluation existed… (I.e. that the feedback loop worked) - the role of the adjudicator would become significantly enriched by the fact that faith in the adjudicator, from those who are judged, would be significantly restored."
To some degree we are nearly all assessed and reassessed in our lives, and it's usually done by people who have done the role previously.To this end has anyone ever suggested that the National Association of Brass Band Conductors could be approached by the Association of Brass Band Adjudicators to act as a quality control organisation? Admittedly, there is an overlap of membership e.g. Dr. Roy Newsome is National President of NABBC and an honorary member of ABBA but that should be an advantage as any quality control would inevitably require the highest calibre of assessors. However I think it would be prudent, and offer transparency, that any 'assessor' should not adjudicate during a fixed appointment term doing 'quality control'.
 

Euph1888

New Member
One thing that has to come into play here is a code of conduct for adjudicators, I found it really interesting over the weekend when the draw was made for the championship section in Wales, the draw was made on time and all the bands representatives then passed this information onto their bands as normal, however it couldn’t be made public until the adjudicators, was in the box 5 minutes before the start of section, what was stopping any body putting the draw on public forum, was it done to protect the adjudicator in some way, and why wasn’t it a National rule

There has be rules and consequences for any adjudicator,. if these rules are broken, bands know where they stand, it will also serve and to protect other bands that maybe adjudicated by the same judge at a later date

As far as I know, these rules do not exist – however if they do please somebody put me wrong, things to cover would be

Searching for any communication device on adjudicator before entering the box
A standard procedure of he stewardship of the judge when they are outside of the box on the day of the contest
If an adjudicator has contact with a band he/she is about to adjudicator before he judges them – it needs to be brought to the attention of both competing bands & contest organisers

These are just a few points – but if proven a standard so called “penalty” should be in play to protect not just the bands but the integrity of the whole competition

Discuss???
 

TheMusicMan

tMP Founder
Staff member
The View from the Chair - thanks for revisiting these threads and articles of mine, much appreciated.

Euph1888 - some very good points raised.

I am led to believe that one adjudicator used in the Welsh region this last weekend had recently taken a band in their preparations of the test piece used in the same section he was adjudicating in. I shall leave it to you eminent tMP'ers to ponder who that adjudicator might be, and where that band came in the results.

EDIT: I want to point out here that I was misled on this point. No adjudicator in the Welsh region conducted a band in their preparations that they then subsequently adjudicated on in the same competition. Some people are telling porky pies :)


Just to add, I have no axe to grind as I am no longer playing or conducting any band... haven't for many years, but Euph1811 makes a very valid point.
 

NervyBsMD

Member
Surely if any steps whatsoever need to be taken in order to prevent the Adjudicator(s) from knowing the draw order, or if they need to be searched for any devices etc. which might enable them to make inappropriate communications whilst in the box, there has to be a big question as to their suitability for the job.

If you can't trust the person, don't hire him/her to do the job.

The purpose of the 'box', for instance, should be to shield the Adjudicator(s) from any outside distraction whilst listening and writing, not to prevent him/her from knowing who is playing. If it is felt that there is a need for the latter, I would seriously question whether he/she should even be doing the job.

Having said that, I do feel that anyone who has been recruited to act as an Adjudicator for a given contest should be sensible enough to refrain from doing anything such as rehearsing a band on the same piece (regardless of which Area they are in) if there is a liklihood that he/she will leave themselves open to question at a later date.

We need to have total trust in our Adjudicators, and they need to be above reproach if it is to work as well as it can.
 

Pav

Member
As far as I know, these rules do not exist – however if they do please somebody put me wrong, things to cover would be

Searching for any communication device on adjudicator before entering the box
A standard procedure of he stewardship of the judge when they are outside of the box on the day of the contest
If an adjudicator has contact with a band he/she is about to adjudicator before he judges them – it needs to be brought to the attention of both competing bands & contest organisers
Are we talking about a standard frisk here or will judges have to suffer the snap of the rubber glove before they enter the box?
 

worzel

Member
Surely if any steps whatsoever need to be taken in order to prevent the Adjudicator(s) from knowing the draw order, or if they need to be searched for any devices etc. which might enable them to make inappropriate communications whilst in the box, there has to be a big question as to their suitability for the job.

If you can't trust the person, don't hire him/her to do the job.

The purpose of the 'box', for instance, should be to shield the Adjudicator(s) from any outside distraction whilst listening and writing, not to prevent him/her from knowing who is playing. If it is felt that there is a need for the latter, I would seriously question whether he/she should even be doing the job.
If the purpose of the box wasn't to prevent them from knowing who is playing then why would it matter if they did know the order?

You've got to be careful not to confuse dishonesty with lack of objectivity. None of us are completely objective, and there are many ways the adjudicator could find out when a particular band is playing anyway. You blind yourself from who is playing in order to help not let your biases unwittingly creep in, not to prove to others that you are being honest.
 

tkhbss

Member
Are we talking about a standard frisk here or will judges have to suffer the snap of the rubber glove before they enter the box?
I think some of them should feel the slap of the rubber glove after they have been in the box!
 

Accidental

Supporting Member
I do feel that anyone who has been recruited to act as an Adjudicator for a given contest should be sensible enough to refrain from doing anything such as rehearsing a band on the same piece (regardless of which Area they are in)
I actually think the total opposite, sorry! I'd love it if everyone adjudicating a set-piece contest had at least run the piece through with a band (that wasn't in that contest, obviously), because it would help them to know the piece and all of its potential pitfalls better.
 

katieeuph

Member
I've often wondered about the validity of a draw when if an adjudicator was unscrupulous they could find out anyway if they had a mobile or something similar. Back as far as 2000 my band played at the National Finals in the RAH and we sat right next to the adjudicators' (3, I recall) tent for the other bands, where I clearly heard one mobile go off with an alert from inside the tent. This could easily have been his wife asking when he was home for tea but could just have easily been someone texting him the draw.
Do I think this happens often? No.
Do I think it makes much of a difference if the adjudicator knows the bands? No
COULD it happen and COULD it make a difference in some cases? Yes, possibly.
 

Euph1888

New Member
The statement made by the Music Man is as yet unproven - but my point still remains, is self policing which I believe is done at the moment really work? I bet Alex Ferguson would love self policing - he criticises referees and then gets a touchline ban - would he get the same if he made up the rules himself I doubt it - are we going to have same way in brass bands - it just doesn't work, it needs an independent body to draw up a code of conduct with potential consequences and punishment for judges who break them
 
LMFAO at this thread. Frisking should be for child sex pests and Guantanamo Bay - get over yourselves, it's only a contest! If you distrust the system this much then put on a tin-foil hat and stay at home in case "they" see you.
 

Musicmaestro

New Member
Welsh Area 2011

Just joined the discussion - however if that is the case, the adjudicator should be named and shamed I say!!!

So open up the discussion and let us in, anyone can throw an accusation lets draw this to an open forum and know who we are talking about.

Its not about having an axe to grind but a willingness to share the truth.
 

Musicmaestro

New Member
Well Rustonw

There may well have been two but no one has said who they are talking about. Whose honour are we talking about anyway? As nothing has been said to need to defend an honour?

Stop playing games and just tell me who we are talking about?
 

Musicmaestro

New Member
Well Rustonw

As you say and if I am your friend I thought you may enlighten me? I am new to this so would appreciate some guidance?

So if your not playing then who are the game players?

I thought contesting was a fair playing field for all?
 

Euphgit

Member
For banding to ''take a huge leap forward'' we need to stop obsessing about contests and rankings and start worrying about playing good music to decent audiences
 

DublinBass

Supporting Member
LMFAO at this thread. Frisking should be for child sex pests and Guantanamo Bay - get over yourselves, it's only a contest! If you distrust the system this much then put on a tin-foil hat and stay at home in case "they" see you.
I agree with you 100% IF there was any transparency in brass band adjudicating. However, I think the tin-foil option is a bit harsh as if every band that distrusted the system stayed home, contesting might be done. However, I DO like some of the ideas on other threads to help with transparency (e.g. post all the adjudicator comments online, etc...)

Just joined the discussion - however if that is the case, the adjudicator should be named and shamed I say!!!
I really think if there is fact...post it!! It's much better than rumours and speculation being spread.
 
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