RAM Guidelines - Selection - Register of Artists' Models
RAM The Register of Artists Models


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Consultative Guidelines

3. SELECTION << Guidelines Main Page

The unregulated, almost anarchic state into which the life modelling scene in Britain was declining, until the advent of RAM and Bare Facts began to reverse the trend in the early '90s, made it possible for a large number of inexperienced, even unsuitable people to gain easy access to the available employment.  Unfortunately, this problem has not entirely gone away, especially as there are still employers who refuse to recognize RAM and instead, place advertisements in newspapers, shop windows and on non-RAM websites.  In fact, the emergence of these 'hobby' websites, which invite anyone to advertise their services as a life model or to answer ads for life models is gradually taking us back into the past and we are not optimistic that the improvements of the 90s can be sustained.

Occasionally employers resort to advertising in Job Centres, but the government agency responsible for the Job Centres has asked RAM to report all known instances of this, so that disciplinary action can be taken against the managers of the Job Centres concerned.  The reason given for the ban is that life modelling can lead young women into "moral and physical danger."  This, of course is correct, when there is no attempt to regulate who can advertise and who can reply.  We have made no serious attempt to negotiate a set of guidelines with the Employment Service that would allow them to advertise vacancies for life models, because we do not see Job Centres as an appropriate way of distributing work to models, whatever the safeguards.

Mostly it is left to tutors to book their own models.  This is probably a good policy as long as the tutors are not free to take people from a totally unrestricted pool of labour.  There can surely be no other cases where a local authority will employ someone without an application form, interview or references, and without knowing their name before they start work.  Even the provision of a National Insurance number is not a condition of being booked, merely a condition of being paid, since it is asked for after the job has been done.  The same, bizarrely, applies to the medical questionnaire and police check now required by some employers.  It seems that it is alright for a paedophile to work as a life model in a school, as long as he is not paid for it!

From time to time, a college will become enthusiastic about building up its own register of models, and will introduce application forms and demand CVs.  This is all fairly meaningless without auditions, and in any case these registers are rarely kept up to date.  Even if they were, tutors, unless forbidden to do so, would continue to book their own models independently.

The best starting point in the selection of models is to require them to be RAM members.  Applicants for membership are required to audition at a Bare Facts life drawing workshop.  Applicants who have done little or no modelling are usually required to practise at a BF workshop under guidance, then audition separately at a later date.

It certainly seems irresponsible, even dishonest for any organization to advertise and provide life drawing, painting or sculpture courses, while making no effort whatever to ensure that the most important element in such courses - the modelling - is satisfactory.  RAM members are issued with annually renewable membership showing an expiry date which can be seen in the license holders' area.  When approached by models asking for work, employers should always check on the RAM website (where most models have their details) or contact us to ask if they are a member.  

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