BOB NIXON STATUS AS AN ARH ASSESSOR
We refer to the above matter and decision on the future status of Bob Nixon as an endorsed FGASA ARH Assessor. This has been a lengthy and complicated process and we thank all those involved for their contribution and patience.
At a meeting of the FGASA SKS (DG) Committee on 17 February 2022, together with FGASA Management, Exco and Board Members, the matter was discussed, deliberated and decided. The Field Guides Association of Southern Africa has declined Bob Nixon’s 2022 application to continue as an endorsed FGASA ARH Assessor for the following reasons:
- The criteria to Assess the FGASA ARH are not met
- Bob Nixon stated his intention to retire
- Bob Nixon resigned as a FGASA member on 14 September 2021 and as requested by Bob, Assessor accreditation and details have been removed from the FGASA website.
- Negative and anti FGASA comments made by Bob Nixon about FGASA in a public forum
The minutes and facts together with all supporting correspondence are available on request directly from the Managing Director at email@example.com.
- FGASA has striven to represent the highest standards amongst their members, and stimulate guides that are proud of themselves, and the industry are proud of.
- These standards are not always going to suit each and every individual but have been drawn up objectively with the sole purpose of promoting higher levels of proficiency, and as a result higher degrees of safety for both the guides as well as their clients on safari.
- If considered in the context of determined understanding and an open mind, these standards have actually not changed a great deal, and any changes that have been made have been thoroughly workshopped and considered prior to their implementation, with the purest interests of the guiding fraternity and the FGASA members.
- Mr Bob Nixon is just one of a number of individuals who have not been able to meet said standards, the reasons of which may be sought via documented communication dating back to 2016. The decision to uphold the integrity of the standards rather than make concessions which suit individuals, was one that was not taken lightly. Many hours were spent deliberating the circumstances of this specific individual, and the implications of making concessions or showing trust and confidence in the standards and criteria required. It was by no means an issue that was taken lightly.
- Determined consideration was given by the Committee as to how FGASA might allow his continued participation in the arena of his skill set. These proposals were personally proffered to Mr Nixon, in the light that he focus his energy on the training and skill development in the use of firearms (a role that Mr Nixon has shown tremendous proficiency and energy in delivering in the past). This function, it was agreed, had enormous value and would promote a far greater emphasis on the actual skills and confidence required when handling a firearm.
- So, it was simply that Mr Nixon did not meet the specified standards to conduct the final FGASA ARH assessment, a single event which forms part of a much more deliberate and considered evaluation of a guide’s capacity and capability to manage their firearm in the environment where they work. It is not simply standing on a shooting range and being able to shoot holes in a piece of paper – these are most certainly skills that one needs to develop and learn.
- The reason why FGASA specifies certain criteria to individuals evaluating an ARH exercise is because of the context and industry-honed understanding of these assessors. The alternative would simply to accept the evaluation as conducted in an indoor range when doing your Rifle Competency test.
- No favour was shown to Mr Nixon (besides many hours of deliberating how we might try to support him going forward). But by the same token, no vendetta or personal spite was in any part applied. In fact, it was quite the opposite.
- The response by Mr Nixon (and others that seem to have rallied behind his cause without actually taking the time to gather the facts), has been a very sad and destructive social media rant – whereas we so often find, “expert” opinions abound behind the security of a keyboard. There have been personal accusations and deliberate defamation of FGASA and its standards. If we (as FGASA) chose to manipulate standards to gain popularity amongst individuals who can/do not meet them, we would be doing a disservice to the individuals that have worked so hard to improve and pass them, as well as for the purposes that they serve. Should this continue to occur in the future, appropriate action will be taken
We recognise and thank Bob for his valued contribution to FGASA, the guides and the industry and wish him the very best for the future. All enquiries for proficiency training will be forwarded to Fimase.
11 March 2022
Michelle du Plessis Stephen Beal
Managing Director Chairman
011 886 8245