10 November 2016
The following letter from of the representative body for architects (RIAI) to members was sent on 4th November 2016. President of the RIAI Carole Pollard pictured.
Registration of the Title Architectural Technologist
The Building Control Act 2007 established the Statutory Registers for Architects, Quantity Surveyors and Building Surveyors. Architectural Technologists are a key constituent in the production and delivery of buildings in Ireland and generally, suitably qualified Architectural Technologists are competent to act as Certifiers of Compliance (Design) and Assigned Certifiers as defined by the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations.
Discussions have gained momentum in recent years, culminating in the development, with support of the RIAI, of a QQI Awards Standard for Architectural Technology which sets out the learning outcomes for graduates of Honours Bachelor degree programmes in Architectural Technology. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is now exploring which organisation might take on the role of Registration Body for Architectural Technologists.
The RIAI is seeking to establish, through engagement and dialogue with members, whether the RIAI should seek to become the Registration Body for Architectural Technologists, or whether it would be better for Architectural Technologists to be registered by their own independent organisation.
To help you better understand the complexity of the debate regarding the establishment of a Register of Architectural Technologists, please consider the following:
- We have undertaken a review of 19 other countries, within the EU and globally, and none have architects and architectural technologists within the same professional institute.
- Currently, Registered Architect members have a vote in connection with the affairs of the RIAI. If the RIAI becomes the Registration Body for Architectural Technologists, the members will have to decide whether Registered Architectural Technologists would have full voting rights.
- If a Register of Architectural Technologists is established should a clear definition of the roles of the architect and architectural technologists be published to ensure that there is clarity with regard to what distinguishes an Architect from an Architectural Technologist? For example, should Registered Architectural Technologists design buildings?
- It is estimated that currently 500 Architectural Technologists qualify for inclusion on a Statutory Register (in accordance with the QQI Standard). The cost for the maintenance of the Register of Architects already places a considerable financial and resource burden on the RIAI. It is unlikely that an independent body with a membership of 500 could be self-financing.
- Many of those currently working in the field of architectural technology will not qualify for entry to the Register of Architectural Technologists because their qualifications do not meet the QQI Standard. A ‘grandfathering’ system will need to be designed and administered. Who is the appropriate body to do this, and who will cover the cost of operation?
A survey will be issued next week to gather information on the sentiment and opinions of members on the role of the RIAI in the formation of a Register of Architectural Technologists. Any decision on the matter is subject to a vote of the membership at General Meeting.
Carole Pollard, President
Current RIAI policy on registration of the title Architectural Technologist passed by Council on 7th March 2014 is follows (see link here):
- RIAI will set up an RIAI Register of Architectural Technologists immediately.
- RIAI acknowledges and will support the need for a Statutory Register of Architectural Technologists.
- RIAI will promote such a statutory Registered Architectural Technologist as a competent person to:
- (a) Carry out Performance Calculation & Technical Design in accordance with Building Regulations
(b) Certify Performance Calculation and Technical Design carried out in accordance in Building Regulations
(c) Inspect the construction of buildings as required to certify compliance with Building Regulations
- The RIAI will support the development and establishment of an Architectural Technologist Register Admissions Examination (ATRAE) for purposes of entry to the Statutory Register of Architectural Technologists. The examination should be at a level which recognises the education, experience and skills of the Architectural Technologist.
- RIAI will develop and establish an RIAI Code of Conduct and a Professional Conduct Committee for professional practice as a Registered Architectural Technologist.
Other posts of interest: