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Accelerating change

Words:
Alan Jones

The RIBA is putting a new and urgent emphasis on education and professional development

For many years the RIBA has travelled side by side with the Architects Registration Board on education in university and throughout architects’ careers. As the ARB commences a three-year comprehensive review of architects’ competency, the RIBA is accelerating to address important issues impacting on how architects practise. The education of future chartered architects, and the professional development of those who have already achieved chartered status, needs an urgent, sharpened focus on the core knowledge, skills and experience required to respond to the immediate and mid-term challenges facing our world, society and industry. 

The UN Sustainable Development Goals, the RIBA Ethics and Sustainable Development Commission report, the Climate Emergency, social and ethical dimensions of contemporary practice, the Grenfell Tower fire, the issues around the Edinburgh Schools and professional indemnity insurance have placed professional competency under the spotlight – and then we add designing for a post-pandemic world.  Together students, educators and architects have more to address, and more to give.  

To do so the RIBA is emphasising the attainment and maintenance of competencies and professional behaviours that create public confidence in the capability of chartered architects to design and deliver buildings and spaces that perform to the standards, and higher, that clients, building users and society rely upon.  The ARB already advises that for CPD and maintaining competence ‘satisfying RIBA’s requirements is likely to satisfy the Board’.  Each member must be supported to have the most positive impact, to accept responsibility and demonstrate competence when asked to deal with risk and liability and to prove expertise.  Our student and associate representatives say future architects have the ambition and want the capability to tackle issues facing society. The world cannot wait. 

This is why the RIBA has created a single standard covering pre- and post-registration education and professional development.  The new RIBA Education and Professional Development Framework, which will be set out in our document The Way Ahead, does not represent a fundamental change of direction, but rather an acceleration, building on the excellence of RIBA validated education and CPD requirements to place a new emphasis on areas that affect the quality and performance of the built environment and our wider duties to society.  From initial study to practice, our Education Themes and Values connect with Career Role Levels and combine with Mandatory Competences, the core CPD curriculum and Advanced Study to create pathways into and through practice and towards expertise, leadership and specialism – with CPD potentially structured to create modules and form diplomas, masters and PhDs.  Individuals, teams and practices will benefit from this new framework.

The Way Ahead will communicate a new emphasis to students, chartered architects and providers of programmes of study and CPD.  It will also act as signposting for external examiners, RIBA visiting boards and assessors of CPD material.  It signals the RIBA’s commitment to standards of education and practice that reflect ethical and societal challenges, the environmental emergency and professional, business and technical demands that are shaping the role of the architect.  New core material for RIBA members from the RIBA Academy on architecture.com will provide inspiration and support.

Back in 2018, I championed education and practice coming together to support and challenge each other to be better – whether you are an architect, an educator or a student, please explore The Way Ahead, the road map for the lifelong learning of architects.  Change is overdue, and change is here.   

The Way Ahead document is available on architecture.com

president@riba.org @alanjones2008

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Disciplinary sanction: expulsion

Following a hearing on 21 May 2020, an RIBA hearings panel found that Derek Briscoe of Tunbridge Wells failed to co-operate with an investigation under the RIBA’s disciplinary procedures (pursuant to RIBA Bylaw 4.3 Appendix L, section 3.4).

Mr Briscoe failed to provide appropriate evidence, if any at all, that he has available a template written terms of appointment for future use, which appropriately sets out the scope of his work, essential project requirements and complies with the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct.

Further, he failed to identify, undertake and submit proof that he complied with directions of the hearing panel in relation to completing previously mandated CPD and submitting a signed written statement in relation to the CPD training and failings in his conduct.

In accordance with the RIBA’s Disciplinary Procedures made under Bylaw 4.3 (Appendix L to the Regulations), the panel issued Mr Briscoe with an expulsion from RIBA membership effective from 26 May 2020.

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