The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and London Metropolitan University (London Met) are to pilot a new course in May 2008, aimed at qualified architects who are returning to practice after a career break.
The week-long course is specifically designed to meet the needs of the students, particularly focusing on boosting their confidence and improving their technical knowledge, enabling them to successfully re-enter the profession.
The course forms part of a number of initiatives being piloted by the RIBA, which aim to regain talented architects to strengthen and broaden the profession through greater diversity. The pilot actively aims to reengage women architects who have been on maternity leave, as a response to the findings of the RIBA/University of the West of England research on why women in particular leave the profession.
As part of the course, students will be given the opportunity to:
gain business and other relevant skills to boost their confidence for a return to the profession
survey the current climate of the profession, especially within the larger context of the construction industry
achieve the competence that employers are seeking
be updated on statutory, contractual and technical issues.
The course will feature a live case study of a building, as a means for students to understand all parts of current procurement and building processes. It will also include a choice of specialised seminars, site and practice visits, and a welcome reception for the new students. The final day and assessment will be a practical design and project planning exercise.
London Metropolitan University is committed to providing students with ongoing learning and support, including a preliminary appraisal, and subsequent support, mentoring and follow-up, as well as establishing a peer group that will support students after the course is completed. Advice on issues such as CPD and lifelong learning will also be offered by the University for up to 12 months.
Jane Duncan, RIBA Vice President said:
'The RIBA is firmly committed to improving access for all architects, enabling them to return to the profession after a career break, and this is a significant step towards that goal. We are delighted to be working with London Metropolitan University on this important initiative, which is actively promoting inclusion in the profession.'
Anne Markey, head of ASD projects at London Metropolitan University said:
'We hope that the course will empower and enable returning architects by providing skills, building confidence, and establishing new social as well as academic and professional support networks for the individual.'