RIBA announces enhanced membership structure

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Council has approved the eligibility criteria, names and affixes for a new and improved RIBA membership structure.

The changes will see the introduction of new ‘Graduate’ and ‘Fellow’ classes as part of a modernisation of the RIBA professional pathway. The Graduate class will formally recognise academic achievement and the ‘Fellow’ class will be reserved for architects at the height of their profession and will be assessed on individual merit and achievement.

Each membership category will be tailored to member’s specific needs at each stage in their professional experience and development. Those who are Parts 1 and 2 qualified and enrolled on a Part 3 RIBA validated course or doing PEDR; or EU directive recognised qualified will be able to use new ‘AssociateRIBA’ affix. The ‘Affiliate’ class will also be enhanced to welcome professionals from the wider construction and creative industries who have trained in architecture but have pursued a career outside of the field.   

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:

'The RIBA is committed to providing membership that is valued, sustainable for the 21st century and above all stands for professional excellence and achievement.  The upcoming changes to the membership offer will ensure that the RIBA encourages wider diversity, including EU & Internationally based architects, whilst not diminishing the high standards or status of RIBA chartered membership.

'The changes have been developed following our recent membership review, the most comprehensive for in 25 years. These are important steps in providing an improved, streamlined membership offer that will deliver what our members have told us they want.'

RIBA Vice President, Membership Anthony Clerici said: 

'Our exciting new programme for RIBA membership is the result of 18 months of extensive research and conversation with our members and the wider industry. The approval by the RIBA Council sets us on path to delivering a new and improved membership offer that reflects what our members want and need from a forward looking RIBA.'

The following criteria, affixes and labels were agreed by Council for future implementation:

  • Student: Enrolled on a Part 1 RIBA validated course, or successfully completed Part1 within past 2 years. Will be able to use label: ‘Student member of the RIBA’
  • Graduate: Enrolled on a Part 2 RIBA validated course or completed Part 1 RIBA validated course and doing PEDR. Will be able to use label: ‘Graduate member of the RIBA’
  • Associate: Parts 1 and 2 qualified and enrolled on a Part 3 RIBA validated course or doing PEDR; or EU directive recognised qualified. Will be able to use new ‘AssociateRIBA’ affix – this has been created expressly to differentiate between our chartered members.
  • Chartered: Parts 1,2 and 3 qualified; or EU directive recognised plus Part 3; or EU directive recognised plus 5 years’ experience (incl. 2 years PEDR & MEAP); or full MEAP assessment  for international qualification and experience. No group eligibility. Will continue to us the ‘RIBA’ affix.  
  • Fellow: Chartered member for 5 years or more with assessed evidence of distinguished achievement in architecture. Will be able to use new affix: ‘FRIBA’ – this is different from the historical Fellows class that existed 40 years ago and will only be awarded on merit.
  • Affiliate: Part 1 or 2 qualified pursuing a career outside of the practice of architecture; or qualified co-professional working within the built environment, or non-architect qualified academics teaching in validated school of architecture. Can use the label: ‘Affiliate of the RIBA’ – this will help the RIBA to engage more closely with other construction and creative industry professions who have trained in architecture but have pursued a career outside of architecture. 
  • Chartered Academic Member: ‘Chartered’ name given to validated schools of architecture that join the RIBA’s academic membership class.

The detailed criteria and regulatory changes to implement new membership classes will be discussed further at the RIBA Council meeting in December. There will be no immediate changes.

END

Notes to editors

  1. Press Contact: Howard Crosskey, 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members www.architecture.com
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