Charter and byelaws


The Royal Institute of British Architects was granted its Royal Charter in 1837 by the Privy Council under King William IV. Supplemental Charters were granted in 1887, 1909 and 1925. These were subsequently revoked and replaced by a single Charter in 1971. Minor amendments have been made from time to time since then.

The purpose of the Royal Institute was set out in the original nineteenth century Charter and remains true to this day:

'… the general advancement of Civil Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith…'


The Byelaws provide the RIBA's operational framework and are updated more frequently to keep up with the times.

Being a Royal Charter body, any revisions to the RIBA's Charter and Byelaws require the approval of the Privy Council.

Most Recent Charter and Byelaw amendments

On 26 November 2009, the Privy Council approved the latest amendments to the Byelaws which permitted the creation of a Board of Trustees and the election of an Associate Member to Council and a text correction. 




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