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8 out of 10 think mandatory competence requirements are important - RIBA publishes findings of Architects Act amendments survey

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Monday 25 January) published the findings of its survey of the architects’ profession on proposed changes to the Architects Act.

25 January 2021

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Monday 25 January) published the findings of its survey of the architects’ profession on proposed changes to the Architects Act.

The 502 responses have informed the RIBA’s official submission to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) consultation on proposed changes to the Architects Act, which has also been published today.

From ensuring building safety to tackling the climate emergency, the areas prioritised by respondents reflect the challenges facing our industry and society, and the role architects must have in addressing them.

Findings of the RIBA survey reveal:

  • 85% of respondents acknowledge the importance of mandatory competence requirements in promoting standards and confidence within the profession;
  • 75% believe that an architect’s competency should be monitored at regular intervals throughout their career;
  • 70% think fire safety is the most important mandatory competence topic;
  • 68% want to prioritise health, safety and wellbeing; 67% legal, regulatory and statutory compliance; and 50% sustainable architecture as mandatory competence topics;
  • More than half of respondents (59%) want either planning or building control or both to be regulated functions.

In response to the survey findings, RIBA President, Alan Jones, said:

“This consultation is a defining moment – a real opportunity to ensure all current and future architects in the UK have the education, knowledge, skills and behaviours to make a positive impact on the built environment.

The fact that the majority of the profession wish to retain the regulation of title and expand into regulation of function, demonstrates the vital and holistic role that architects know they must have to effectively deliver their expertise.

We will soon be launching our mandatory Health and Life Safety requirements for RIBA members and will work with the MHCLG and ARB to coordinate practical competency measures for the whole profession to adopt.

We also continue to call for urgent reforms of building safety regulations and procurement systems, and for an appropriately funded education system for future architects. These will help to ensure that the profession can deliver buildings that meet the quality, safety, and sustainability expectations of society.

In light of post-Brexit agreements on professional qualifications, we will support the allocation of new ARB powers to negotiate international agreements that will assist UK architects in designing, delivering, and globally upholding the highest professional standards.”

Read the executive summary of the survey findings.

Read the RIBA’s response to the consultation on proposed amendments to the Architects Act.


Notes to editors:

  1. For further press information contact +44 (0) 207 5805 5533
  2. Out of 502 respondents, 84% were architects registered with the Architects Registration Board; 75% were RIBA, RSUA, RIAS or RSAW members; 7% were working towards qualification; 3% were not registered architects but provided similar services; 3% were retired members of the profession; and the remaining participants listed themselves as ‘other’ – such as academics or construction sector professionals.
  3. The RIBA is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Follow @RIBA on Twitter for regular updates.

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