Jack Pringle, Chair of the RIBA Board, said:
“We take very seriously the right for everyone who works and volunteers for RIBA to be treated with dignity and respect. Around Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, we chose to focus on fostering positive and respectful relationships between members and staff. We reminded Board, Council, Committee Chairs and colleagues about the resources and processes in place to support this, and held three facilitated workshops to enable staff to share their experiences of working at RIBA.
18 staff took part in the workshops and some concerns were raised, including instances of unacceptable behaviour and difficult interactions observed or experienced with members and other staff, some dating back quite some time. All staff were encouraged to report and seek advice if ever they are in a challenging situation during the course of their work.
The workshop facilitator shared their findings with the RIBA Board on a confidential and anonymised basis. RIBA Board repeated their zero-tolerance of poor behaviour and agreed a set of immediate actions. These included providing targeted support for individuals, reiterating advice on making a complaint for formal investigation, committing to a review of our codes for volunteers and setting up a specialist independent hotline for staff to raise concerns on an anonymous basis.
Staff have received updates on key actions, and we have recently run a guidance session on our HR and governance processes and our new ‘Speak Up’ channel. We will keep this under review and continue to listen to feedback from our team.
The RIBA Board and Executive are clear: poor behaviour will not be tolerated, and we will keep supporting our people and fostering a positive working culture.”