I'm actually aiming this at the RIAI, and sorry, I'm going to let off a little steam here at them, on a matter that has been bugging me for some time.
After 2 full years of a full-blown recession for architects, I cannot honestly think of one truly beneficial initiative, among many initiatives by the RIAI - for the improvement of the architect's sorry lot.
The Institute readily admits that an architect's responsibilities and duties are becoming ever-expansive and super-regulated. This situation, in my opinion, is now at the expense of good design and uncluttered thinking time. Yet the RIAI has failed to adequately speak up, here as ever.
It seems to me the RIAI has too easily folded, too, to the convenient Competition Authority in ultimately allowing for the registration of unqualified personnel, who have largely been instrumental in speedily destroying the character of Irish towns, villages and countrysides.
The RIAI has never taken steps to control and underpin the payment of fees. It is at institute-level, across the design professions and across Europe that beneficial controls such as the prompt payment of fees is required. One worthy regulation might be the implementation of a directive as a policy across the board that no drawings, emails or letters should be sent without prior payment. With such a policy, the late payment of fees would be a thing of the past, company cash-flow would be on a par with solicitors, and architects might even get paid something extra...
Sorry, this is turning out to be long-winded, but these are very relevant and urgent issues and are flying off the top of my head.
Architects are extremely poorly represented at political level. None at all are in FF, yet FF as we all know are the developers party that have been in power during all the 'good years'. Surely the RIAI, as politically representative, should be taking steps to address this?
Instead of some long hoped-for good news, all we have from the RIAI is a new difficulty placed in our path. Now it is that CPD is compulsory. CPD, on top of all the training, and all the stress at work, a new (costly) initiative for the 'improvement' of architecture.
If I sound sore, it's probably 'cos I am - I've now joined the many others on the dole queue, not for the first time in this recession. I feel extremely let down. Protection of the title is a non-runner; I anticipate the level of enforcement across the country will be as vacuous as the level of planning and building control enforcement. Lets face it, they've been talking about this for decades now.
It is not good enough to say that the RIAI is only following EU directives.It is at this level they should be collaborating and throwing weight behind the need for a drastic and rapid improvement in our fortunes.