Dear Young Architects

Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby Bob Dole » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:43 pm

OrderArch wrote:Maybe the issue is redundant though- before the agreement was made with the competition authority they failed to push through any changes to the GCCC (new government contracts) despite the total reshaping of contract law that that document represents and its apparent weaknesses.


You do know what happened there? There were meetings in the RIAI headquarters who were given draft forms of the GCCC contracts - with the guys who drafted the contracts and the various DoF people who controlled them.
The DoF people listened and nodded very carefully to what was said, promised to keep it in mind, then completely ignored anything said when they.

What more do you expect the RIAI to have done? Or the CIF? Or IEI? etc.

Also it is not a "total reshaping of contract law"...
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby missarchi » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:16 pm

It is a reshaping my ex directors where shocked
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:51 pm

OrderArch wrote:I'm not sure what you mean? I'm simply suggesting an independant body similar to the ARB. I think it's actually a seperate arguement as to whether that body would be staffed and run by architects. Professional self regulation does not have a very edifying history in Ireland so I presume a third party registration system would actually be enriched by the involvement of non archs.

I take your point and surprisingly I find myself agreeing with it in principle.
The Competition Authority's main concern was that architects should not have to become members of the Institute in order to qualify, but the assessments require this, more or less.
Considering the standards of the Members I meet in Court, on Appeals, on Observations, on Inspections, none of them should be placed ahead of anyone else practising competently.
I take your point (snip)

(Bows)
I think the level of disquiet in the profession at the moment would suggest that the balance is decidedly off. The question becomes can the issues be rectified within the current systems and frameworks. My personal feeling is, given the size and nature of the industry in Ireland, it cannot. I think the problems with the RIAI are pretty fundemental and far from being brought about by the economic crash they have simply been staved off by the boom.

Well, there is a lot to what you say, but I would prefer to work from within the existing framework to expose wrongdoing and incompetence.
We do not need yet another body - like the IAF - pretending its new and squeaky clean and getting the benefit of the doubt from the Ministers and Public and Press, when in reality its the same ol' same ol' stuff from the same ol', same ol' people.
You cannot help feeling that the really, really good people are teaching or out there doing it or both, leaving some kind of self-serving beaurocracy to run the RIAI.

Oh wait.
"...self-serving beaurocracy..."

That's a tautology, isn't it.
And staffing it by people who are unqualified and who may feel insecure because they think they don't have the professional competence or experience to make judgement calls on qualified and competent designers may not be the best way to raise standards.

That will just mean we'll get conservative and possibly dogmatic decisions on cases for regulation, for example, particularly if these "laypeople" are from the legal profession, where they arrive thinking they know about everything, but in fact are entering an arena of debate and decision with a very steep learning curve.
.
In reality it deosn't really matter who is the beaurocracy - its be crap and suck up huge resources and delivery zero in improvements - unless their decisions are held to account rigorously by Members and the public and the Press alike for high standards to be maintained.

With the Members in Post-Financial-Crisis-Stress-Management, a 4th Estate with neither objectivity or competence and that prostituted itself to developers during the boom, and the general public on their knees trying to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, I think that having a layperson-controlled Registration Board as opposed to Co-regulation Board would not work to the benefit of any stakeholders.

I'll leave the conspiracy theories to yourself and CK.


Its not a conspiracy theory when the automatic registration is written into law.

That is known as EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE of a conspiracy.

Did you know that one of the lines in a DRAFT version the CODE means you cannot criticize another architect's work?

Obviously written by the same clown who used thing that advertising shouldn't be allowed or that we should all keep to a scale of fees or have a minimum [and outrageously high] level of P.I.

That all seems to benefit larger offices that produce poor quality commercial designs, as does the current €250K threshold on turnover before you can enter the e-tender Thunderdome - it seems to be a form of price-fixing.

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I suspect that the RIAI canard that their standards are higher than other practitioners will be coming home to bite them on the ass in the coming months.

I suspect that any Member crossing path of anyone in CK's AA [see the "sensitive" thread for CK's outing of himself as their webmaster] who fails to live up to their standards will be named and shamed, both in the relevant forum in which any dispute may occur and elsewhere.

I don't see that this will do the profession any good, but the RIAI seem to have thrown the first rocks with the Ad that got censured by the BCA and the Golden Pages debacle.

Already its clear their assumed vice-grip on the profession isn't absolute, because the ILS will still accpet Certs from persons practising in the profession for more than ten years.

That's because most of the ILS are Solicitors who understand the law and they have a good idea what the result of the first Court challenge to the BCA 2007 may be and they don't want to be up for a defamation suit.

With the stink from mishandling the advertisement still in the air, its making me relucant to engage with the RIAI at all.

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So in the end you may be right OrderArch, but not for the reasons you suggest.
In principle I prefer co-regulation as the next logical step in regulating the profession, but the lay persons should be advising more strongly on the body of knowledge in which they may be competent.

Such as how you have to hold the reins of power LIGHTLY or else you'll see them slip out of your hands.

Such as how NOT to word a radio advertisement.
Such as how to price for small works.
Such as how to be humble.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:07 pm

missarchi wrote:It is a reshaping my ex directors where shocked


Yep, transferral of nearly all the risk without a commensurate rise in profit will end up putting many middle range building companies out of business.

Luckily there is a huge body or international law that holds clients to account for forwarding incomplete or incorrect survey information, despite denials in any contract and the Courts will analyse the contract thoroughly on the first test case.

The unworkability of it in principle will mean that civil servants, who cannot make a decision to save their lives, will load up the brief with "goodies" at brief time to allow there to be enough budget allocation for them to vary the contract to get things they might really want byt haven't yet formally agreed on.

In the meantime the architect gets screwed on both ends, the requirements of the contract and the lack of variation meaning they effectively have to go to tender with working drawings for which they get paid late - and which will have to be changed later for very little money.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:10 pm

Bob Dole wrote:You do know what happened there? There were meetings in the RIAI headquarters who were given draft forms of the GCCC contracts - with the guys who drafted the contracts and the various DoF people who controlled them.
The DoF people listened and nodded very carefully to what was said, promised to keep it in mind, then completely ignored anything said when they.

What more do you expect the RIAI to have done? Or the CIF? Or IEI? etc.

Also it is not a "total reshaping of contract law"...


Any decision by beaurocrats requires review, particularly in the building industry and associated professions - give this a few years and you'll see this shake out.

This originally started out as an executive desire to not allow Europe and the Government to become gravy trains for outrageous profits - it remains to be seen if the pendulum as swung too far in one direction.

In the meantime professionals should schedule their fees to reflect their work and put a cap on the work they will do for the fees paid - otherwise they will bankrupt themselves.

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RIAI Response to Dear Young Architects Post 18 Feb 2010

Postby RIAI » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:02 pm

Following a post to ArchiSeek.com on 18 February 2010, the RIAI wishes to respond to the comments made:

Dear Mr Young Architect

We have read your letter published on Archiseek on the 18th of February 2010. It includes some statements that are correct - the RIAI is the Registration Body and CPD is mandatory - but it also includes a long list of statements that are not. So here goes:

Registration
The RIAI is the Registration Body, but the standards it applies are set down in the Building Control Act (Irish Legislation) and the Professional Qualifications Directive (Professional Standard) and its procedures are overseen by independent boards with Government nominees. And you are right – because it is self-funding it does not cost the Government or the taxpayer anything.

CPD
CPD is mandatory, for two reasons:

a. to protect clients, users and public and,
b. because the Professional Qualifications Directive requires it.

The RIAI is not obliged to provide CPD but has developed courses to deal with legislative changes and specific architectural matters.

- CPD does not have to be provided by the RIAI and it does not have to cost anything. CPD delivered by any competent provider is acceptable.

- Unwaged members can fulfill their entire 40 hour obligation with free ‘Unstructured’ CPD.

- RIAI CPD Engage provides opportunities for free ‘Structured’ CPD.

- With 40% of architects unemployed, we do provide a limited number of free places on the RIAI’s own CPD events. Between January and March 2010, the RIAI provided approximately €9,000 to fund 30 places for members experiencing hardship for RIAI approved CPD.

- RIAI CPD Network events are free to all members.

Annual Fees
The RIAI is well aware of the financial hardships that members face, so:

•The annual charge for an unwaged architect member is €60
•The annual charge for an architect member experiencing financial hardship is €290
•The annual charge for all other architects has been reduced from €600 to €490 = to 2003 charge.
•The cost of a Membership Stamp is €46 - correct. It is not obligatory to purchase a membership stamp.
•Because being on the Register is a legal requirement, annual fees are deductable for all architect members against their personal tax.
•So for a working architect the annual cost of practice ranges from €290 to €490, less tax, and NOT €2,500.

Representation
Representation on RIAI Committees, Task Groups and Council is open to all members regardless of age or position. Members with dedication, and with expertise or an interest in particular areas, rise to the challenge and volunteer to work for the benefit of their colleagues.

RIAI Council
Any three RIAI Members can nominate a person to stand for election to Council; after that it is up to the candidate to make his/or her case. As with any election it tends to be the most widely known candidates who get the most votes.

A Registered/MRIAI Architect has invested many years and a lot of money in getting there. Registration protects their title and CPD protects their skills. The RIAI supports them in both.

All of this information is available either on the RIAI website or in documents freely available to every RIAI member, but we are happy to meet to talk if you like.

Yours sincerely,
The RIAI.

NK111 wrote:Dear Young Architects,

The institution protects the establishment! As the RIAI does not have an internet forum for members to contribute and perhaps express dissent I post here.

As recently as 2007 changes to the Building Control Act brought with them the protection of the title Architect, allowing the public to be certain that someone calling themselves such was indeed qualified. This of course is a positive intervention.
However, unlike many international models and contrary to advice given by the competitions authority, a new registration board was not formed; instead the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland an existing representative organisation of some architects was given the power to administer the registration of all Architects. I suppose this saved on Government expenditure, though as we all inhabit buildings the cost will inevitably find its way down to the public.

Now it gets really interesting, as no sooner has the RIAI gained power, but it introduces “compulsory” CPDs for its members. You must have 20 “structured” i.e. approved CDP hours together with 20 “non-structured” hours. Now from looking at the CPD’s available on the RIAI site, it seems to cost about €100 - €150 per hour, so let’s say €2000 a year, now let’s add the €450 annual fees and the €50 for the stamp, so now it costs every architect €2,500 a year to practice in Ireland. (Not each firm, each architect!!!) The average part 3 salary is €35K, so given the recession it stands to reason that this act of mandatory CPDs will cost the jobs of 1 in 14 architects.

Over 40% of Architects are currently unemployed yet only one space per “structured” CPD is subsidised, where, to use the RIAI term, a lottery” system is used to qualify!

What are these CPDs? Well having been to a few I can tell you that most are glorified sales presentations, a one hour power-point presentation on a product or service. Often the most challenging aspect is to keep eyelids from succumbing to shear boredom. For most computer literate architects the information imparted, if of any value, could be downloaded in an instant through Google. And even in matters of legislation, where the Architect is already duty bound to be knowledgeable - take Health and Safety, if you want to know your responsibilities as a designer under H&S regulations, the HSE have a website with a 4 page doc. outlining such, and a further longer document with the detail. It’s written in plain English to the credit of the HSE. I recall dealing with more complex matters for my Intercert.

So why all this added costly regulation within the RIAI which will inevitably fall upon the consumer to support? Who benefits?

Well first we need to look at the composition of the RIAI board and its relationship to its members. Most board members if not all, are directors of medium sized companies. I a PAYE earner like 50% of RIAI architects, who incidentally don’t get to write off CPD and annual fees against tax, receive a document once a year where a few names and associated photos have magically appeared to be voted into certain board positions. There seems to be a Masonic structure involved, a level 1 “templar” seems to be able to become a board member, and a board member can become a president. Who compiles these lists, like who qualifies the CPD courses as suitable, remains a mystery? It is also interesting that in recent years most RIAI general meetings open to members occur in foreign countries during the working week.

Should I be cynical and describe the “set-up” as a scheme to force employees to pay for their own “further education and training” on their own time?

That it allows the established firms to tick the box re. competency, and perhaps relax standards?

Should I express my belief that the 40% of young unemployed architects will soon no longer be permitted to use the term architect having failed to accomplish their €2000 a year bookish CPD “obligations” despite having trained for at least 7.5 years and having worked in the field dealing with real issues? Would we throw away experienced surgeons with such abandon?

Of those of the younger generation of architects, still with jobs, will we soon see them leaving in their droves, bonuses lost, pay cut, mortgaged to the hilt and now another months income pillaged by an institute with the audacity to state that it represents them!

Should I add that all together this will of course reduce the number of architects in our country and so the consumer, competition and of course diversity in the built environment will obviously suffer?

Has Architecture become a closed shop?

Is this the intended purpose of Registration and CPD obligations?


Regards,

Mr. Young RIAI Architect (sorry, I lack the courage to jeopardise my home and family by submitting my name)
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:04 pm

Dear RIAI,

Please explain how ensuring that your Members are automatically registered, whilst people holding the Degree from UCD and the Diploma of Degree Standard from Bolton Street are not entitled to be automatically registered, protects the use of the title "Architect".

DIR 85/384/EEC conferred on me the entitlement to use the title "architect" throughout the EEC as it then was.
Statutory Instrument No. 15 of 1989 wrote it into Irish law and I practised legally AS AN ARCHITECT for almost twenty years prior to 1st May 2008.

Please explain how the Building Control Act 2007, by failing to respect this provision of the law, does anything other than promote existing RIAI Members whilst failing to recognise statutory rights of persons holding the qualifications referred to above but who are not MRIAI's.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby C Flower » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:45 pm

Very helpful posting ONQ, thanks. It sounds as though everyone on this thread is based in Dublin. Spare a thought for those who aren't :)
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:15 am

C Flower wrote:Very helpful posting ONQ, thanks. It sounds as though everyone on this thread is based in Dublin. Spare a thought for those who aren't :)


C Flower,

I am posting on a point of law, not excluing the other schools of architecture :)

If you read the Directives and the Statutory Instrument to which I referred, the legislation specifically mentions the qualifications from Bolton Street and UCD, and ONLY those qualifications.

This is because the Archtect's Directive was written into EU Law in 1985 or thereabouts, when there were only two schools of architecture in the country.

The only other Irish Faculty at the time, Queens University, is in Northern Ireland, not the Republic.

-------------------------------------------

ARIAI and MRIAI are termed "affixes" in the Directives, and as such are not qualifications, but it confers on them the same standing of EU recognition.

Around that period [1985-1995] these affixes [called "Certificates of Membership" by the ILS] along with the Memberships of several other organizations including

The Irish Architects Society
The Irish Branch of the Architect's and Surveyor's Institute
The Irish Branch of the Incorporated Association of Archtiects and Surveyors

were not accepted in and of themselves as entitling persons who held them to have their certificates accepted by the Incorporated Law Society, [ILS] because of concerns raised in relation to the fact that there were technician and student members in some of the named organisations and confusion migh arise.

This was defined in the Practice Note to Members dated 26th October 1994 Published in the October 1994 edition of the Law Society News.
The full list inter alia included persons of 10 years or more providing architectural services in Ireland, but excluded the ARIAI and MRIAI affix-bearers.

This was held to be a great endorsement of the schools at the time and enhanced the standing of their qualifications throughout Europe.

-------------------------------------------

Compare this with today, when the RIAI have deemed persons with the qualifiction but not the affix to be merely "Graduate Architects" and unable to sign certs.

That results in; -

(i) a form of indentured servitude to Members of the Institutes by Graduates in order to get "approved work" leading to the Part III's
(ii) undermines originality in design available to the public, since large practices seldom take risks in design leading to greater things.
(iii) limits the choice of architects available to the public during a recession, when small office/ sole traders can undercut large practices.

Are we seeing a pattern of protectionism here for RIAI Members and in particular larger offices, whether by design or default [sic], which are - co-incidentally - also full of fee- paying MRIAI's, in the name of protecting the public?

I didn't achieve my qualification twenty years ago - and work competently, diligently and honourably in the profession since then - to be told by a Legislature, whose only accountability is at the polls, and a Registrar, who seems to be accountable to nobody, that contrary to EU Directive and Irish Statute; -
(i) I'm no longer able to call myself an architect and
(ii) that I have no automatic right to be Registered

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Post-graduates of both UCD and Bolton Street should ask the question of their respective Alma Maters:

"Why have you allowed the standing of my qualification be undermined; -
(i) so I can no longer call myself an architect BY RIGHT and/or
(ii) so I am not automatically entered in the Register of Architects BY RIGHT?"

The present situation seems to be have totally re-written the law in relation to the legal rights formerly enjoyed by post-graduates of both courses.

-------------------------------------------

The utterances by the RIAI in their recent advertisement are now thrown into sharp relief:
"Would you trust someone who gained power andauthority over you via an Act that failed to respect your statutory rights?"
That's a question that both this current minister and the registrat have yet to be asked in public - I ask it in this informal forum first.
Its something they must answer convincingly or be damned in the eyes of the public and the profession as mere usurpers of others rights.

-------------------------------------------

On the matter of the other architectural colleges:
If they were in the legislation I would have mentioned them, but they don't appear to be.

The other schools should be pressing for equal standing with the Minister of the Day, Bolton Street, UCD and the RIAI as Competent Bodies under Irish Law and should be seeking formal EU Recognition of their qualifications.

The EU Directive has been updated over the years as more countries have joined the EU and existing countries have added new titles/qualifications to the list, but you have to lobby and seek representation for this.

For the record, I was at the AAI awards last Friday night and there was a great showing from the other schools in the 2nd Year Competition - in fact, I think a young lad from Limerick won it.

Fair dues to him.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:26 am

onq

I very much doubt that the RIAI will debate these issues with you in an online forum. I think you miss the point of the EU directive which was to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race; i.e. if a suitably qualified professional crosses from say Spain to Luxembourg and has both the relevant degree and post graduate qualification then they are eligible for membership of the organisation in their chosen new country or to rely on their professional membership to use the title. Clearly the directive was concerned with the movement of free labour and not the regulation of specific professions for all residents of individual member states.

Getting a degree although very worthy is only half the story; in my profession I can say with all certainty that the department administrator with no degree knew a lot more about the workings of the profession than I did for the first few months. The structured training offered by most professions really does provide really valuable developmental skills which ensure that professionals reach and if they attend CPD maintain the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to deliver a professional service and if necesary defend negligence claims.

If the RIAI impose strict memebership standards then I applaud them; for too long many people used designers using the title 'architect' who inflicted illegible constructions on the built environment which once they are are up you are stuck with for a long time.
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Re: RIAI Response to Dear Young Architects Post 18 Feb 2010

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:08 am

RIAI wrote:- With 40% of architects unemployed, we do provide a limited number of free places on the RIAI’s own CPD events. Between January and March 2010, the RIAI provided approximately €9,000 to fund 30 places for members experiencing hardship for RIAI approved CPD.


this is the thing that makes my blood boil. This equates to €300 per place. WHY????. For example - let's say some person rips the arse out of it and charges €300/hour for a day's course. That's 7 hours - €2,200. If this is attended by 50 poor downtrodden architects the profit for the day would be a staggering €12,800 (minus costs to hire venues etc). Where does that go??????????

In these times RIAI CPD events should be break-even ie €44 per head. More would attend, more would benefit. Personally I don't even look at RIAI structured CPD options because i simply can't afford it. And if I'm missing something and there's no profit I'd dearly love to know where it goes
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:08 pm

PVC King wrote:onq
I very much doubt that the RIAI will debate these issues with you in an online forum.


They have set out their stall in Irish Law - I don't have the Ministers ear.
I have written directly to the RIAI and the Minister in private correspondence.
The RIAI answers didn't satisfy me and the Minister has yet to respond in any meaningful way apart from a standard acknowledgement.
Ergo I have fairly and openly stated my legitimate concerns here - they may choose to reply or not as it suits them.

I think you miss the point of the EU directive which was to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race;(snip)

Race?!
i.e. if a suitably qualified professional crosses from say Spain to Luxembourg and has both the relevant degree and post graduate qualification then they are eligible for membership of the organisation in their chosen new country or to rely on their professional membership to use the title.

Okay, that's the Spanish Race and the Luxembourgian Race - I see...

I think you need to read the Lex Europa [or whatever its called now] website to see the number of actions the EU has taken where member countries tried to stop these alleged "Race Invaders" from practising - the cases were taken precisely because of the countries seeking to impose additional requirements like the ones the RIAI requres.

By extension this appears to mean that people from - say - Latvia with a "suitable qualification"
(which may or may not require the same level of training as Dipl.Arch.DIT or B.Arch.NUI)
can come over here and practise as Architects - BY RIGHT - while our own post-graduates cannot use the Title.

That's a travesty of both EU and Irish Law.

Getting a degree although very worthy is only half the story; (snip)


More waffle.
Read the Directives and the Statutory Instrument - it - is - the - law.
A law which this Government, has failed to recognise and support with the Building Control Act 2007.

Just think about that for a minute - this Government, the authors of the worst economic disaster in the history of Ireland - have brought in the Building Control Act 2007- a law that fails to support existing statutory rights of graduates.

That is some pedigree in terms of protecting the public, isn't it?

From 1994, only certain other classes of persons had their certificates accepted by the ILS, but having the RIAI letters after your name did not - in and of itself - entitle your certs to be accepted as recommend in principle.

The RIAI may wish it were otherwise, but that's all it is - wishful thinking on their part.

I'm not dissing the Part III requirements per se.
Running through the past papers is a useful exercise.
Much if it is good stuff, designed to give an excellent overview.
A lot of it is how to run an office, administer a contract, advise clients on legals, etc.

But none of these are exclusively the preserve of architects.
Some of this only touches on specialist areas of law better left to the legal profession.
I would be worried that an architect bearing the "badge" might think himself invulnerable and start instructing solicitors who advise on - say - contract law or conveyancing law for a living.
Never was the motto of the building industry more in my mind when I was reading some of the questions on the past papers;

"Stick to what you're good at".

A commercial client will present the architect with the specific contract he requires.

In relation to being in practice, given the recent closures, we see that Part III competence cannot guarantee a living.
In addition, many Part III issues seem to have little bearing on how to design competently or develop compliant detailing.
The principle task of the architect in terms of discharging his duties, compliant and competent certification, is only lightly touched on and something many MRIAI's seem weak on.

Ergo, achieving the equivalent to the Part III's [effectively a requirement of becoming an RIAI, something the Competition Authority specifically required should NOT be forced on pratcitioners] does not define you as an Architect, by any stretch of the imagination.
It might define you as capable of running an office, or reading/administering a Contract, but it dosn't make you a better designer - in and of itself.
It certainly doesn't make you a more honourable or trustworthy person, and that's been my experience of MRIAIs - variable in this regard.
Look at the case [sic] of the highly qualified Michael Lynn Solicitor if you don't believe me.

I have no problem BTW with the RIAI requiring people to achieve the Part III's to become Members of the Institute or with them charging and annual fee to Members.

Whatever about Regulation, which needs a Registrar, there shouldn't only be one body representing Architects in Ireland - this leads to a monlothic and anti-competitive and yes -arrogant- attiitude - that's human nature.

This should expose the over-charging for Members and CPD courses for what it is and I have already posted information on the alternative of the Architectural Association of Ireland, where the annual Membership is only €80 for those who are employed, and there are Unwaged and Student and Associate Rates also - Free €20 and €10 per annum.

http://www.architecturalassociation.ie/membership/

So, in summary, under the Directive and S.I. 15 of 1989, apart from asking my Alma Mater to confirm my qualification, I shouldn't have to do anything other than apply to the Registrar and pay the €145 Registration Fee to become a Registered Architect, .

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:32 pm

Put simply if you want to call yourself a qualified architect the RIAI sets the bar, if you want to state that you have an architecture degree you are free to do so. As a consumer I have purchased the services of someone with a qualification but who was not accredited; would I do that with someone elses money? No I'd need to know that they had completed the structured training and had ongoing monitoring of their CPD so that I could confirm that I had completed the necessary checks that they were appropriate to do the job to a designated standard. As good as any university is; all any institution can ever do is state that an individual passed or received honours in a course at a particular point in time.

Also the EU commission would if a complaint were made alleging that a valid accreditation were not accepted in another member state investigate; clearly no one has made any valid complaint to date. How you could think the most over zealous politically correct institution on earth would seek to be racist is beyond me.

Would the public be any safer in the case of debarred solicitor if all the solicitor needed was a degree versus a practicing certificate renewed annually? How many universities withdraw degrees unless specific wrongdoing is found during the examination process?
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:38 pm

lads - there's a thread already set up for all this registration stuff. CK wouldn' like it if you talk behind his back
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:20 pm

PVC King wrote:Put simply if you want to call yourself a qualified architect the RIAI sets the bar, if you want to state that you have an architecture degree you are free to do so.


I was a qualified architect from June 1990 until May 2008 and the school of architecture from which I qualified set the bar.
The RIAI had no function in setting the bar then, and I fail to see where its competence derives from now.
That is the problem.

As a consumer I have purchased the services of someone with a qualification but who was not accredited; would I do that with someone elses money?

Are you suggesting you're stupid with your own money but not other people's?
Are you being dismissive of someone who was qualified but unregistered because of incompetence on his part, or because that's the RIAI party line?
Did he not in fact give you a good service, making your below comments about "assurances" illogical?
That is about as logical as your comments which appear to confuse Nationality with Race.
No I'd need to know that they had completed the structured training and had ongoing monitoring of their CPD so that I could confirm that I had completed the necessary checks that they were appropriate to do the job to a designated standard.

That is defined as making an assumption based on an assurance
Hardly the definitive route to corporate governance you appear to be suggesting is your preferred route.
Are you not aware that with so many indians and so few chiefs in the bigger firms, post-graduates who couldn't get positions of seniority were reduced to looking over the shoulders of MRIAI's to watch - the architect as voyeur?
Monitoring the project, I believe it was called.

You can call it what you want to, but I'd prefer someone with 10 years experience actually working on jobs as opposed to watching other people do it.
And in relation to the assurances of their work, there is a tried and tested method whereby you can have all the relevant assurances you want.

Can you guess what it is?
Not dependant on any "list" on the RIAI website.
Available to all for the price of a phonecall, usually reliable.
Gives a warts and all account of the professional you want to find out about.
Hint: its independent of any CPD course or "structured training" and is very relvant to the consumer.
As good as any university is; all any institution can ever do is state that an individual passed or received honours in a course at a particular point in time.


(Round of Applause)

This is precisely what defined every MRIAI in practice before May 2008.
There was no structured CPD course in place via the Instutute before that date - and guess what?
The profession didn't collapse under the weight of its own ignorance because archtiects in general are quick studies.
This comment applies to post graduates, self taught practitioners and yes, even some MRIAI's I've met - though some trade on the badge and fail to keep up.

Perhaps you're suggesting all MRIAI's have been scrambling to attend CPD courses to catch up on the last 20 years of "progress" in the building industry?
The class sizes run by the RIAI and tell a different tale.

Oh no, wait, you must be thinking of the online CPD course.
The online CPD course is largely self assessment, with no independent regular assessment of those "attending".

When I see every MRIAI sitting annual externally reviewed examinations to assess his/her fitness to practice, then I'll accept your comments above about the assurances you claim to be offered by the MRIAI affix.

Until then MRIAI's are no different from me or any unqualified success who take their own steps to stay "current" in terms of the legislation, which is fine by me.
This involves reading the new legislation and practices, discussing them with colleagues and public servants and research on every project.
Some offices will attend courses on how to do new things like Disability Access Certs - some will work it out for themselves.

Every competent practice has to do this and MRIAI's are no different than anyone else in their success rates.
Why do you think there were 60% failure rates for planning applications returned as invalid in 2002.
MRIAI's have feet of clay just like anyone else and the much vaunted CPD won't change that.

In other words, CPD is yet more window dressing.
Very expensive too, if you buy at the RIAI shop.
Also the EU commission would if a complaint were made alleging that a valid accreditation were not accepted in another member state investigate; clearly no one has made any valid complaint to date. How you could think the most over zealous politically correct institution on earth would seek to be racist is beyond me.

Your sentence doesn't parse - I presume you meant to say:

"Also the EU commission would investigate if a complaint were made alleging that a valid accreditation were not accepted in another member state; clearly no one has made any valid complaint to date"

They have done so on numerous occassions.
I specifically stated AS FACT that the EU have already taken actions against Member states who imposed restrictive practices against citizens from othe rmember states.
Would the public be any safer in the case of debarred solicitor if all the solicitor needed was a degree versus a practicing certificate renewed annually? How many universities withdraw degrees unless specific wrongdoing is found during the examination process?

Apples and Oranges.
A disbarred solicitor is still a qualified solicitor.
His disbarment arises solely from criminal wrongdoing, behaviour likely to bring his profession into disrepute, or non-payment of his annual registration fee.

I have no problem paying an annual registration fee as long as its not extortionate and doesn't oblige me to join the RIAI.
I am not guilty of criminal wrongdoing or behaviour likely to lead to discrediting the profession.
I am seeking recognition of my rights under the law - a commendable pursuit.

But to turm your own question back to you -
Would the public be safer if a private organization got every qualified Architect barred from practising because their qualification wasn't gained through them?

In the case of the disbarred solicitor, there must be evidence he committed some wrong.

In the case of qualified architects no wrongdoing is assumed, and their right to call themselves "architect" is supported by an Irish Statute and two EU Directives.

This should translate to an automatic right to be registered unless there were interference in the process to benefit a private organization.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:21 pm

wearnicehats wrote:lads - there's a thread already set up for all this registration stuff. CK wouldn' like it if you talk behind his back


We're talking here to avoid talking over his head as opposed to behind his back.

Tough call.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:44 pm

onq wrote:I was a qualified architect from June 1990 until May 2008 and the school of architecture from which I qualified set the bar.
Are you suggesting you're stupid with your own money but not other people's?
Are you being dismissive of someone who was qualified but unregistered because of incompetence on his part, or because that's the RIAI party line?
But to turm your own question back to you -
Would the public be safer if a private organization got every qualified Architect barred from practising because their qualification wasn't gained through them?

In the case of the disbarred solicitor, there must be evidence he committed some wrong.
In the case of qualified architects no wringdoing is assumed, and the right to call themselves "architect" is supported by an Irish Statute and two EU Directives.

ONQ.
.

I have no idea how you can claim to be qualified from 1990 on when there was no legal requirement to be qualified until 2008; prior to that point in time you could buy an online degree and claim to be an architect. Your claim to be qualified is based on what exactly?

No-one is barred from practicing under the current regime they simply cannot advertise being qualified to practice as an architect unless they are accredited; this I believe to be correct as it enables risk adverse individuals to be sure of what they are getting.

In terms of my own purchase decision I knew the individual for many years; who was a qualified engineer and had completed 4 of the 5 years of the DIT degree; I knew that he would secure the objectives I required and ultimately it was my cash on the line. Could I advise a client to use a non-accredited architect and defend a negligence claim if it went wrong; I doubt it. Even if the law changed on advertising I still have my doubts as to defensibility of the claim as by advising a client to hire outside the RIAI you are advising to hire someone who you cannot state with any certainty has been monitored by an independent competant body as having to that point in time followed the professional rules of the profession; in so doing you are not in a position to ensure that the practitioner has had the most relevant and up to date and ongoing professional development through CPD training .

I admire the RIAI as beyond personal interpretation of design style of particular buildings I have yet to see work that I would regard as poor work from their membership.

I'd also say that only for the excellent work of the ILS that there would be a lot more disreputable solicitors practicing; as the high standards required to enter the profession screens many who though clearly are not dishonest may not have the skills knowledge or understanding to practice competently and may try to cover their inability in a pressured manner to prevent destruction of personal finances.

You clearly have an axe to grind but may find using the EU directive to your advantage by going to another member state gaining membership there and then forcing the RIAI to recognise your qualification by virtue of a well intentioned but dubious directive a lot more productive than grinding on a discussion forum.
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:53 pm

PVC King wrote:.
I have no idea how you can claim to be qualified from 1990 on when there was no legal requirement to be qualified until 2008; prior to that point in time you could buy an online degree and claim to be an architect. Your claim to be qualified is based on what exactly?


Normally I'm happy to intersperse comments on a complex issue, but I want this comment from you and my reply to stand alone for everyone to see.

You're correct in part, there was no legal requirement to be qualified in order to practise architecture in Ireland in 1990.
However there is still no legal requirement to be qualified per se, merely to be Registered and I am not disputing this requirement.
Even with the RIAI and the Government pulling out all the stops to protect the title, it seems that some people don't understand the position.

For the record; -

I claim to be qualified by virtue of having completed the prescribed five year full time course from an accredited and recignised School of Architecture.
I claim authority in the matter of signing certificates and the right to call myself an architect by virtue of my Diploma of Degree Standard Dipl. Arc. DIT, issued by Bolton Street DIT, which is recognised by both the Architect's Directive DIR 84/384/EEC and the Directive on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, DIR 2005/36/EC.
DIR 85/384/EEC was written into Irish Law by Statutory Instrument No. 15 of 1989 on the 25th January 1989.

You appear to have confused
(i) being qualified as an architect, which I was and am, with
(ii) being registered as an architect, which I am not - yet.

Race and Nationality, Qualification and Registration - confusion and distraction.
I'd say your clients might have a lot more to worry about than whether or not you recommend an architect from the RIAI stable.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:54 pm

Who issued your qualification?
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby NK111 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:11 pm

Dear RIAI,

Thank you for responding directly on this forum, I applaud your entry into this live debate. I appreciate your response; it certainly helps to clarify some areas. I am uncertain as to some of your reply, and hope that I have understood correctly?

- CPD does not have to be provided by the RIAI and it does not have to cost anything. CPD delivered by any competent provider is acceptable.

- Unwaged members can fulfil their entire 40 hour obligation with free ‘Unstructured’ CPD.


But for those of us who are full members and waged, albeit it heavily burdened with boom time mortgages and debts, and now on recession salaries, we must still fulfil 20 hours “structured” RIAI CPDs? As a poster pointed out, calculating the amount the RIAI has subsidized for the unwaged places, this amounts to approx €300/hour, so 20 structured hours would then average €6,000, unless one can manage to attend the cheapest on offer? I would like to continue to support the RIAI via my annual membership fees, but €6k is way out of my league. (Perhaps the RIAI should consider the effect on its membership fee income, should many of its members simply opt for the 51% controlling factor qualification, i.e. where 51% + of the partners / shareholders of a practice are MRIAI and no one else is. I believe that currently over 50% of your members are employees? Or have you managed to secure funding / patronage from the larger practices to compensate, again perhaps risky in current times?)

•The annual charge for an unwaged architect member is €60
•The annual charge for an architect member experiencing financial hardship is €290
•The annual charge for all other architects has been reduced from €600 to €490 = to 2003 charge.
•The cost of a Membership Stamp is €46 - correct. It is not obligatory to purchase a membership stamp.
•Because being on the Register is a legal requirement, annual fees are deductable for all architect members against their personal tax.
•So for a working architect the annual cost of practice ranges from €290 to €490, less tax, and NOT €2,500.


This is news to me, so can I an employee, a PAYE architect write off my membership fee and CPD costs against my tax? I had thought this something limited to company expenses and tax? My family would certainly welcome such a development. I used to spend my Xmas bonus on RIAI membership fees, but as the bonus has obviously been resigned to history, knowing that I would effectively be paying tax up front for my membership would help soothe the pain somewhat.

A Registered/MRIAI Architect has invested many years and a lot of money in getting there.


I know, hopefully we won’t now be priced out of the game?
Once again thank you for the detailed contribution, and I look forward to any further clarity you can offer.

Regards,
Mr. Young Architect
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:19 pm

PVC King wrote:.

(snip comments on qualification dealt with separately)

No-one is barred from practicing under the current regime they simply cannot advertise being qualified to practice as an architect unless they are accredited;

Everyone who is not registered is barred from practising as an architect.

Accreditation is what happens when they qualify from a 3rd level course.
Registration is what happens when the Registrar admits them to the Register, whether they have a third level qualification or not.

Please learn the law before you make any more waffly comments you'll regret later.
this I believe to be correct as it enables risk adverse individuals to be sure of what they are getting.

As the above corrections to your comments should make clear, you seem virtually clueless about what you claim to be knowlegable about.
In terms of my own purchase decision I knew the individual for many years; who was a qualified engineer and had completed 4 of the 5 years of the DIT degree;

So he was qualifed as an engineer which is a four year couse to completion, but not as an architect, which is a five year course to completion.

I knew that he would secure the objectives I required and ultimately it was my cash on the line.

Really?
No formal qualification as an architect.
No formal accreditation from the RIAI.
Yet you just "knew" he would deliver the service you require.
You were happy to trade on assumptions and personal knowledge of the man - just like any client who uses a self-taught architect he trusts.
Okay...
Could I advise a client to use a non-accredited architect and defend a negligence claim if it went wrong; I doubt it. Even if the law changed on advertising I still have my doubts as to defensibility of the claim as by advising a client to hire outside the RIAI you are advising to hire someone who you cannot state with any certainty has been monitored by an independent competant body as having to that point in time followed the professional rules of the profession; in so doing you are not in a position to ensure that the practitioner has had the most relevant and up to date and ongoing professional development through CPD training .

Propaganda.
There is no monitoring once they've got through the exam.
Exams can be crammed for as any self-respecting student will confirm.
You have no assurance what will stay in their heads afterwards except by personal experience of the professional in question, just like your architect/engineer friend.
I admire the RIAI as beyond personal interpretation of design style of particular buildings I have yet to see work that I would regard as poor work from their membership.

So some of its crap you don't like - join the club and stop crawling will you.
I'd also say that only for the excellent work of the ILS that there would be a lot more disreputable solicitors practicing; as the high standards required to enter the profession screens many who though clearly are not dishonest may not have the skills knowledge or understanding to practice competently and may try to cover their inability in a pressured manner to prevent destruction of personal finances.

Five years full time in Bolton Street weeds out the stragglers and most of the incompetents too.
You clearly have an axe to grind but may find using the EU directive to your advantage by going to another member state gaining membership there and then forcing the RIAI to recognise your qualification by virtue of a well intentioned but dubious directive a lot more productive than grinding on a discussion forum.


Thank you for pointing out the inequity of the Building Control Act 2007 as currently applied to Irish post-graduates.
Nope, I'll fight my corner here, whether against this discredited government, the current interpretation of my qualification by the RIAI, the instransgence of the Registrar or RIAI promoters like your goodself.

As for your comments that the legislation was based on a "well intentioned but dubious directive" allow me to point out that the RIAI traded on the authority conferred on them by this directive for nearly twenty years - its cited at the end of every Opinion of Compliance.

This is what gave them their only legitimacy in Ireland from Janary 25th 1989 until May 1st 2009.
Its disrespetful for an RIAI shill to start dissing the very Directive the RIAI traded under.
Thanks for pointing out the fickleness of some people.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby PVC King » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:23 pm

You still haven't answered where your qualification is from
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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:25 pm

PVC King wrote:Who issued your qualification?


What do you mean - "Who"?

Kevin O'Sullivan and Michael O'Donnell were two of the signatories.

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:27 pm

PVC King wrote:You still haven't answered where your qualification is from


I've already posted where its from - read the post again.

Bolton Street College of Technology, the Diploma of Degree Standard, Dipl. Arch. DIT

Are you having trouble reading my posts?

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Re: Dear Young Architects

Postby onq » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:29 pm

You haven't replied to my last two posts responding to you.

Thats Post # 43 and Post # 46 in this thread, just so that you're clear.

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