The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby vca » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:14 pm

What's about to happen hopefully is that the 2500+ members of the RIAI are going to get up off their arses and start lobbying their local TD's and senators. Instead of feeling impotent about John 'Expenses' O' Donoghue's ludicrous Private Member's Bill do something about it.

You would be surprised at how empowering it is talking to your local T.D. about your worries and concerns on an issue such as this and how responsive they can be to the personal story. As someone involved in lobbying on the Civil Partnership Bill I'm amazed at how effective it was.

T.D.'s also respond to potential voters and there are a lot more RIAI members and potential members than there are AA members if we get out and lobby.

Instead of baiting ONQ et al on here get out to your local constiuency office this weekend.

Good luck!
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby PVC King » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:08 pm

You seem to forget that the object of the legislation was to protect the public from rogue traders; do you really expect your arguments to be afforded respect when you directly seek to exclude people with sufficient practical experience who are prepared to pay a reasonable fee to sit a professional exam and be bound by the rules of the profession going forward.

There is a middle ground that protects the public, recognises professional competence and does not exclude hard working taxpayers whether or not they were lucky enough to be able to receive a third level education in a career they have managed to be lucky enough to select at attempt one.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby BenK » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:49 am

Recognition of YOUR qualification and registration under threat
John O'Donoghue T.D.'s Private Members' Bill proposes admission to the Register of Architects without:

assessment of competence
independent verification
compliance with minimum EU standards

Dear Colleague,
I am writing to you regarding the Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010 Private Members' Bill recently tabled by John O’Donoghue T.D.
The Amendment Bill proposes an additional ‘grandfather clause’ exemption for unqualified persons aged 35 or older who have provided architectural services for seven years or more, but who are unwilling to verify their standard and quality of work through independent assessment as already provided for in the legislation.
The Amendment Bill is unnecessary as the existing legislation already provides for the registration of those who do not have formal qualifications. The process, operated by the independent Technical Assessment Board is fair, accessible, structured and based on expert assessment of professional competence and experience unlike the process in the proposed amendment which specifically excludes any qualitative assessment or independent verification.
This proposed Bill would:
• undermine consumer confidence and protection;
• invalidate the existing Register for Architects;
• damage the reputation of Irish architects and architecture;
• discriminate against those who have worked for and invested in a qualification in architecture and a professional practice examination;
• undermine the validity and acceptability of all architectural qualifications in the State;
• only serve those who are unwilling to have their knowledge, skill and competence assessed by an independent Government statutory body.
The RIAI has grave concerns about this Bill. It is imperative that Irish architectural standards, reputation and processes stand up to international scrutiny. To highlight these important issues, we are issuing a media statement today and will be communicating these concerns over the summer.
While having grave concerns about the proposed amendment, the RIAI as a registration body, can understand the action taken by John O’Donoghue T.D. given the amount of mis-understanding, mis-information and mis-representation about the Building Control Act 2007.
Over the coming months you may have an opportunity to express your opinion or liaise with your local representative on this matter. You can download an information sheet giving an overview of the issues, along with the statement we issued today, a copy of the Private Members' Bill, and a contact list for Dáil representatives.

Yours sincerely,

John Graby
Director, RIAI


An email I received from the RIAI on the matter yesterday for anyone who's interested...
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby henno » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:32 pm

there is a lot of mistrust among the 'excluded' that the technical examination procedure is or will be deliberately 'front loaded' so as to be unfair and not representative of the standards commonplace among registered architects currently practising in ireland.

A transparent and simply process would be to have a sample registered and unregistered architects sit the same exam / interview and have the results published. The sample selection would obviously have to be done on a lottery basis and should reflect a good cross sample of existing practising registered architects.

I too agree that an amnesty is not the way to way to go... im mean, if the definition of "work commensurate to that of an architect" is to be based on the EU definition of traits which includes urban planning, structure etc, then many will not be able to argue that their work is commensurate to that if an architect. Similarly, it should be recognised publically by RIAI that there exists a sub section of registered architects who consider themselves "design" architects only and do not deal at all with technical analysis or solution. Questions could be asked of these architects too, as to how they comply with the definition of Architect as held by the EU.....
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby teak » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:11 pm

Having looked in on this thread a few times it seems that debate has become very diffuse.
It is not simply one single issue - how to deal with people not possessing formal academic training who want to use the term architect to describe their services - that is involved here.

But I'll be brief.
If the grandfathers really are competent to do the work of an architect then they should have nothing to fear from either a review of their own actual works or an appropriate exam on their expertise.

The question of review/exam fees is another matter.
As is the sourcing of the reviewers/examiners.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:11 pm

wearnicehats wrote:spooky


Well, I suppose it is - but its a two edged sword.

It could mean - what's about to happen to *me* - ulp!

Still, onwards and upwards and some good may come of it.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:31 pm

BenK wrote:An email I received from the RIAI on the matter yesterday for anyone who's interested...


Thanks Henno,

There was a piece on Drivetime and a piece in the paper during the week.

Amazing the reaction you can get from people who take your right to use the Title away , when it looks like they might be merely blunted or delayed in their ambitions for the profession.

There were a number of inclusive ways Registration could have been done - without aping the British - that didn't need to have involved setting up a monolothic professional class based solely on the RIAI Part III exam.

Workable, layered solutions that promote integrity and appropriate levels of responsibility commensurate with qualification and ability have been expressed both here on Archiseek and to the Oireachtas.

They would only appeal to someone who gives the public credit for understanding things - which they do - and not to someone whose vision of the profession is "one size fits all".

Of all the professions in which to try to pigeonhole people, one based on insprational artistic ability and resting for its best exponents on native talent, has to be the least suitable.

And to place a paper qualification at the forefront, with little or no regard for a five year full time course recognised by successive EU directives, or 7 or more years giving competent practice and service to their local communities, has to be the mist ignorant ham fisted way to do it.

At the same time to allow people of mixed competence and ability, many of whom took their part three exam thirty or more years ago, to become automatically registered surely cannot credibly be claimed to be good governance, and smacks of croneyism and vested interests.

But to see the Registrar wearing his RIAI Director hat and putting out this scaremongering nonsense has to take the biscuit.

His credibility to comment on this matter fairly or impartially seems to be on a par with his ability to approve advertisements.

But the real question whether it is appropriate that the Registrar comment publicly in any manner at all.

Too many hats and too many jobs to do - that's gotta be a vested interest issue.

This is a question for the Minister.

Hopefully he will address it with more integrity, competence and common sense than he has the foreshore license holding up the Incinerator - currently putting Ireland at risk from millions of Euros in compensation claim so Gornley can ensure his re-election.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:42 pm

teak wrote:Having looked in on this thread a few times it seems that debate has become very diffuse.
It is not simply one single issue - how to deal with people not possessing formal academic training who want to use the term architect to describe their services - that is involved here.

But I'll be brief.
If the grandfathers really are competent to do the work of an architect then they should have nothing to fear from either a review of their own actual works or an appropriate exam on their expertise.

The question of review/exam fees is another matter.
As is the sourcing of the reviewers/examiners.



The matter of showing proofs "for quantitative verification purposes" is addressed in the Building Control Bill 2010.

http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2010/4110/B4110D.pdf

Its a comprehesive wording, given the remoteness of the period of time involved from which prospective Registrants might be requried to produce documents.
This could be more distant in many cases than the 6 years companies are required to retain documents under the Data Protection Act.
In my own case, should I intend to proceed down this route, I would be looking to show documents from 1990-1997.

My tender, formative years. :)

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:52 pm

vca wrote:What's about to happen hopefully is that the 2500+ members of the RIAI are going to get up off their arses and start lobbying their local TD's and senators. Instead of feeling impotent about John 'Expenses' O' Donoghue's ludicrous Private Member's Bill do something about it.

You would be surprised at how empowering it is talking to your local T.D. about your worries and concerns on an issue such as this and how responsive they can be to the personal story. As someone involved in lobbying on the Civil Partnership Bill I'm amazed at how effective it was.

T.D.'s also respond to potential voters and there are a lot more RIAI members and potential members than there are AA members if we get out and lobby.

Instead of baiting ONQ et al on here get out to your local constiuency office this weekend.

Good luck!


You'll need more than luck.

You'll probably find a Member of the Architects Alliance of Ireland has already made their case.
Better still, it may be that they haven't been there before you - that you're coming to the the elected representative "cold".

Imagine the fun you will have trying to explain to them that the person who designed their nephew's house and certified it is a risk to the public and a menace to the profession.
The elected representative will look at you as if you have two heads, then they may either politely ask you to leave or, thinking that you're a raving lunatic, call the guards.

One can only imagine the defamation cases that are going to arise out of this foolishness.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby spoilsport » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:26 pm

Mmmmm - quick question - when is an alleged independent register competent body , not a independent register competent body - yeah! that right , (yes I know , I've answered my own question !) its the one that openly lobbies the brotherhood to mobilise against a proposed legislative amendment that does not suit its other day job or its members!! Could another independent competent body have been on the ball with its warning that the RIAI would have a clear conflict of interest, if awarded the role of register, competent body, and figurehead for a professional body, such an unholy trinity. The competition Authority must be wagging the metaphorical finger with a smug self satisfied look on its metaphorical face, saying to the ministers “aha, we told you so!!”
John Boy must have many internal conflicts to know which hat to wear when he rises from the scratcher every sunny morn. I must also wonder if this will compromise the position of the RIAI as the competent body now as it has openly cast off its shackles of its "faux pas" independent role. What would the legal issues if any be??? all food for thought. Also by an by ,,, some additional reading whilst on the white throne…

Competition Law - Abuse of Dominance
If a business has a dominant position in any market then it must not abuse that dominant position. Competition law places a special responsibility on anyone who has a dominant position in the market.(RIAI) However, it is not a breach of law merely to hold a dominant position, it is the abuse of the dominant position which is the breach of the law.(radio bias advertising registered over non registered – peddled under auspice of only being informative – and officially endorsed as biased by the BAI)

It is possible to have a dominant position in a relatively narrow market and many companies are surprised to find that they are dominant. If there is any doubt then legal advice ought to be obtained as to the compatibility of conduct with competition law.

Abuse of dominance consists in such activities as predatory pricing, abusive acquisitions by dominant businesses, unjustifiable refusals to supply, fidelity rebates, unjustified discounts, “exclusionary tactics or similar unfair conduct.”(would / could this be an other area of concern)

It is not possible to obtain an exemption or a licence in respect of an abuse of dominance. Therefore all abuses of dominance are breaches of competition law.
The European Commission and the Irish courts will punish abuses of dominance more severely than anti-competitive arrangements. Abuses of dominance attract the highest fines.


open up your chequebook brothers, and expect higher annual subscription fees to cover the costs of the cases for compo and others, as the tax payer will not be picking up the tab for this gaffe, me thinks, “Sigh “– I really disappear at the leadership’s actions on this issue, getting knickers in a severe twist comes to mind. There are many ways to carck this nut, but not the sledgehammer approach as being swung on this occassion.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:34 pm

spoilsport wrote:Mmmmm - quick question - when is an alleged independent register competent body , not a independent register competent body - yeah! that right , (yes I know , I've answered my own question !) its the one that openly lobbies the brotherhood to mobilise against a proposed legislative amendment that does not suit its other day job or its members!! Could another independent competent body have been on the ball with its warning that the RIAI would have a clear conflict of interest, if awarded the role of register, competent body, and figurehead for a professional body, such an unholy trinity. The competition Authority must be wagging the metaphorical finger with a smug self satisfied look on its metaphorical face, saying to the ministers “aha, we told you so!!”
John Boy must have many internal conflicts to know which hat to wear when he rises from the scratcher every sunny morn. I must also wonder if this will compromise the position of the RIAI as the competent body now as it has openly cast off its shackles of its "faux pas" independent role. What would the legal issues if any be??? all food for thought. Also by an by ,,, some additional reading whilst on the white throne…

Competition Law - Abuse of Dominance
If a business has a dominant position in any market then it must not abuse that dominant position. Competition law places a special responsibility on anyone who has a dominant position in the market.(RIAI) However, it is not a breach of law merely to hold a dominant position, it is the abuse of the dominant position which is the breach of the law.(radio bias advertising registered over non registered – peddled under auspice of only being informative – and officially endorsed as biased by the BAI)

It is possible to have a dominant position in a relatively narrow market and many companies are surprised to find that they are dominant. If there is any doubt then legal advice ought to be obtained as to the compatibility of conduct with competition law.

Abuse of dominance consists in such activities as predatory pricing, abusive acquisitions by dominant businesses, unjustifiable refusals to supply, fidelity rebates, unjustified discounts, “exclusionary tactics or similar unfair conduct.”(would / could this be an other area of concern)

It is not possible to obtain an exemption or a licence in respect of an abuse of dominance. Therefore all abuses of dominance are breaches of competition law.
The European Commission and the Irish courts will punish abuses of dominance more severely than anti-competitive arrangements. Abuses of dominance attract the highest fines.


open up your chequebook brothers, and expect higher annual subscription fees to cover the costs of the cases for compo and others, as the tax payer will not be picking up the tab for this gaffe, me thinks, “Sigh “– I really disappear at the leadership’s actions on this issue, getting knickers in a severe twist comes to mind. There are many ways to carck this nut, but not the sledgehammer approach as being swung on this occassion.

Spoilsport – by name and nature


Excellent food for thought, thanks.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:41 pm

PVC King wrote:You seem to forget that the object of the legislation was to protect the public from rogue traders; do you really expect your arguments to be afforded respect when you directly seek to exclude people with sufficient practical experience who are prepared to pay a reasonable fee to sit a professional exam and be bound by the rules of the profession going forward.

There is a middle ground that protects the public, recognises professional competence and does not exclude hard working taxpayers whether or not they were lucky enough to be able to receive a third level education in a career they have managed to be lucky enough to select at attempt one.


This is your second thank you this month.

Don't lose the run of yourself.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:36 pm

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby teak » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:00 pm

Why not take this opportunity to amend the whole act.

But this time include a provision for the equally deserving "apprenticeship" route.
Just seen the Canadian scheme online and it is impressive.
http://www.raic-syllabus.ca/public/index.html

Many other professions retain this route to qualification.
Engineers in the UK may still qualify this way.
Even lawyers in California, NY, DC and Maine can qualify this route -- with neither a college primary degree nor law school attendance.

This route to qualification clearly has advantages in those professions where both study and work-skills need to be acquired prior to being free to practice under one's own name.
It allows both freedom to independent spirits and a half-decent lifestyle to persons who meet the love of their life at a young age and want to retain their professional ambitions.
Having met a few engineers in the UK who went down this route I found them both very familiar with the implementation realities of product development.

As an outsider, I find it odd that the RIAI, or whoever is finally agreed on to decide on acceptability of qualifications, cannot see the good sense of including this avenue to qualification within Ireland -- yet at the same time they are happy to accept Canadians who might well have attained their primary qualifications by this route . . .
Is it another case of a profession being led by its vocal academic minority ?
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:28 pm

teak wrote:Why not take this opportunity to amend the whole act.

But this time include a provision for the equally deserving "apprenticeship" route.
Just seen the Canadian scheme online and it is impressive.
http://www.raic-syllabus.ca/public/index.html

Many other professions retain this route to qualification.
Engineers in the UK may still qualify this way.
Even lawyers in California, NY, DC and Maine can qualify this route -- with neither a college primary degree nor law school attendance.

This route to qualification clearly has advantages in those professions where both study and work-skills need to be acquired prior to being free to practice under one's own name.
It allows both freedom to independent spirits and a half-decent lifestyle to persons who meet the love of their life at a young age and want to retain their professional ambitions.
Having met a few engineers in the UK who went down this route I found them both very familiar with the implementation realities of product development.

As an outsider, I find it odd that the RIAI, or whoever is finally agreed on to decide on acceptability of qualifications, cannot see the good sense of including this avenue to qualification within Ireland -- yet at the same time they are happy to accept Canadians who might well have attained their primary qualifications by this route . . .
Is it another case of a profession being led by its vocal academic minority ?


Teak,

This is becoming and embarrassing habit this past month - thanks for the excellent link
Sorry about the delay in my responding - there is a lot happening behind the scenes just at the moment.

This Canadian Route was unknown to me before your post - as well as the principle of a commonwealth country continuing the apprenticeship route - this is hugely information and supportive.
No doubt the RIAI will say this is already included in the Act, but the failure rate of 16 out of 18 entrants previously suggest they might have set the bar too high.

But the fact is that the apprenticeship route - unlike the self-limiting Grandfather Clause - caters for an ongoing need that recognises not everyone can go to college as well as the fact that an "assessment" that tries to cram a five year design course into one year is a non-runner - it takes students in a five year full time course years just to learn the lingo, despite already in many cases having the ability to design - there's many a mediocre scheme been "talked" into a pass, where without teh verbal/written/intellectual net supporting it, it might well have failed to sufficiently impress.

And this of course is the big fear of apprenticed/practically/traditionally trained architects - their assessors think differently about design than they do.
The designs may not be all THAT different, but assessors are as gullible as anyone to a smooth talker, and frequently the "wow" factor design gets the nomination just for pushing the boat out, despite it being a less mature or cost-effective response to the brief.

While there are pros and cons for full time vs part time learning, there is no substitute for doing what you do best, whether it be in design projects or real world
In academia, for example in the Bolton Street full-time course, a typical year will have at least four significant projects, sometimes six, with the major one usually after Christmas but before the Easter tests.

The benefit of full time education can be the assessment and development of the designer without the pressures of workload deadlines and professional liability arising - the con can be people don't take it seriously, or "cog" other designs or simply work less well with a totally blank canvas - many people appreciate design constraints that are a given with RL projects.

The benefit of on-the-job study and training is that you are grounded in the RL practice of the profession - while your design choices are necessarily more limited, you are also learning from an early age about the cost implications of a particular "look" or "wow" feature, something many members of the profession seem to miss even after decades in practice.

A well rounded practitioner of say ten years standing has worked with both these goad - the spur to excellence in design to either win competitions or satisfy demanding development plans and planners, while maintain the balance of the other spur - ensuring that the work is a measured response, judging cost against amenity and standards as well as the regulations.

Anyway, good link - passed on to relevant parties.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:55 am

At the JOC Environment Meeting held at 3.00 pm on 18th May 2010, the RIAI said that the EU Commission had previously stated that the inclusion of the Graduate Standard as the minimum required to practice as an architect throughout the EU was "erroneous" - this is a misleading statement and utterly without foundation.

The RIAI also suggested that its Members Part III offers an assurance to the public

Some members of the public know just how far that certificate takes you.

There was the Shangan Hall Apartment debacle.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0522/primetime.html

The section on Shangan Hall starts at timestamp 38:50 and in particular 44:14 - it finshes at 48:28

There was the Priory Hall/Coalport disaster.

http://www.tribune.ie/news/home-news/article/2010/mar/07/dreams-go-up-in-flame/

Both were certified by an RIAI-registered architect firms.

FWIW

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:59 pm

I suppose I'd better bring a bit of balance to this thread and say that there are likely to buildings out there that have been certified by persons who aren't registered with the RIAI.

That could include
persons using the title
persons not using the title
persons who hold academic qualifications
persons who have attended courses but not completed and /or not qualified
persons who have not attended any courses in relevant building professions
persons who have degrees in the fine Arts, Languages or Geography or Literature
persons who have worked for many years in architectural offices
persons without any formal academic training

The fact that we don't hear about any mis-certification by such persons suggests one of two things

Such persons don't certify - simply untrue
Such persons don't make mistakes - highly unlikely
Such persons when challenged, suggest they are not architects and people fail to pursue them - possibly
Such persons are not members of the institute and heretofore the institute would only hold members of the institute to account - without a doubt.

How then does registration only of persons using the title protect the public?
Registration solely of the title architect, in and of itself provides no protection at all.
In a jurisdiction which does not restrict the provision of architectural services, protection is impossible.
Even in principle, registration of architects cannot protect members of the public from persons who do not use the title architect.

It is mere hubris to assume that there are no Rogues and Chancers in the Architectural profession, just as it is unwise to assume Michael Lynn Solicitor was unique.
"Rogues and Chancers" can exist in every category of persons providing such services, including errant Members of the institute, i.e. Registered Architects.
Only proper and independent regulation of the provision of architectural services can protect members of the public from Rogues and Chancers.

The Institute has to my certain knowledge occassionally purseud MRIAI Rogues and Chancers - but done so in a confidential manner.
The main problem with this approach is that the public don't get to see the Institute in action on their behalf, which is regrettable.
Thus we have no figures on how many MRIAIs required attention, nor how many unqualified persons needed a "quiet word".
The RIAI's own stats suggest that the level of complaints they get splits 20% MRIAI - 80% Others - no total numbers.

Let's accept that a registered architect is complained about and is censured by the Institute that vigorously pursues their brief.
This may involve an intervention, an admission of liability and full restoration [let us hope] - well done, great result - the public is protected.

But what happens when someone not registered and not using the title Architect makes a cock up of a building - the Registrar cannot act - the public remains at risk.
Even where the person has committed an egregious, fraudulent certification leading to possible injury or death, the Registrar cannot act - the remedy lies with the police and the Courts.

Follow this logic - the persons most likely to become registered at this point in time will be the best of the unregistered practitioners out there, so dear and difficult is the process.
In other words, those least likely to make a cock up in the future will become registered and so fall under the governance of the Registrar - these may not ever have committed an error.
Those that are least likely to seek to become registered, those who habitually trade on the public's inability to obtain satisfaction in the Courts, are the ones who are left outside the control.

Suggesting that they use Title Building Designer might be acceptable, but this merely allows the Rogues and Chancers to continue in practice.
We need to independently regulate the provision of architecture of services to ensure they are only provided by persons who are competent to do so.
We need a means of protecting the public from the Rogues and the Chancers of any kind who are unwilling to undergo an independent assessment.

How can we target Rogues and Chancers if they are hiding behind a fig leaf of unreasonable cost or difficulty or a long-past test - we have to regulate the provision of services.
What might happen if you take the cost out of it for one test run, with some preparation of the candidates, and you employ an external assessor agreed by both sides?
[No-one would think an assessment by competitors or someone promoted by their competitors was likely to be fair or equitable and you do need to prepare]
But let's also hold a test run assessment of an RIAI of the same age at the same time as a practically trained architect - that would be fun to watch.

Possibly on Front Line some evening with Kenny asking the questions before a "Jury" of Architects and Technicians [and Translators] from EU countries.
I think that might put the matter squarely in front of the the public who are supposedly to be both served by and protected from Architects.
It would also allow a fair comparison of the competence of both MRIAIs and those they like to think of as the Unqualified Successes.

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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby PlanE » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:58 pm

I must admit that my only reaction thus far to this lunacy termed a bill, was to shut off completely - in other words I'm sick of this utter lunacy and haven't the energy for it. However, I would like to ask one question: just how much of an Open Shop are we talking about now? can any technician over the age of 35 according to John O Dumbbat's bill now apply to call himself an architect? any technician at all? and then all the other pretenders along with him? he doesn't even need to show he has any design experience, let alone learning? I think I'll crawl back into my shell; it's saner there...
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby teak » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:23 pm

————————
AN BILLE UM RIALÚ FOIRGNÍOCHTA (LEASÚ) 2010
BUILDING CONTROL (AMENDMENT) BILL 2010
————————
BILL
entitled AN ACT TO AMEND THE BUILDING CONTROL ACT 2007.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1.—Section 14(2) of the Building Control Act 2007 is amended by
the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (i):

“(j) A person who, on the date of coming into force of this amendment—

(i) is at least 35 years of age, to be confirmed by production of a passport or birth certificate issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin, and

(ii) can show evidence of establishment comprising of having had practical experience of providing services commensurate with those of an architect in the State for 7 years or more, whether—
independently:
or with other competent building professionals;
or with persons who were or are eligible to become registered;
or with registered architects;
or in conjunction with architects who were members of the registration body; and

(iii) has presented a portfolio of work undertaken
during the relevant period of 7 years or more
for quantitative verification purposes to the Admissions Board; and

(iv) has provided a sworn declaration in respect of the age, the evidence of establishment, the practical experience, and the portfolio of work referred to in paragraph (j), (i) to (iii) above,”.

2.—Section 21 of the Building Control Act 2007 is amended by 5
the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (1):
“21.—(1) The registration body shall establish a Technical
Assessment Board to consider applications for registration in
the register from persons who do not fall within any of paragraphs
(a) to (g) and (i) and (j) of section 14(2).”.

3.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Building Control
(Amendment) Act 2010.
(2) The Building Control Acts 1990 and 2007 and this Act may
be cited together as the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2010 and shall
be read together as one. 15


Wouldn't be too bad if it was only for technicians.
But the way I read it, it's a loosely defined screen enabling all the usual builder's draughtsmen to carry on robbing John & Mary Murphys and carry on ballsing up the countryside with ugly and stupidly laid-out houses.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby henno » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:25 pm

PlanE wrote:I must admit that my only reaction thus far to this lunacy termed a bill, was to shut off completely - in other words I'm sick of this utter lunacy and haven't the energy for it. However, I would like to ask one question: just how much of an Open Shop are we talking about now? can any technician over the age of 35 according to John O Dumbbat's bill now apply to call himself an architect? any technician at all? and then all the other pretenders along with him? he doesn't even need to show he has any design experience, let alone learning? I think I'll crawl back into my shell; it's saner there...



why are you referring specifically to technicians???

thanks to teak for the above post..... These persons can have any qualification or none.... im confused as to why you think it is solely architectural technicians??? in my opinion it is much more applicable to persons with draughting qualifications during the 60's and 70's. Also, imho, i think persons under which this bill falls would be a lot older than 35 yo...

Architectural technicians can practice quite easily in their own right without any requirement for registration as "architects". A chartered MCIAT member holds the same professional standard as an MRIAI or MRIBA
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby onq » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:21 pm

PlanE wrote:I must admit that my only reaction thus far to this lunacy termed a bill, was to shut off completely - in other words I'm sick of this utter lunacy and haven't the energy for it. However, I would like to ask one question: just how much of an Open Shop are we talking about now? can any technician over the age of 35 according to John O Dumbbat's bill now apply to call himself an architect? any technician at all? and then all the other pretenders along with him? he doesn't even need to show he has any design experience, let alone learning? I think I'll crawl back into my shell; it's saner there...


I realise the distinction may be lost on some, but no, ANY technician cannot avail of the terms of this Bill.

Firstly, as another poster has pointed out the CIAT accreditation and the Architectural Technologist Title are well established as of this moment, and allow someone so accredited to take a building from inception through to certification.
So long as Architectural Technologists carry the same liability and responsibility as Archtiects, they can paddle their own canoe in my pond. Otherwise, if there is a difference between the degree of responsibility of one over the other, the difference needs to be pointed out for the benefit of the consumer.

Secondly, the Bill only allows persons who have been "providing services commensurate with those of an Architect" to become registered. At face value, your mind may wish to transpose this to "providing architectural services" - but that's not what it says.
And my understanding is that the wording was carefuly chosen to prevend any old [sic] Tom Dick or Harriet Draughtsman or Technician waltzing into the RIAI demanding Registration as an Architect.

Thirdly, the bill also speaks of Establishment, and this goes to the heart of it - it means unless the applicant for Registration can show they have been practising for 7 years or more as an architect in the state, they are not eligible. You are either acting as an architect or you are not.
This involves the full gamut of services from initial Client Briefing to Developing the Design, which should show an awareness of context and culture, to Certifying Monies to issuing Opinions of Compliance.
Someoneworking down the back of an office during the week and doing "nixer" applications for house extensions on the weekneds and getting someone else to certify them is not acting as an architect.

It is the Title Architect that defines the provider of services.
It is the certification of built work as an architect that defines the responsibility.
One cannot be hiding under a rock or a bush and be an architect.
The responsibility of the Title lays heavily on the shoulders of the beare and exposes him or her to liability to their estate, which means they can be sued after death and their family's wealth stripped from them.
It is this level of responsibility, a level that dwarfs any other profession, that raises the Title from the mud of the building site where limited liability companies grub for profits.
This allows my profession to rank equal with any other profession and IMO places it before many of them.
When did you last see a banker or a barrister sued?

The implication of the terms in the Act is clear.
You have to show a distinction between what you are doing as an architect in terms of the depth of knowledge, years in the field, professional level work including legal work, office governance, responsibility and firness ro practice generally. And you have to show clear quantitative evidence of this, either in your own name or in another's (but attested to by someone responsible and competent to do so) where you may have provided service at that level within a larger practice.

Factual evidence is what is required.
This need not be evidence that you designed your buildings brilliantly, because to be a member of any profession, you only have to be able to act as befits an ordinary competent member of that profession.
But within that definition, you have to be able to point out evidence of you having done competent work.
And yes, "competent" implies that you can design beyond the level of the man in the street.
If would be a poor showing of evidence if it only proved you were a terrible designer.

The acid test for responsibiliyt and competence isn't a qualitative analysis by a team of designers, but a quantitative review of persons and bodies of legislation with whom any architect might come into contact
  • client referrals
  • evidence of statutory approvals achieved
  • certificates and opinions accepted by Banks and Solicitros over the years
  • expert witness testimony in court cases
  • legal disputes resolved on the steps of the court of the law library building.
This is the stuff that draughtsmen and technicians who work for others simply do not do.
It excludes work specific to engineers in relation to structural, civil and services work on larger commercial work, but may include domestic scale of smaller work within the training of a competent practitioner in architecture.

FWIW

ONQ.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby henno » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:10 pm

ONQ, thats by and far the best post of your 500+ that you've made on this subject. Its focused, defined and rationalised. Well done sir!
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby vca » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:21 pm

MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE REGISTER – AND THE FACTS

THE TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS IS NOT INDEPENDENT

Answer: The process is completely separate from the RIAI.

RIAI, as Registration Body, does not have a role in the assessment of those not having architectural qualifications or the decisions
taken. The responsibility is that of the independent Technical Assessment Board which has four non-architects appointed by the
Minister for the Environment, three architects nominated by the RIAI and a Chairperson/Barrister nominated again by the Minister. The
Board has appointed panels of expert architects to provide an opinion on the submissions received but the Board has the right to
accept, reject or to seek further information on any application.
There is also full independent appeals mechanism. This includes an internal independent Statutory Appeals Board, again with a
majority of non-architects and a Chairperson who is required to be a Barrister or retired High Court Judge. Appeals can be made on
procedural or substantive grounds.

IT TAKES TOO LONG / IT IS TOO DEMANDING

Answer: It can be done in your spare time in as little as two months. You can also take as long as you need.

The RIAI ran a pilot study in late 2007 and 2008 in order to test procedures. A period of two months was given to prepare submissions and those who participated did not find this particularly difficult but gave the view that four months would be preferable. This was at a
time of an unprecedented level of activity in the construction industry; all those who submitted were working full time, so the applications were prepared in their spare time. The application forms, information papers and standard C.V. templates have been available on the
RIAI website since November 2009.

TOO EXPENSIVE

Answer: This is law and is necessary. While there is a cost, there is nothing extra being charged.

Assessment of those not having architectural qualifications, as a once off exercise, is necessarily a complex process with the need for a whole range of checks and balances, audit trails etc. A detailed report on costs has been submitted to the Minister as all costs have to be approved. The cost being proposed, of the order of €6,300 is the actual cost to the RIAI as the Registration Body. RIAI receives no State funding; the process is required to be self-funding. The costs have been investigated and audited by an independent firm of Accountants experienced in forensic work and this has also
been submitted to the Minister for his decision.

THIS IS ELITIST AND ARCHITECTS ARE LOOKING AFTER THEMSELVES


Answer: This is completely incorrect. It is the Amendment that seeks to serve special interests.

Far from being elitist, the process is completely inclusive. It already has a grandfather process to accommodate good competent non
qualified persons. The Technical Assessment is completely independent and does not disadvantage anyone in the process. In fact, the
only people worried about this are those who are unwilling to have their work independently assessed. This is not in the public interest.

THE BAR HAD BEEN SET TOO HIGH


Answer: Again incorrect. All the process looks for is minimum architectural standards.
The bar is simply that of equivalence with an architect and this is defined as:

• Whether the applicant has performed the duties commensurate with that of an architect.
• Whether the work submitted in equivalent to the work of an architect, having regard to the scale complexity and quality.
• Whether or not the work submitted was realised by the applicant and if not totally responsible what responsibility could be
established.
• Whether the applicant can comply with the competencies specified in Article 46 of the Professional Qualifications Directive.
What is required is compliance with the average level of the work of an architect not award winning architects but simply the general
average and no more than that. Articles 46 sets out the basic requirements for the formation of an architect across the EU.
Assessment criteria are not absolute in that the Technical Assessment Board comes to a reasoned judgment; for example not
necessarily all the competences set out in Article 46 have to be covered in full.

IT PUTS PEOPLE OUT OF BUSINESS

Answer: This will not prevent anyone working, whether they are registered or not.

The Act does prevent those not on the Register from using the title architect but it does not limit or control in any way the functions of those providing services in the field of architecture. Quite a number of firms that might have described themselves as engineers and architects have changed titles to titles such as engineers and building design professionals or building and planning design consultants
etc.
The Technical Assessment process is completely independent and any competent professional, who is willing to have that competence independently assessed has nothing to fear.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby teak » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:08 pm

It is the Title Architect that defines the provider of services.

You've got to remember that using the title Architect has been the "privilege" of anyone with the brass neck to claim it until recently.
Go to any town down the country and you'll see them in smokey laneways --
JJ Chancer ~ Architectural Design Services.
Some of them even claim 3 titles -- Architect ~ Engineer ~ Quantity Surveyor.
Look at the local weekly papers and see them putting PP ads in for their naive clients.

In a good few cases these boyos won't even have a proper draughting apprenticeship to their names, never mind a full technician course.
But as long as they been masquerading for 7 years (from which they'll easily extract a few bungalow or dormer "projects" for the RIAI examiner) and are over-35 then they are now to be architects for life . . .

There really is NO comparison between someone with a technician's degree or architect's degree and that lot.
But Donoghue's legal drafting will allow them to be put back on the ark.

ONQ, you say you are in business for ~ 20 years.
You are too old not to be able to see through this charade.
The very fact of Donoghue's sponsoring that bill should make you smell a rat there.

In fact, there is a common tendency of architects in general towards running shy of making public declarations on incompetents presenting themselves to the innocent public as architects. Yet this duty is a core part of an architect's general social responsibility : you just cannot claim to protect the public from dangerous, wasteful or ugly building design if you do not play your part in sorting out the incompetents locally.
Lobbying governments through the professional bodies, articles in journals, letters to the irish Times, venerable sighs on hearing people's real stories at the hands of these cowboys -- all these are just secondary responses.
The primary response from any responsible, properly-qualified architect who needs to put bread on the table towards any local chancer ought be immediate, visceral and public.
If it isn't, how else could the public put their trust in your services ?
There is no nice way to deal with bad guys.
Your own everyday reputations in the eyes of your community depend on your demonstrated attitude to these people.
And your livelihoods depend on your standing in the community.
A bit less JFK airs from you people.
A bit more of the LBJ approach would be more effective.
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Re: The sensitive issue of the Grandfather Clause and the title "Architect"

Postby spoilsport » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:09 pm

Yippee, I must pack my bags and head for the CPD course, to spoon feed me how to lobby politicos, against the JOD's amendment to the BCA. I hope we get double points allotted for this course, since its nothing really to do with Continuing Professional Development - Again the question has to asked, in how the RIAI, as "competent body / independent registrar" are now running so called CPD courses, and allegedly remain insular and independent in thier role as competent body.- please somebody do something!! that’s right no one can do anything, as the RIAI can not be taken to task by the CA, because one competent body, can not take a case against another competent body, for abuse of dominance - what a stroke of cute hoor genius by the Brotherhood ..

tut tut RIAI, this stroke is very unprofessional, and smacks of desperation, in that you seem to think that the grass root members can not organise a trip to their local TD / Senator clinics and outlay our fears, without sitting through CPD seminar. I hope its more interesting than most of the other CPD seminars, ( i barely can keep my eyes open during these monotone, power point droning of some manufacturer trying to instil why his product is superior to that of the previous manufacturers monotone droning considering the superiority of their product -- yawn ..zzzzzzz ) you know!! the ones that keep us informed of new and up to date building materials, technologies, regulations, codes of practice, contract issues etc... yes that old boring stuff that could be construed as akin to professional development.

vca (John) your are sounding like the "Josef Gumballs" (can i say his real name on this forum ??- I remember some politician being knuckle rapped for such an utterance years ago - was it Mickey O Dowell ??) propaganda minister of the RIAI, and carrying out a Blitzkrieg of posting, the usual boring rhetoric of the Brotherhood, when properly dissected and counter argued by CK and ONQ, looks very flimsy and one dimensional - mine gott!! you must do better brother, and do not let these wannabees, get the upper hand. für Volk und Vaterland

In my humble opinion, I think FF will close ranks around JOD, and his private members bill will make it past the Dail, but will be spiked in the Seanad just like last time, so stop over reacting to this issue, and lobby away, and may the best man win. If the RIAI looked at this issue as business venture, they should simply buy out the competition.ie absorb the few hundred members or whatever their numbers of the AA with minimal fuss, they mostly will die off and retire within 20 years tops, and by then the register will have been running and established long enough, to ensure it will not be changed. They done it with the ministers list 10+ years ago.

This whole sorry saga, is quite embarrassing for the profession and the RIAI, and there will be blood spilled on both sides before the end of the story. As a paid up member of the Brotherhood through necessity rather than choice I see the integrity of the RIAI being permanently stained on this issue, and wish they could use a bit more tact and common sense, rather than the histrionics shown..- For GAWDS SAKE – a CPD course on lobbying against an amendment to the BCA. , - yeah, yeah, real professional ….

Spoilsport – by name and nature (not the other greatly esteemed – spoil_sport)
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