Re: Re: Architect Registration
It appears that the Registration Body has made it possible for Irish graduates without Part III to become registered via the Section 15 provisions of the BCA 2007.
This arises through its decision that the “marginal note” may be disregarded when interpreting that Section. Section 15(a) reads:-
“a national of a Member State who holds evidence of a formal qualification as an architect listed in Annex V, point 5.7.1 of the Directive that satisfies the minimum training conditions referred to in Article 46 of the Directive and which is accompanied, if appropriate, by a certificate listed in Annex V, point 5.7.1 of the Directive”.
It seems that Section 15 may now be understood to address EU/EEA nationals with Directive compliant Irish qualifications unless those persons are provided for elsewhere in Part 3 of the Act – which is not the case for Irish graduates without Part III.
The Directive compliant qualifications for Ireland are:-
1. Degree of Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch. NUI)
2. Degree of Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
(Previously, until 2002 – Degree standard diploma in architecture (Dip. Arch))
3. Certificate of associateship (ARIAI)
4. Certificate of membership (MRIAI) – This last category is provided for in Section 14(2)(b)
Despite all the surrounding guff, the extract below provides clarification. (The author is the Registar. The context is the eligibility of Irish Nationals with Directive compliant qualifications awarded by another Member State. They were overlooked in the drafting of Part 3. It is the further consequences of the legal advice referred to in the extract that is, I believe, of significance to Irish graduates.)
The central matter is found in this sentence:-
“Subsections (1)(a)-(c) refer to nationals of any member State obtaining qualifications in any Member State”.
“The legal advice can be summarised as follows. There appears to be a conflict between the marginal note attaching to section 15 and the specific text of section 15 itself and also article 1 of the Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC). The provisions of section 15 and 16 intend to cover the position of eligibility for registration in the register of architects insofar as such persons are not already covered by section 14 dealing with holders of qualifications from the republic of Ireland. Sections 15 and 16 of the Act purport to make provisions in relation to ‘holders of qualifications from other States’ as envisaged by section 14(2)(c). Section 15 is comprised of numerous subsections. Subsections (1)(a)-(c) refer to nationals of any member State obtaining qualifications in any Member State. Subsection (1)(d) refers to a national of a Member State obtaining qualifications in his or her own Member States. Subsection 1(e) relates to any person who obtains qualifications in a non Member State but has such qualifications recognised by a Competent Authority in any Member State. Subsection 1(f) refers to non Member State nationals who are eligible to have qualifications recognised in the republic of Ireland via and international agreement. Subsection 1(g) refers to nationals of Member States who are not eligible under the preceding categories but who qualify under any of the derogations.
The terms of the Directive, and in particular article 1 are also very relevant. Article 1 provides for recognition of qualifications obtained in another Member State without reference to nationality. It is also important to have regard to section 2(3) of the Building Control Act which provides that “a word or expression used in part 3,4,5, or 7 and which is also used in the Directive has the same meaning in that part as it has in the Directive”. The query was as to whether the relevant provisions in the Directive take precedence in the event of any conflict with similar provisions in the Building Control Act 2007 and apart from the general body of European law which recognises the supremacy of European law in relation to conflicts with National Law, section 2(3) of the Building Control Act 2007 affords the provisions in article 1 priority in the event of any conflict with the provisions contained in sections 16 and 17. The Interpretation Act 2005 was also consulted in the review of this issue and based on the fact that the legal opinion is that sections 15 and 16 do not give rise to obscurity, supported the opinion that the marginal note in Section 15 could be disregarded.”
You will have seen that Section 15(a) is qualified thus:-
“that satisfies the minimum training conditions referred to in Article 46 of the Directive and which is accompanied, if appropriate, by a certificate listed in Annex V, point 5.7.1 of the Directive”.
Those qualifying remarks need to be addressed:-
1. It is important to understand that according to the European Commission, the certificate is not regarded as a qualification;
2. In its contribution to the European Commission’s Evaluation of the PQD, Ireland’s Competent Authority has stated that the Annex V Irish degrees fulfil the Article 46 standards (which we know anyway);
3. A certificate from Ireland was added in June this year to Annex V (as well as one from the UK). There was none at all before.
Three reasons may be given to show that it would be inappropriate to impose the certificate requirement on Irish graduates applying under Section 15. These are:-
(i) Doing so would make for a circular argument because the certificate amounts to proof of registration;
(ii) There was no such certificate tabled for Ireland at the time of the passing of the Act – so its imposition was obviously not in the minds of the legislators, thus any such demand is void;
(iii) Irish nationals, with UK qualifications, have already been registered through Section 15 without having such a certificate.
I have presented my personal observations here. My purpose is limited to suggesting to anyone who might benefit (i.e. Directive compliant graduates) that the matter may warrant proper investigation by a legally trained person. I will be happy to provide supporting documents.