Architects' regulation review | Message from your President

A message from Eddie Weir PCIAT.

Members and affiliates

As you may be aware, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a call for evidence with a view to undertaking a review of the regulation of architects. The outcomes of this consultation could have fundamental and lasting implications on protection of function and your role and position in industry.  It is therefore critical that your views and opinions are submitted and subsequently considered.

1. Relevance of the survey questions to you
Whilst CIAT is supportive of a review of architects' regulation and encourages you to respond to the consultation, we have serious reservations concerning its approach, its purpose and how the survey questions are worded.

As you will note, the survey questions appear to be primarily directed towards architects and architecture students, which may discourage you from responding or which you may consider irrelevant, but we would urge you to submit your own views and experiences as far as is possible, given the restrictive nature of the questions.

It is vital that a diverse range of Built Environment professionals – including Architectural Technology professionals – respond to this consultation. This will ensure the findings reflect industry, with the perspectives of all qualified and competent professionals considered. It will also ensure the results are balanced and not unfairly or incorrectly weighted in favour of one profession over another.

2. Language used in the consultation
You should note that the language used throughout the consultation is not consistent; for example, reference is made to 'architectural' rather than 'architect'. It is important for you to point out any inconsistencies such as this when responding, and to highlight that it is only the title of 'architect' that is regulated, not the descriptors or derivatives 'architectural' or 'architecture'.

3. Architectural Technology as a distinct discipline
When responding, it is essential that you clearly define yourself as a Chartered Architectural Technologist, Architectural Technology professional, or student of Architectural Technology (or other built environment professional as relevant) and we would advise that you explicitly make a point of differentiating yourself from the 'architect'. Remember 'Chartered Architectural Technologist' is also a regulated profession and a protected title, and CIAT is a regulated body under the authority of The Privy Council. (The British Crown's Private Council.)

We ask that you make your qualification clear, to ensure the MHCLG understands and recognises the differences between the disciplines and professions and their education and practice, and so that the strengths and characteristics of Architectural Technology are considered separately and without confusion or ambiguity.

This differentiation is also very important to ensure that any limitations that may be specifically associated with the education or practice of the architect are not also associated with the discipline and profession of Architectural Technology.

4. Protection of function
CIAT has concerns that the outcomes of this consultation may encourage the UK Government to consider protection of function. It is important to remember that there are no defined, definitive, or categorised functions of an architect, and that functions often undertaken by an architect can be carried out equally by other qualified and competent professionals, including Chartered Architectural Technologists, all of whom are currently given the same level and breadth of recognition in the UK. At this stage, there is no suggestion of which function(s) may be protected, and whether this protection would be extended to all professionals who are qualified and competent to offer the same services. It would be very useful to reinforce this point in your responses so that all competent professionals who provide services are considered fairly and on an equal basis, in order that no monopoly is created.

5. Responses and feedback
To reiterate, you are strongly encouraged to submit your own, personal response to the consultation.

If you consider the questions within the UK Government's survey are limited and you wish to respond more comprehensively than the survey allows, you are invited to submit your views to CIAT by 30 September 2021 via [email protected], as we will be submitting a full response to the call for evidence on behalf of those studying and working in Architectural Technology.

You are also welcome to send your views directly to the UK Government via [email protected]. Please also copy it to us at [email protected].

Best wishes

Eddie Weir PCIAT

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