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Last edited 22 Sep 2021
Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA
The Institute of British Architects was founded in 1834 for ‘…the general advancement of Civil Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith…’. It became the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1837 when it was awarded a Royal Charter.
The RIBA Council is responsible for the conduct and development of the institute. It has 60 members, the majority of whom are chartered architects. The RIBA Board is responsible for directing the overall business of the RIBA and co-ordinates the operations of subsidiary companies.
RIBA Enterprises Ltd. is owned by the RIBA and operates to make a profit for the benefit of RIBA members. RIBA Enterprises previously traded as NBS which produces the National Building Specification, the Construction Information Service (in collaboration with IHS), and since 2005 has been publisher of the building regulations approved documents for England and Wales.
In June 2018 RIBA Enterprises accepted defeat relating to a disputed VAT repayment of nearly £1.6 million and in the same month, the RIBA and LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, agreed a partnership to support the future growth of RIBA Enterprises Ltd with LDC investing £31.8m for a significant minority shareholding in NBS. The RIBA retained a 42.5 per cent interest in the company.
NBS was then sold to Swedish company Byggfakta in February 2021 for an undisclosed sum. Byggfakta is a digital platform for maximising sales in the European construction industry. It is owned by private equity firms TA Associates and Stirling Square.
The title 'architect' is protected by law, however, rather confusingly, it is not regulated by the RIBA, but by the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB),(previously the Architects Registration Council ARCUK). Architects must register with the ARB. They may choose to become members of RIBA, but not all do.
- Prescribing the qualifications needed to become an architect.
- Keeping the UK Register of Architects.
- Ensuring that architects meet standards for conduct and practice (this includes appropriate professional indemnity insurance and continuing professional development (CPD)).
- Investigating complaints about architects.
- Ensuring that only registered architects offer their services as an architect.
The RIBA does validate programmes at UK schools of architecture, but the validation criteria are jointly held by the RIBA and the ARB, and Section 4 of the Architects Act gives the ARB the statutory responsibility to prescribe the qualifications that are needed to become an architect.
In March 2014, Stephen Williams, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced a Periodic Review of the Architects Registration Board (ref. DCLG Periodic Review of the Architects Registration Board).
The standard route for qualifying as an architect is a combination of academic studies at a university and practical experience. This involves training for five years at a validated school of architecture and a minimum of two years experience, followed by a final qualification exam and professional interview.
Standard 6 of the ARB Code of conduct states that ‘Architects should maintain their professional service and competence in areas relevant to their professional work, and discharge the requirements of any engagement with commensurate knowledge and attention. The fact that an Architect has not maintained their professional competence may count against them in the event of that competence having to be investigated.’
The ARB state that, ‘if you are a member of the RIBA, and you comply with their CPD requirements (or those of another appropriate professional body) you are likely to satisfy the Board.' The RIBA require that members do at least 35 hours of continuing professional development every year.
The definition of these stages was changed in 2013 to:
- 0 - Strategic definition.
- 1 - Preparation and brief.
- 2 - Concept design.
- 3 - Developed design.
- 4 - Technical design.
- 5 - Construction.
- 6 - Handover and close out.
- 7 - In Use.
See also: RIBA Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
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