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Minister welcomes the Report of Independent Review of the registration arrangements for Architects under the Building Control Act 2007

24/09/13

Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government today (24 September 2013) welcomed the publication of the Report of Independent Review of the registration arrangements for Architects under the Building Control Act 2007.  The report follows a review undertaken by Mr. Garrett Fennell, Solicitor, (who currently chairs the Admissions Board established for the registration of Architect’s under the Act of 2007), at the Minister’s request in response to concerns about the registration of Architects, in particular the limited number of applications to date from practically-trained architects. 


“I am pleased to have received this report and to publish it in full.” commented Minister Hogan.  “It identifies a number of practical changes which will be made immediately to improve the effectiveness of the registration process and a further set of legislative changes which will be considered more fully in the context of the Building Control Acts.”


Minister Hogan welcomed the fact that the Report recognises that “consumer protection must be the primary focus of any regulatory system and should remain the key policy imperative against which the regulatory system for the registration of architects is assessed.”  In agreement with this view the Minister said: “There is little point in having a register of architects unless members of the public can have confidence that those on the register meet the standard of competence required.  It is important that any such system is rigorous, fair, proportionate and transparent and on this basis I am happy to accept the twenty or so recommendations included in this report which will, I believe, result in a fairer and more effective register of Architects.”


Mr. Hogan thanked Mr. Fennell for a “thorough, comprehensive and balanced” report.  An implementation plan has also been drawn up by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to ensure that the recommendations are put into action. 
   
The Minister said that the measures identified in the Report, when implemented should facilitate an increased level of applications by practically trained architects for registration.    The measures identified in this review will assist all those who have the required competence to get the opportunity to demonstrate their competence in a fair and transparent manner with appropriate and reasonable assistance

The Minister welcomed in particular a number of recommendations which improve the registration process for persons eligible for registration through the technical assessment or the prescribed register admissions examination procedures.  “I believe these recommendations will be helpful to, and improve the registration process for practically trained architects.  I have also asked my officials to continue to work with these bodies whose members have a continuing and valuable contribution to make to the construction industry.”

The Minister noted that the RIAI, as registration body, have broadly accepted the report and its recommendations and he urged them “to take full heed of the analysis and recommendations in the report and to fully grasp the opportunity now afforded to work closely with, and earn the confidence and trust of, all prospective candidates for registration, in particular those who qualify by virtue of practical experience.” 

Finally, the Minister noted that the Building Control Amendment Regulations 2013, which he signed into law earlier this year, will place a renewed focus on competence, professionalism and quality on construction sites through the activation from 1 March 2014 of requirements for lodgement of drawings, inspection during construction and mandatory certificates of compliance.   Any construction professional hoping to benefit from the opportunities these changes will present must be a registered professional and he hoped that many who “for whatever reason have not sought registration to date will now do so.”

The report is available here

ENDS

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NOTE FOR EDITORS;

In April this year  the Minister announced  that in response to concerns about the registration of Architects, in particular the limited number of applications to date from practically-trained architects, he had asked Mr Garret Fennell, Solicitor, who is currently serving as Chair of the Admissions Board relevant to the register of Architects, to carry out an independent review of the experience to date in relation to the operation of the register with a view to identifying any further improvements that can be made at this point.  The Minister particularly asked for the report to give recommendations or views on how the registration of practically trained architects can be further encouraged. 

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