RIBA influences Professional Qualifications Directive changes and outlines principles for future education reform

The RIBA Council has supported the direction of travel of a comprehensive review into architectural education. The review is based on five principles for architectural education reform:

Revise the framework for architecture education to enable delivery of an integrated award leading to registration – i.e. at the end of university study, a graduate may register as an architect.

Embed the professional content of architecture entirely within an integrated award – i.e. no parts 1, 2, and 3 plus earlier introduction to, and complete integration of, professional issues within course delivery.

Within schools of architecture, encourage and develop teaching practices to contribute to curricular delivery – i.e. restore and enhance relationships between practice and academia.

Offer advanced standing/conversion courses to holders of non-cognate and affiliated degrees (and architecture graduates from non-validated schools) NB: subject to flexibility in eligibility criteria from professional/statutory bodies, and interest in/commitment to/resourcing of by universities – i.e. structure course delivery to allow for a more diverse profession.

Maintain and enhance the pre-eminence of UK courses in architecture without loss of the creative intellectual, practical, and professional content informing progressive practice – i.e. acknowledge, retain, and enhance traditions of innovation and invention characterising UK architecture education to ensure our universities keep their global pre-eminence.

The RIBA Education Review is a two year programme developing the agenda for changes in the structure, content and delivery of UK architecture education. The review engages the RIBA Education Committee, SCHOSA and the UK schools of architecture, progressive practitioners of architecture, and the statutory bodies responsible for architecture in the UK and Europe. The Education Review will be discussed by RIBA Council on a number of occasions.

Speaking today RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:

“The principles for architectural education reform have been designed to encourage flexibility and address the reality that not all graduates wish to become registered architects. We are working closely with members, RIBA accredited schools, Government, the EU and all interested parties on the Education Review to ensure that the process of qualifying provides the best and most appropriate education, in the shortest possible time whilst maintaining quality.”

The RIBA also today welcomed the final agreement of the modernised Professional Qualifications Directive. The Institute was instrumental in achieving the final outcome, an improvement on the current EU PQD, working with DCLG, the Architects Council of Europe, the ARB and others.

According to the new Directive architectural training should now comprise either five years of university level training (“5+0”) or not less than four years of study supplemented by a supervised professional traineeship of a minimum of two years (“4+2”).

Roz Barr, RIBA Vice President of Education said:

“Considering which framework will best suit the need of future generations of architecture students is a complex and sensitive issue that we are determined to resolve. The RIBA Education Review will now seek a rigorous understanding of the details of this new legislation. A broader understanding of which framework offers the greatest flexibility for students, academics, and professional practice will emerge in the next 6 months, subject to clarifications currently being sought in Europe.”

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