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November 16, 2009

Register for architects launched

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley T.D. today jointly launched the new Register for Architects. Established under the Building Control Act 2007, the Register lists architects whose qualifications meet the standards set out in the Act. Since the commencement of the Act, only architects who are on the Register may use the title “˜Architect’.

Speaking on the implications of the Register for Architects on Ireland’s built environment, Mr. Sean O’Laoire, President of the RIAI said, “Up until now Ireland was almost unique in the absence of registration of the title “˜Architect’. Today is the culmination of a long and hard fought battle to have professional standards set and so protect the public. The Register for Architects will lead to securing higher quality in our built environment for future generations.”

The Register will improve and protect the quality of service to consumers by ensuring that people admitted to the Register have met defined levels of qualification and competence. The system also provides consumers with an advice service and with dispute resolution mechanisms in the case of poor service or suspected malpractice.

The RIAI is the official registration body and competent authority for architects in Ireland and has urged consumers to protect themselves by checking that their architect is registered by logging onto the new online service at www.riai.ie and checking the Register.

Research recently conducted by the RIAI found that the majority of the general public (82%) were unaware that the title “˜Architect’ was not previously legally protected. Last year 80% of complaints received by the RIAI were related to unqualified practitioners.

For people who are not fully qualified but who have substantial experience there is now an established framework, set up under the terms of the Building Control Act, to support them in becoming registered architects.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. John Graby, The Registrar for Architects and Director of the RIAI said, “The launch of the Register for Architects is of critical importance for Irish architecture, the construction industry, and for the general public. The register establishes an internationally agreed and recognised professional standard against which all persons applying for registration will be measured. The public can now be assured that registered architects are fully qualified and trained professionals.”

Commenting on the launch of the Register for Architects, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley T.D., said “The introduction of the Building Control Act 2007, inter alia, has significantly advanced the formal recognition of the title “Architect”. The RIAI is designated the official registration body for architects in Ireland. I extend my thanks to all those involved in the RIAI, for developing the systems now in place to manage that registration process.”

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