RIBA introduces new educational framework focused on fire safety

14 September 2020

THE ROYAL Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced what it says may be the “biggest shake-up of the profession since the 1950s”, driven partly in response to Government pressure in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and growing concern about the climate. The new educational framework signifies a different direction for architectural education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD), with a greater emphasis on life safety (including fire).

‘The Way Ahead’ document duly outlines RIBA’s new Education and Professional Development Framework. For the first time, the RIBA has developed a single standard covering pre- and post-registration education and professional development.

Key components of the new framework include education themes and values, mandatory competencies, career role levels, a core CPD curriculum, specialisms and accreditation.

The Education and Professional Development Framework will be phased in over two years, beginning in 2021. ‘The Way Ahead’, which outlines the changes, gives advance notice of these developments to schools of architecture, CPD providers, practices and members such that they can respond to ad implement the necessary changes.

Adrian Dobson, the RIBA’s executive director of professional services, said: “After 40 years of deregulation in UK society, there was an appetite to rebalance professional standards against commercial imperatives.”

RIBA president Alan Jones said the change was due, adding: “The education of future Chartered architects, and the professional development of those who’ve already achieved Chartered status, needs a sharpened focus on the core knowledge, skills and experience required to respond to the immediate and mid-term challenges facing our world, society and industry in general.”

The first mandatory competence – health and life safety, including fire safety – will be introduced next year with architects expected to pass a test demonstrating their competence in this area.

A RIBA statement observes: “It’s key that, across society, we are embedding fire safety knowledge at all levels to ensure that we’re making society better, safer and more competent, particularly in the realm of fire safety. Beyond the breadth of these changes, another great aspect of the new Education and Professional Development Framework is the idea of recertifying to ensure that professionals are kept up to date on the latest changes and can become familiar with Best Practice.”