'The government has also failed to make changes to a ‘loophole’ which would allow local councils to opt-out of the standards.' So I suspect no real change at all then. How many Local Authorities will actually enforce these optional standards in place of their own existing requirements or against arguments that they make schemes unviable?
'Does this relaxation/compromise on ‘affix use’ also mean that I - and other Associates as RIBA labels us - will finally be able to use BArch DipArch (or other equivalent combination of architectural qualifications) after our names too?' Kevin there is currently nothing to stop you using BA, BArch, DipArch or the affix of whatever degree/qualifcation you possess. Whether you use them or not has nothing to do with the RIBA. 'I’d easily use RIBAA as an affix, but not ‘AssociateRIBA’. The latter is saying ‘something is wrong’ or ‘this is not a qualification as such’.' Well yes AssociateRIBA does say that and rightly so. RIBAA would be too similar to RIBA and would make it easier for unqualified persons to create the impression that they were in fact fully qualified architects causing confusion with the general public. Also the affix 'RIBA' despite what some people might assume is in no way a qualification it is a professional body you can join if eligible.