The RIBA is to start lobbying the government for the development of an A-level in architecture. The institute's education committee has charged the new chair of its London region, Andrew Hanson, with developing the new policy proposals.
It is thought that the institute will lobby the Department for Education and Skills and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to get the A-level adopted.
It is understood that members of the RIBA education committee will argue that the new qualification will lead to a more 'visually aware' population that will understand the importance of high-quality architecture in the future.
As yet it is unclear whether the A-level would act as a foundation course for the Part I - with a large element of practical design - or if it would reflect the more academic disciplines of a history of architecture course.
Hanson said the proposal was in its infancy, but was being taken seriously at Portland Place.
'We have been kicking it around on the education committee for some time and they have asked me to look into how we might push the idea forward, ' he said.
'It is not official RIBA policy just yet, but there is a chance that it will become so at the next education committee meeting, depending on what I discover, ' Hanson added.
The idea of an architecture A-level was broadly welcomed by Andrew Siddall, an architect who works for School Works, a government-sponsored education quango.
'On paper this is a fantastic idea, but there is no doubt that it needs to be thought about seriously before it gets to an advanced stage, ' he said.
'Perhaps one way to achieve the same aims is to create a module as part of a creative arts course rather than an A-level.
But, as a general idea, it should be welcomed.
'The RIBA should make sure that other organisations, such as School Works, are involved before it goes any further, ' he added.