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Graduates face escalating RIBA prices

The RIBA launched its controversial new ‘associate’ class this week, replacing the ‘graduate’ membership – a move which could mean a rise of up to £166 a year for those who remain only Part 2 qualified

Graduates who used to pay £56 a year will now have to stump up an increasing annual fee depending on the number of years racked up post-graduation. Those classed as having had five years’ experience after completing their Part 2 will have to pay £222 to become associate members.

The scheme has been branded ‘money-grabbing’ by one disgruntled graduate, who believes the RIBA is hitting ‘soft targets’ to raise more cash.

But the RIBA has defended the new classification system, claiming it bridges the gap between students, who pay nothing, and chartered members, who shell out £240 a year.

Unlike the old graduate class, associate members will not need to be working towards Part 3.

Richard Brindley, executive director of RIBA Professional Services said: ‘The class is a great opportunity to enable all members who have an interest and qualification in architecture to engage with the profession.

‘The structure of the new class better reflects the progress and development throughout a practitioner’s career.’

The plans have not only dismayed former graduate members, but also provoked anger from Scotland’s RIAS when they were first mooted last year (AJ 11.12.08).

The Scottish institute argued it already had an ‘associate’ status, but only granted it to fully qualified architects. Despite the potential for confusion and legal difficulties, a source at the RIAS said it had no intention of changing its associate class.

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