How should Part 3 change? David Gloster
David Gloster, director of education at the RIBA
Although those involved with the profession for longer know that economic flux is familiar scenery for architects, many recent graduates will find the recession an unwelcome novelty. With this in mind, the RIBA is discussing ways in which the current shortfall in practical training opportunities can be creatively addressed, particularly for those wishing to sit the Part 3 examination:
1. Virtual case studies, into which can be fed various demanding real world scenarios, which candidates document and react to.
2. Continuous assessment, whereby candidates’ development and understanding is checked more frequently by written submissions, and the ‘sudden death’ examination typical of many professional practice courses is eliminated, or partly eliminated.
3. Some skills can be learnt in other disciplines. Graduates approaching practical training should be offered more latitude in what constitutes loggable work experience.
But what if work is nowhere to be had? The RIBA hostpractice scheme enables recent graduates to get in touch with practices that have spare workstations. A simple memorandum is signed, clarifying that the graduate
is neither employed, nor expected to provide free labour. Ideas, contacts, and opportunities can be traded freely and working relationships developed. Practices and graduates will shortly be able to register their interest in the scheme via the RIBA’s website.
A variant of hostpractice endorsed by the RIBA is being piloted in Yorkshire. This proposes that practices employ students part-time and for half pay, with the remainder of their salary provided by regional development funding.