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A few hot tips on search for a new RIBA head

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The vacancy for a chief executive officer at the riba has now been advertised. I am no personnel expert, but Caesar's wife suggests a few pointers based recent experience.

If you are the current employer of a shortlisted candidate, step down from the appointments panel - certainly do not chair it.

If some of the panel have known a shortlisted candidate from university days, they should step aside.

If an applicant is a member of the riba Council, point out straight away that they cannot seek gainful employment in the institute - certainly don't leave this until after they've been appointed.

If you lose your first choice candidate, fiftyish with experience in education and practice, because you can't pay enough, and appoint your second choice - quarter of a century younger, not yet qualified - it will reflect badly not on the candidates, but on your judgment.

Can anyone think of any more obvious errors to avoid?

Peter Gibbs-Kennett, Gloucester

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