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How should Part 3 change? Gordon MacLaren

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Gordon McLaren, partner, Wyatt MacLaren

More from: RIBA Part 3 debate

As someone with almost 20 years’ experience of teaching management, practice and law to architecture students and as an RIBA 3 course leader for over 500 registered architects, I am distressed by the current situation, in which RIBA intransigence risks bringing the profession into disrepute. Nevertheless I am hopeful that incoming president Ruth Reed or, failing her, the ARB, will move to rectify the present system.

The situation is inevitably made worse by the recession and the vested interest that RIBA members have in maintaining an unfair barrier to entry to the profession against those who might compete against them; but the core issue is the RIBA’s lack of integrity and competence.

The institute seems to have validated a regional RIBA 3 course of its own that does not meet the joint ARB/RIBA prescription. It has also failed to recognise its own RIBA 1 and RIBA 2 awards to non-EU students, who are prevented by the RIBA’s prescription alone (and not
in any way by the ARB) from studying RIBA 3 under rules recently reconfirmed by David Gloster, RIBA’s director of education. At the same time he confirmed that studying RIBA 2 without RIBA 1 was not prohibited by the institute.

The RIBA’s discomfort in front of its regulator, the ARB, is not surprising, since the merry-go-round of cronyism that is the institute’s ‘visiting board’ system has long since failed to assess educational standards. That visiting boards do not define their own samples and completely ignore ‘fails’ is scandalous and makes a mockery of self-regulation. That universities connive in this charade is equally improper. Ofsted should be asked to look at the ‘system’ immediately.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Thank you Gordon! What happened to the European Directive that stipulates no institution should prohibit one person's right to further their education???

    I mean, forget that, what happened to ethics??? Clearly too profound for RIBA - they care about hoarding their own flock not for the greater good!!! Am I from another planet or what is this?!

    ARB/RIBA, Minister, Lord, The Queen: One is not amused!

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