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Institute and arb reach stalemate over education

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Immediate past president of the riba David Rock, and director of education Leonie Milliner have admitted that the institute has reached an 'impasse' with the arb over sticking points on the 'vital activity' of education.

Rock, speaking at the aj's Bovis awards presentation at the Royal Academy on Monday, said it was the only unsettled area of his reign he was passing on to new president Marco Goldschmied, who took over this week. He has spelled out the remaining obstacles which have been the subject of 'the most difficult and contentious' discussions over the last six months, in papers being sent out to riba councillors before council meets next Wednesday.

The first is that the arb and the riba disagree about an arb proposal to pay architect members of visiting boards £150 per day.

Paul Hyett, riba vice president of education, railed against the arb plan - which works out at a cost of £21,000 per year based around six to nine people on average in each board, three days per visit and around eight visits per year. The riba has refused to follow suit.

He said that apart from the expense to the institute of matching that figure, it would set a precedent - serving on the boards would become a means of income. 'We don't want to do it' said Hyett. 'I consider it to be a step against the interests of the validation system. The profession was willing to give time free up until now - I see no reason for that to change.' Hyett added that academics would have to return the money to their universities so it would cost money 'recycling' money. Milliner said arb was 'skewing the relationship' normally achieved through consensus among peers on visits. 'The relationship will be quite different and this poses a threat to workability' she said. The arb says it is obliged to pay under Nolan principles.

The arb is also still insisting a new group should replace the current executive committee of the Joint Validation Panel appointed exclusively by the arb, and the institute would have no influence. Currently the riba nominates three of the six members of the executive committee.

The riba has appointed a new Head of Partnership Funding, ex-v&a man Graham Wiffen.

Lord Rogers of Riverside is to address council at a lunchtime session next week on the Urban Task Force Report.

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