RIBA director general Alex Reid admitted last week that the institute's procedures on conduct should change because they were 'not sufficiently rigorous and transparent and likely to be slow'.
He was speaking at council on the subject of new members after Maurice McCarthy questioned why Ron Baden Hellard's name had still not been put before council along with 197 new members and 361 student members - something which he considered was potentially defamatory given that Baden Hellard had applied before the January meeting last year.
Reid said that the current procedure was such that pending the outcome of legal action a decision on whether or not to admit members was deferred, but disclosed that he has suggested that the names should be put promptly with no delay on account of action.
President David Rock said wheels had been put in motion on the issue. McCarthy said: 'I'm grateful for the dg's response that the system is unsafe and unsatisfactory - it could have led to dire legal and financial consequences. There are no stains on [Baden Hellard's] character and there's no earthly reason why his name should not be presented.'
Rock later added that new procedures for membership were being considered which he proposed to institute immediately, with council's support. 'In the case of Baden Hellard,' he said, 'it is not straightforward. We mustn't discuss a specific person in council. We don't know the facts. I propose to make him the very first person to be looked at under the new procedures - immediately.'
Council agreed this.