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RIBA set to split into three for 'more effective' refocus

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The restructure of RIBA's functions into three core areas of activity will be proposed at the institute's council meeting next week.

An in-house review proposes a separation of the institute's role into three divisions covering cultural activity, professional services and commercial operations.

RIBA chief executive Richard Hastilow said the restructure was part of a strategic review due this year in an effort to refocus the institute. 'It is not about 'oh crikey', we need a change, it is about being more effective, 'Hastilow told the AJ.

The three groups, to be called the RIBA Foundation, RIBA Professional Services and RIBA Enterprises, are expected to help the institute focus and prioritize its operations, the council agenda states. 'Under the current strategy and organization much has been achieved but much remains to be done, ' says the agenda paperwork. 'We struggle to secure sufficient impact across the wide and complex range of activities in which the institute is involved. Arguably, this is due in part to the reality that our field is truly complex, and that we try to do too much with not enough. But it is also due to a lack of focus and priorities.'

The institute risks under-performing unless it can refocus its efforts 'more clearly and effectively', the papers say.

The RIBA Foundation, the cultural heart of the institute, is expected to be responsible for promoting architecture as a source of 'knowledge, information and inspiration'. The foundation would promote RIBA activities through libraries, collections, galleries, exhibitions, awards, schools and public education campaigns. It would also seek to establish a range of joint ventures around the UK of which the RIBA/V&A project to house the institute's collection of drawings would be central.

Professional Services is to be established as a facilitation centre, delivering initiatives through education programmes, practice support, continuing professional development and membership services.

RIBA Enterprises will remain the commercial entity of the group, providing services to a widerange of customers on a profit-making basis.

The institute will remain the parent body of the three business streams, to be governed by a council, responsible for an executive board with elected and appointed members.

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