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RIBA to discuss concept of a 'graduate'membership class

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The RIBA is proposing to change its membership structure to include a new 'graduate' class, writes David Littlefield. The membership committee, which will present its recommendations to the institute's council when it meets next week, is also pushing for a revamp of the subscriber class.

Peter Trebilcock, the new vice-president for membership, wants to introduce a new graduate category for Post-Part 2 members to smooth the transition between student and corporate membership. The new category would include enhanced benefits such as advice on PI insurance and a vote for the president. Trebilcock will suggest that an annual fee of £40 is 'reasonable'.

The council, to meet next Wednesday, will also vote on proposals to boost the benefits of subscriber members - largely made up of 'co-professionals' such as those qualified up to Part 2.

Trebilcock is to suggest giving subscribers a place on the council and encouraging the regions to actively recruit them. He is also proposing to consolidate the annual membership fee at 'around £75'.

The council will also examine the idea of introducing a new 'friends' category in 2003.

But the changes do not address the question of corporate membership, left open at last May's meeting after council members were unable to agree on forcing all members in this category to register with the ARB (AJ 24.5.01).

Trebilcock said there was 'a lot of debate and discussion to be had' on this issue. 'I don't think it will be resolved at the next council meeting, ' he said.

'RIBA staff are currently undertaking research into who exactly falls into this category. Discussion of this matter is premature.'

The meeting, Paul Hyett's first as president, will also hear progress reports on the refurbishment of Portland Place (described as suffering 'slippage' in the council papers), as well as the corporate rebranding and a potential solution to poor relations between head office and the RIAS.

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