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Six days do not make a project manager

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You reported ( AJ 5.2.98) that the RIBA and the Association of Project Management are about to announce new standards for courses recognised and developed by both organisations. This is a prelude to a requirement that those of us wishing to include project management in the RIBA Directory would have to demonstrate that 10 per cent of professionals employed in the practice have an RIBA certificate in project management. An RIBA notification to this effect was circulated in September last year. The notification also suggested a 'very competitively priced' qualifying course at £995 plus VAT for a six-day course.

I am sure that no one will dispute that professionals should have the skills which they claim, but I fail to see how a six-day course can ever hope to impart the knowledge acquired over a period well in excess of 25 years. If the RIBA promoting certificates and courses is to be the mode, so be it, but surely there should be some 'run-off ' arrangement for those of us who already have considerable project management skills and experience.

By all means introduce a project management qualification gradually, but do not disqualify those who have been providing the service previously.

Subsequent correspondence with the chairman of the RIBA project management steering group has not resolved this point. I would be interested to hear the opinions of other readers.

E T W BYRNE Joyce & Partners, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

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