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Architects' Alliance of Ireland Abbreviation AAoI Formation 2009 Type Advocacy group Purpose/focus Architects' registration Region served Ireland Chairperson Margaret Kirwan Main organ Committee of officers Website http://www.architectsalliance.ie/ The Architects' Alliance of Ireland (AAoI) (Irish: Ailtirí 'Comhaontas na hÉireann) is an Irish pressure group founded in 2009. Its purpose is to lobby for a change in recent legislation in Ireland. Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007 requires long-established self-trained architects to undergo assessments before continuing to practice. The Alliance regards the present assessment test as inappropriate and overly expensive. It sees itself as in conflict with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. Contents 1 The foundation and aims of the Alliance 2 Background 3 Critics and oppositions 4 Status 5 See also 6 References 7 External links The foundation and aims of the Alliance The Architects' Alliance of Ireland (AAoI)[1] was formed at the start of 2009 in response to Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007.[2][3] The Act sought for the first time to control the use of the term "architect" in the Republic of Ireland. The group is lobbying for an amendment of the legislation to restore the prior status of self-trained architects. In May 2010 it gave evidence before an Oireachtas (national parliament) committee, the Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.[4][5] The Alliance has declared its founders to be Leonard Barrett (Midleton), Liam Hazel (Skibbereen), Brian Montaut (Bray) and Adrian Turner (Athlone). The group is arguing for a grandfather clause and is lobbying for an amendment to that effect before the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI), TDs, Ministers and the European Commission.[6][4] It claims to have found inconsistencies in the legislation and its implementation, and has complained to the Irish Government, the Competition Authority of Ireland, and European Commission. The lobbying efforts of the Alliance gained the support of John O'Donoghue TD who has tabled The Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010.[7][8] The bill awaits its second reading and proposes the inclusion of a grandfather clause within the legislation. AAoI is concerned about the RIAI having a monopoly on architecture in the Republic of Ireland.[9] The AAoI claims that the registration system set up by the RIAI favours the Institution's own members while discriminating against others, especially self-taught architects.[10] The cost for the Irish Prescribed Register Examination called ARAE[11] for self-trained architects is €11,500 + €2,000 (seminars) compared to €3,500 in The Netherlands.[12] The "Technical Assessment" is an examination for self-trained architects with more than 10 years of experience prior to the enforcement of architects’ registration. AAoI claims that the fees are inappropriate (€6,500), and that the RIAI is manipulating the procedure by setting up academic and administrative standards that do not reflect the practice of architecture before the implementation of registration. Background Although in 2006 the Competition Authority of Ireland had recommended the creation of an Architects Council of Ireland to be independent of the RIAI, the 2007 Act left the RIAI as the registration body, albeit with various safeguards.[13][14][15] The Irish legislation states that practitioners with a minimum of 7 years of experience but without recognised formal qualification must be assessed through an examination to continue practising in the State.[16] The AAoI considers the examination as inappropriate and exclusionary. The current system allows RIAI members to be automatically registered. AAoI wants a grandfather clause to be included in the Act for an automatic registration of self-trained professionals who have practised as architects for a minimum of 7 years within the Republic of Ireland. European countries such as the UK,[17] France,[18] Belgium,[19] Italy,[20] when first implementing the registration of architects, have included a grandfather clause in their legislation.[21] Legal opinion provided to AAoI advises that such a change would not be in conflict with European Union law.[22] Critics and oppositions The architectural professional bodies assert that, until the 2007 Act, clients were put at risk from “cowboy” operators and there were no disciplinary controls over individuals outside the professional bodies.[15] The RIAI oppose the proposed amendment of the Building Control Act 2007. Their position is that:" The Building Control Act marks a key shift in widening access to the profession by introducing access to those who have not pursued the standard higher education route. There is a registered admission examination and technical assessment. Up to 1966, entry to the architecture profession could be gained through the RIAI examination system but there has been a general shift towards formal qualifications. The pendulum has swung back to some degree with the shift to an outcomes-based assessment in higher education and away from the input model. The Building Control Act has both models, input from qualifications and output based on the assessment obtained without formal education."[23] The RIAI opposes the Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010. The Institute's position is that the proposed legislation, if enacted, would be in breach of EU law.[24] The Institute organised political lobbying against the Bill issuing statements that the proposed amendment damages Irish architects and Irish architecture, that it undermines consumers' protection, and that it disadvantages younger architectural graduates.[25] The documents also list some information about the register which is contested by AAoI. Status The number of individuals and practices joinning the association has grown from a dozen to more than a hundred.[16] Some registered architects and many engineers, technicians or surveyors are also supporting the cause of AAoI.[26] The association declares "protecting diversity and promoting choice in Irish Architecture", it also claims "promoting and protecting the provision of architectural services in Ireland". Some members have suggested that the group should develop into a professional representative body.[1] See also Professional requirements for architects List of Ireland-related topics References ^ a b Architects' Alliance of Ireland web site ^ "Architects draw the line at new register". Irish Independent. 25 November 2009. http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/architects-draw-the-line-at-new-register-1952707.html. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ The Building Control Act 2007, Irish Legislation ^ a b Call for 'grandfather clause' in legislation for architects' register The Irish Times - Wednesday, 19 May 2010. ^ "Registration of Architects: Discussion". Joint Committee Environmental Matters. Houses of the Oireachtas. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5xRi740Mn.  ^ Brian Montaut (AAoI) (April 2010). Law Society Gazette (Law Society of Ireland) 104 (3): 15. http://www.lawsociety.ie/Documents/Gazette/Gazette%202010/April2010.pdf. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ "Architects wage right to work campaign". Irish Independent. 26 May 2010. http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/architects-wage-right-to-work-campaign-2194084.html. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ The Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010 ^ "Registration of Architects: Discussion". Joint Committee Environmental Matters. Houses of the Oireachtas. 18. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5xRi740Mn. "Deputy Phil Hogan: There is a perception that the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland is operating a closed shop and an exclusive club because of the registration fees and the technical examination methodology it uses"  ^ The Registration of Architects - Minutes of Dail Committee Meeting ^ ARAE Architects Register Admission Examination web site ^ "Registration of Architects: Discussion". Joint Committee Environmental Matters. Houses of the Oireachtas. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5xRi740Mn. "Vice Chairman Pádraic McCormack: Witnesses will see that the committee is struggling to come to a conclusion that will solve this problem. Can they tell me why the RIAI fees are so excessive?"  ^ "Competition in professional services: Architects". Competition Authority of Ireland. 2006. http://www.tca.ie/images/uploaded/documents/architects%20executive%20summary.pdf. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ McEnaney, Tom (8 March 2006). "New body 'should regulate architects'". Irish Independent. http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/new-body-should-regulate-architects-106628.html. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ a b Oireachtas Resaerch & Library Service (23 April 2010). "The Grandfather Clause in the Building Regulation Act 2007". Houses of the Oireachtas. http://www.ruairiquinn.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Registration-of-Architects.pdf. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ a b O'Halloran, Marie (5 August 2010). "Testing time for architects". Irish Times. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/property/2010/0805/1224276219351.html. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ Architects (Registration) Act 1931 (UK) ^ Loi n°77-2 du 3 janvier 1977 sur l'architecture (Architects Act in France) ^ Loi du 20 fevrier 1939 (Architects Act in Belgium) ^ legge 24 june 1923 No. 1395 (Architects Act in Italy) ^ Oireachtas Library & Research Service (23 April 2010). "The Grandfather Clause in the Building Regulation Act 2007". Houses of the Oireachtas. http://www.ruairiquinn.ie/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Registration-of-Architects.pdf. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  ^ Collins, Anthony (26 November 2010). "Querist: Architects’ Alliance Re: Building Control (Amendment) Bill 2010 Opinion". Architects' Alliance. http://www.architectsalliance.ie/AC%20LEGAL%20OPINION%20Nov2010.pdf. Retrieved 30 March 2011.  ^ This is a quote from the RIAI director during the Joint Committee on the Environment. It can be verified in the Videos or in the Minutes of Dail Committee Meeting. ^ AG counsels caution on architect registration" published in the Sunday Business Post -20 February 2011 ^ What is wrong with the proposed amendment? as published on RIAI website ^ See AAoI presentation during the Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Debate (18/05/2010) External links Architects' Alliance of Ireland web site Adverts for architects' register 'misleading' The Irish Times - Thursday, February 25, 2010