October 23, 2013
Things are never as simple as they seem.
Recently and through much deliberation, AIBC Council introduced significant changes to the structure of the institute’s associate categories:
Moving forward, there will only be three associate categories: Architectural Technologist; Intern Architect; and Retired Architect. As a result, all other associate categories will be discontinued as of January 1, 2014, with persons currently in those categories transitioned as set out below.
Those currently in the Building Designer and Residential Designer categories, 36 registrants in total, will be transferred into the Architectural Technologist category. In addition, these 36 individuals will be required to take the AIBC’s Ethics, Act & Bylaws course (if they have not already) and to pass the AIBC’s Architectural Technologist Examination by December 31, 2014.
Architectural Graduates (who may be eligible to become Intern Architects), Student Associates and Intern Architectural Technologists will be encouraged to continue their relationship with the AIBC as affiliates. An affiliate is someone not registered with the AIBC but who maintains an important and useful connection – a “friend” of the institute.
Previously Registered Members (who may be eligible for reinstatement) will be encouraged to either move to the Retired Architect associate classification or become an affiliate.
As for designations, the three associate categories will be referred to as, and shall refer to themselves as, Architectural Technologist AIBC, Intern Architect AIBC or Retired Architect AIBC. Council made this decision for consistency and clarity, aligning the associate designations with the format used by architects while also ensuring the individual’s registration location is clear in all representations.
The previous “.AIBC” designations, which some found contentious and/or confusing, will be discontinued across the board. This will take effect as of January 2014. Guidance as to the proper use of the associate designations (without the use of initials) will be shared with those directly impacted over the coming weeks.
Streamlining the associate set-up is a much more delicate, difficult exercise than many would appreciate. For example, one outcome that greatly concerns council is the connection the institute maintains with students in post-secondary architecture programs. It is a critical relationship, one that speaks to the future of the profession. It is also one that is not easily articulated and positioned within the formal structure of a regulatory body, especially since it has never pretended to be a relationship that is regulatory in nature. While the category of Student Associate is no more, AIBC Council will be doing more than ever to ensure a strong, supportive and positive connection with students through the affiliate connection as well as other AIBC initiatives.
Another difficult fit concerns retired architects. While it is both understandable and desirable that former members who`ve exited the daily grind would want to maintain a formal connection with the profession, it raises certain questions. For instance, to what degree, if any, can retired architects, as well as architectural technologists and intern architects, practise independently in the exceptions as defined by the Architects Act given the ultimate regulatory mandate of the institute to which they continue to belong, albeit at the associate level? It`s a question not easily answered, but one that AIBC Council must now tackle.
All of these changes were brought about in response to extensive member input and with regard to the institute`s public interest mandate. This entire exercise – redefining the AIBC in a way that protects the public, is palatable to the membership and that positions the institute for the future – has been a tough, polarizing balancing act. While hopefully all will now benefit from a simpler, clearer understanding of who is the AIBC, and in what way, there remains some muddiness. Your council will continue to work through the tangles and complications as we seek solid footing, for everyone involved.
As always, I welcome your feedback.
Scott Kemp Architect AIBC
President – AIBC Council