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To ask the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government following on from the recent CIAT meetings, if he will include Architectural Technicians and Architectural Technologists to act as assigned designers/certifiers under SI 9 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 17th September, 2014.

REPLY

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Mr. P. Coffey)

I am aware of the valuable contribution to the construction industry that is made by architectural technologists .I welcome and support the recent moves made by both the Royal Instituteof Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Chartered Instituteof Architectural Technologists (CIAT) to put this important discipline on a professional footing. My Department met with both bodies on 17 July 2014with a view to hearing their plans and determining how such plans may be progressed. The main outcome of that meeting was that both bodies would work together and with relevant stakeholders to develop an agreed common standard for Architectural Technologist in line with the National Qualifications Framework. The regulation of professions is in the first instance a matter for industry representatives working in concert with relevant industry stakeholders . Neither I, as Minister, nor my Department,have any role in the assessment or validation of professional qualifications. Nevertheless,where robust arrangements for the regulation of key disciplines such as that of Architectural Technologist can be achieved,in a manner capable of serving the public interest for quality and safety in the built environment at a reasonable economic cost to consumers,I wouldbe happy to sponsor legislation to place such arrangements on a statutory footing. In relation to the statutory certificates of compliance now required under the Building Control Regulations 1997-2014 , it is entirely appropriate that such certificates must be given by relevant, competent, registered professionals. It should be borne in mind that inclusion on the existing statutory registers of Architect and Building Surveyor is open to persons who can demonstrate that they possess the requisite competence in the design and oversight of construction projects. Pending developments in the regulation of their own discipline,I would encourage Architectural Technologists who have acquired the necessary competence to pursue the routes to registration that are currently open to themunder the Building Control Act 2007. I understand that the statutory registers of architects and building surveyors already include a number of RIAI and CIAT technologists who arethus now in a position to avail of the significant opportunities to actas design certifiers and assigned certifierson relevant construction projects.

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