Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (439)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

439. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to introduce a provision for a grandfather clause under the Building Control Act and its regulations to ensure that persons with experience and a long standing reputation in the business may continue to operate as architects and use that title; and in particular that they will be qualified to provide building certification services under the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9706/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Part 3 of the Building Control Act 2007 sets out the statutory arrangements for the registration of persons legally entitled to use the title of Architect. Section 22 of the Act already provides for the continued operation, as architects, of experienced persons by means of a technical assessment process which is open to individuals who had been performing duties commensurate with those of an architect for a period of ten years or more prior to the commencement of the Act. Eight persons have to date successfully qualified for inclusion on the register of architects by means of the technical assessment process. I am satisfied that the statutory arrangements for registration that are currently in place are appropriate, open and transparent and I have no plans to change these arrangements at present. In relation to practically trained architects in particular, it is clear that the technical assessment process is a viable route to registration and I look forward to seeing more persons avail of this opportunity in time. I have asked my Department to work in conjunction with the registration body to see if any practical steps can be taken to facilitate and support the relatively small number of practically trained persons who are interested in and eligible to pursue registration by means of technical assessment.

I am currently finalising the Building Control Amendment Regulations 2013 for signature into law following a comprehensive public consultation process undertaken in 2012. Persons who are on the registers of Architects and Building Surveyors established in accordance with the Building Control Act 2007, or who are Chartered Engineers, may sign the statutory certificates of compliance for designers and for assigned certifiers that will be introduced under the new regulations. Depending on their background and experience the persons of experience and long standing reputation referred to may also qualify for consideration for inclusion on the register of Building Surveyors which, as indicated, would also enable them to sign the statutory certificates being introduced under the new regulations. The new regulations will provide for a transition period of 12 months which will, among other things, give sufficient time for eligible persons who have not already done so to apply for registration.