I propose to take Questions Nos. 429, 430 and 434 together.
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, members of the Architects Alliance may qualify for consideration for inclusion on the register of Architects or 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. The transition period will also provide for a smooth transition to the new requirements in terms of projects currently on site.
The arrangements for the registration of Architects and Building Surveyors under t he Building Control Act 2007 are open, transparent and fair for potential candidates from a variety of backgrounds including those who are practically trained and have limited or no academic training or qualifications. I am satisfied that the statutory arrangements for registration that are currently in place are appropriate and I have no proposals to amend the Act presently.
I understand that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, Arts and Culture has recently been giving some consideration to the arrangements that are in place for the registration of practically trained architects under the Act of 2007. I look forward to considering the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations in due course. My own view as outlined above is that the existing statutory position is fair and reasonable but that it may be opportune at this point to consider what practical steps can be taken to facilitate and support practically trained people who are interested in doing so to pursue the opportunities for registration that are open to them under the Act.
I have asked my Department, in conjunction with the RIAI as registration body for the Register of Architects, to meet with members of the Architects Alliance to discuss further the concerns raised in the correspondence supplied.