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RIAI Customer Charter

Introduction
Founded in 1839 the RIAI is the professional institute for architects and architectural technologists in Ireland.

It promotes the work of architects and architectural technologists in improving the quality of the built environment and works to support sustainable careers for architects and architectural technologists in the practice of architecture through advocacy, collegiality and professional education.

It is also designated as the Registration Body for architects for the purposes of the Building Control Act 2007 and the Competent Authority for architects for the purposes of the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications. In these roles it maintains the standards for the profession through the registration of professionals, the protection of the title architect, the oversight of the standards of education in universities and the administration of the fitness to practise system.

Our mission
The mission of the RIAI is:

  • To support members in the practice of architecture through advocacy, collegiality, and life-long learning; and
  • To protect the public through registration and the maintenance of standards of design and construction in the built environment.

Our standards
This Charter summarises the standards in service that you are entitled to expect from the RIAI. These standards reflect the RIAI core values of integrity, inclusiveness, innovation, responsiveness and transparency.

Our commitment to you

  • To provide you with the information or service you require in a timely and courteous manner;
  • To provide you with clear and accurate information;
  • To keep you updated on the progress of any application, query, or complaint;
  • To treat all communications and information with due regard to privacy, confidentiality and sensitivity;
  • To act fairly, openly and honestly in relation to decision making.

Corresponding with the RIAI
Our offices are open Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700.

When you contact the RIAI by telephone

  • We will give you our name;
  • We will direct your call to the most appropriate member of staff and give you their name;
  • If that member of staff is not available we will transfer you to their voicemail or take a message for you;
  • If you leave a voicemail we will aim to respond within two working days unless stated otherwise;
  • If a query is complex or if there is going to be a delay in dealing with your query we will let you know why and when you may expect to receive a reply.

When you contact the RIAI in writing

  • If you contact us by letter or email we will respond to you as soon as possible but within one week;
  • If your query is complex or will take more than a week to answer we will let you know within that week why and when you may expect to receive a written reply;
  • All our correspondence will include the name and contact details for the member of staff dealing with your query.

When you contact the RIAI in person

  • If you wish to talk to a member of staff about a specific subject it is advisable to make an appointment;
  • To ensure a swift and appropriate response you should where possible provide us with the background to your query in advance;
  • Where you have made an appointment you will be met punctually.

Website
The website will:

  • Provide current, useful, and easy to understand information on architecture and registration;
  • Provide access to useful services and documents;
  • Be user-friendly and easy to navigate;
  • Contain staff contact details;

Help us to help you
In order to help us provide you with an efficient service we ask members of the public to:

  • Treat our staff politely and with respect;
  • Be clear and concise in relation to your query;
  • Take care in presenting information accurately and concisely including your name, contact details and where required your architect’s registration number;
  • Abide by all relevant statutes, rules, policies and codes;
  • Report any issue that arises or provide us with any feedback on your experience in dealing with the RIAI;
  • Ensure that any application is complete and accurate otherwise your application may be delayed.

Feedback and complaints about the services provided by the RIAI
We welcome feedback on your experience in dealing with us and are continually trying to improve our service. If you do have an issue concerning the standard of service you have received from the RIAI please raise it as soon as possible with the person you are dealing with to see if they can address it. If the matter is not addressed to your satisfaction you may refer your concern in writing to the CEO as provided for in the RIAI Complaints Policy.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint to the CEO and that complaint concerned the RIAI’s statutory functions you may initiate a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Queries and complaints against Architects
The RIAI is designated as the registration body for architects by the Building Control Act 2007 and is responsible for keeping the register and administering the fitness to practice complaints process on behalf of the Professional Conduct Committee. Because we carry out these functions under the Act we are limited to assisting you in relation to your access to the services offered by the statutory independent boards and committees, such as the Professional Conduct Committee and Appeals Board, and by the Registrar. We cannot provide advice in relation to specific complaints against architects. Any information provided to the public by the RIAI or its staff is general in nature and does not constitute professional advice of any kind.

The administration processes for handling a complaint against an architect are set out in Part 6 of the Building Control Act 2007, in the Rules of the Professional Conduct Committee and in the RIAI Registration Rulebook.

If you make a fitness to practice complaint we will keep you informed of the progress of the investigation and/or inquiry into that complaint. The Rules provide time limits for the submission of documents to the PCC. Parties may apply to the PCC for extensions to these time limits in exceptional circumstances. Any application for an extension of time should be made in writing to the Chairperson.

The RIAI aims to complete the investigation stage of a complaint within six to eight months of receipt of the written fitness to practice complaint and the inquiry stage within 24 months depending on its complexity.

Other complaint and appeal processes
There are other types of complaint that are not covered by the RIAI Complaints process or Fitness to Practice complaints. These include but are not limited to complaints about:

  • A decision of any of the statutory boards established for the purposes of keeping the Register of Architects. Complaints of this nature are considered by the statutory Appeals Board;
  • A decision relating to membership and accreditation/assessment decisions. Complaints of this nature are considered by the non-statutory Appeals Board;
  • A decision concerning Prescription Regulations (accreditation and prescription of formal qualifications in architecture). Complaints of this nature are considered by the Prescription Appeals Board.

Access to information and personal data
The RIAI is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2014. However we publish information and statistics on both our statutory and non-statutory activities in our Annual Report and on our website. If there are statistics, data or other information that you are interested in that are not published in the Annual Report or on the website please contact us to discuss what information is available.

Personal data access requests should be made in writing and where possible on the RIAI Subject Access Request form which can be requested by emailing dataprotection@riai.ie.

DISCLAIMER
This Customer Charter sets out the service standards customers of the RIAI can expect. The service standards set out in the RIAI Customer Charter do not create or confer any new legal rights.

19 December 2018