Education Policies and Standards

The development and support of architectural education, in its broadest sense, is one of the central roles of the RIAI.

The RIAI helps to maintain high standards of professional practice by:

 

  • setting standards of knowledge skill and competence for practice
  • monitoring standards of admission to the profession and entry to the Register of Architects
  • accrediting architectural and architectural technology programmes
  • carrying out examinations in professional practice
  • supporting continuing professional development for architects and architectural technologists 
  • monitoring changing requirements for architectural education and training  

RIAI Statement of Policy on Education 

As well as promoting Architectural education across society from young to old, the RIAI Statement of Policy on Education addresses compliance with National Legislation and EU Directives, as well as other internationally relevant standards.

The purpose of the RIAI Statement of Policy on Education is to encourage and provide support to educators, practitioners, students and the public; to raise public understanding of, and confidence in, qualified professionals and to promote collaboration and cohesion between all participants in professional formation and development including CPD.

RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architect

Since its foundation in 1839, the RIAI has committed itself to the development of knowledge required for the practice of architecture. Frameworks for the mutual recognition of qualifications are enshrined in law in the shape of the Building Control Act 2007 (which came into effect on 1 May 2008), the QQI Awards Standards - Architecture, the RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architect and Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (the Qualifications Directive). In these legal contexts, the RIAI is the designated Registration Body and the Competent Authority for architectural qualifications.

As the designated Registration Body and the Competent Authority for architectural qualifications the RIAI plays an important role in protecting the interests of consumers, building users, the public interest and the quality of the built environment. This demands that architects are equipped with the necessary skills to deliver the services they offer.

The RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architect describes the areas and levels of knowledge, skill and competence required of an architect at the professional level (capable of independent practice). To be an architect Member of the RIAI (MRIAI, MRIAI(IRL) or FRIAI) and/or be admitted to the Register for Architects, an individual must have demonstrated that he or she has achieved this Standard. The Standard is applied in all RIAI examinations and assessment mechanisms and is integrated into all of the RIAI’s Admission routes. In MyRIAI CPD, the RIAI’s online CPD planning, provision and monitoring tool, the Standard provides the framework for Continuing Professional Development.

QQI Awards Standards - Architecture

The QQI Awards Standards - Architecture describe the knowledge, skill and competence to be acquired before a QQI ‘Architecture’ award may be made. The standard is expressed, by National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) Level, in terms of required knowledge, skill and competence. The Awards Standards comprise a generic part (in the light grey panels) and a discipline-specific part. Qualifications in architecture may be prescribed under Building Control Act 2007. The Awards Standards presented in this document have been designed to be used in conjunction with the corresponding evaluation procedures of the RIAI.

The QQI Awards Standards - Architecture are designed to be used (i) by providers when designing new programmes and establishing minimum intended programme learning outcomes; (ii) by awarding bodies when validating new programmes; and (iii) by the RIAI as an element of the prescription process.

These standards were originally determined by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council in April 2011 and reissued with a new foreword by QQI in July 2014. They are QQI awards standards under section 84 (10) of the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 2012

RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architectural Technologist

The RIAI, as the leading professional body in Ireland for architects, architectural technologists and graduates, plays an important role in protecting the interests of clients, consumers, building users, the public interest and the quality of the built environment. This demands that architectural technologists are equipped to deliver the services they offer.

Since its foundation in 1839, the RIAI has committed itself to the development of knowledge required for practice in the field of architecture and latterly of architectural technology.  Of equal importance is the role of the RIAI in protecting the interests of clients, consumers, building users, the public interest and the quality of the built environment. This demands that all RIAI members are equipped with the skills necessary to deliver the services they offer.

In 1974 the RIAI created a new category of membership to provide for Architectural Technicians. In the years since then architectural technician education has developed significantly at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  In recognition of this RIAI Council decided in January 2009, subject to the necessary changes in RIAI By-Laws, to replace the membership category of ‘Architectural Technician’ with that of ‘Architectural Technologist’ and to develop a single RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for Practice as an Architectural Technologist.

The RIAI Standard of Knowledge, Skill and Competence for practice as an Architectural Technologist describes the key areas and levels of knowledge, skill and competence required of an architectural technologist at the professional level. The RIAI Standard defines the distinct training and the skill-set expected of an RIAI architectural technologist. The existing RIAI accredited 3-year Level 7, and 4-year Level 8 architectural technology programmes align with the RIAI Standards. The RIAI accredited Architectural Technology Programmes are guided by these Standards and other relevant requirements for practice. The Standard is applied in all RIAI examinations, assessment mechanisms and routes to Architectural Technologist membership and is the benchmark for admission regardless of how a candidate’s knowledge, skill and competence has been attained.

In MyRIAI CPD, the RIAI ’s online CPD planning, provision and monitoring tool, the Standard provides the framework for Continuing Professional Development, keeping Architectural Technologists aware of the key areas of knowledge, skill and competence to maintain competent and current practice in the key areas.

QQI Awards Standards - Architectural Technology

In February 2016 Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) published the QQI Awards Standards - Architectural Technology which describe the knowledge, skill and competence to be acquired before a QQI “Architectural
Technology” award may be made. The Awards Standards presented in this document describe the knowledge, skill and competence to be acquired before a QQI “Architectural Technology” award may be made.

The Awards Standards are designed to be used (i) by providers when designing new programmes and establishing minimum intended programme learning outcomes; (ii) by awarding bodies when validating new programmes; (iii) in the accreditation of programmes by the relevant professional bodies. They will also be used by providers when reviewing their programmes.  

RIAI Examinations

The RIAI administers the following non-statutory examinations and assessment/interview processes:

  • RIAI Project Supervisor Design Process Examination
  • RIAI Conservation Induction Module Grade 3 Examination
  • RIAI Conservation Accreditation System - Assessment/Interview process for Grade 1 and Grade 2 Conservation Architect

The following RIAI policies apply to the non-statutory examinations and assessment/interview processes listed above: 

  • RIAI Examination Rulebook
  • RIAI Non-Statutory Appeals Policy
  • RIAI Non Statutory Appeals Guidance and Application Form