Architectural Technologists and BC(A)R SI.9: CIAT

by Bregs Blog admin team


It is understood that the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) representing particularly its Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland members, has received confirmation from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), that the European Commission has received a sufficient amount of complaints regarding CIAT Member exclusion from the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations SI 9 of 2014 to investigate this matter further

It is further understood that clarification regarding the Commission’s views should be made after Easter.

The high level of complaints made by some MCIAT members in the Republic and some Northern Irish members who practice in the Republic have resulted in the proposed EU investigation. The complaints have been based on a number of factors including, inter alia, the following:

  • The BCAR (i.e. SI 9 of 2014) are preventing some Chartered Architectural Technologists from continuing to offer and provide building design and compliance services in the Republic of Ireland which they are qualified to perform and have practiced for many years.
  • Being competent professionals, Chartered Architectural Technologists are being prevented from certifying design and compliance with the Building Regulations of construction works which it is being submitted to the EU is in breach of European Law in respect of competition, free market and freedom of movement, as well as their right to earn a living.
  • Some Chartered Architectural Technologists  have already suffered the loss of potential clients and commissions due to the Regulations. Question: Why would clients employ an MCIAT to lead the design and management of a project but are not able to fulfil the required certification role under the new regulations?
  • The BCAR excludes Chartered Architectural Technologists from undertaking the roles of the ‘design’ and ‘assigned certifier’ without any detailed evidence or legitimate reasons for doing so. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) has never explained its motives for excluding Chartered Architectural Technologists who are well established, qualified and competent practitioners from continuing to practice in the Republic of Ireland. Note: It is emphasised that ‘architects’ ‘building surveyors’ and chartered engineers’ are not the only construction professions typically involved in the design of construction works in Ireland as the DECLG and Minister Hogan seem to think.
  •  There is an apparent conflict between certain exclusionary aspects of the BCAR and The Good Friday Agreement. This is particularly in relation to the section dealing with ‘Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity’ within which the parties to the agreement affirmed the right to equal opportunity in all social and economic activity, regardless of class, creed, disability, gender or ethnicity.  MCIAT based in Northern Ireland who practice in the Republic are now at a disadvantage.
  • The qualification of Chartered Architectural Technologist is one of the best placed for the  purpose of certifying design and compliance with Building Regulations for all buildings, a role in which they are specifically trained, experienced and competent. Therefore their inclusion on the list of approved certifiers is an essential requirement for the effective operation of the Regulations.
  • That the MCIAT is a distinct qualification. Chartered Architectural Technologists are qualified and competent in their own right as professionals. It is emphasised that they are not assistant architects, part qualified architects, ‘practically trained architects’, Architectural Technicians nor ‘Architectural Technologists’ as defined/qualified by the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, (RIAI).
  •  That there is no legitimate reason to exclude Chartered Architectural Technologists from continuing to practice in Ireland. The actions taken against Chartered Architectural Technologists and CIAT are not proportionate. Chartered Architectural Technologists have been excluded with the result of eliminating fair competition from other suitably qualified and competent professionals and thus it is considered by some complainants that the BCAR are in breach of Articles 101 and 102 of the European Treaty.