When you look at Architects’ practices, you may notice some – like Granit – are Chartered Practices. But what does this mean and why should you appoint a Chartered Practice?
To achieve Chartered Architect status a practice needs to meet the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) standards of professional practice. These ensure the firm has put in to place programmes and policies regarding:
- quality management
- health and safety
- employment policy
- continuing professional development for all staff
- environmental management
- professional indemnity insurance
You might wonder if this is simply a box ticking exercise, but it is far from that. Every firm that takes part in the RIBA’s Chartered Practice scheme has to prove each year they are working with these factors in mind.
Here are some examples of what we have done at Granit to achieve and ensure we keep our Chartered status:
Over the past five years we have taken the RIBA’s quality management framework – which is designed to ensure a high quality of service delivery – and built on this to create our own, even more stringent programme.
This helps us to consistently provide our clients with the service they need; whether ensuring we have considered all of the necessary building regulations, or gained approvals from our clients at the appropriate stages.
Using this quality management framework ensures our clients’ they are getting the service they require.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The construction industry is forever changing. New materials, technologies, building regulations and legislation, mean it is important to keep our staff’s training and development top of mind.
This not only helps us to keep our team happy, but of course also equips them with the up-to-date knowledge required to advise our clients on how best to achieve their objectives.
We hold monthly meetings with CPD training providers to make sure we are always at the forefront of developments in our industry.
Environmental Management Policy
It goes without saying that we must be aware of our impact on the environment – both from our own operational perspective, and with the buildings we design.
We have created our own environmental policy, which our entire team supports to ensure decisions are made with the environment in mind. This might be anything from specifying a ground source heat pump for a project; to ensuring our office waste paper is recycled appropriately.
If you would like to read more about the RIBA’s Chartered Practice Scheme, you can find out more on the RIBA website. We strongly believe taking part in this scheme helps us to ensure our clients receive the great service they expect.
When you appoint your architect, make sure you look for one that has taken the necessary steps to become a Chartered Architects Practice. It really does make a huge difference.
You can tell which practices are Chartered by looking for this logo: