2006 was a year of consolidation for the RAIA’s Knowledge Services, the Melbourne-based section resulting from the 2005 merge of Practice Services and Continuing Education. With a focus on delivering quality products and services, the combined team enables the institute to provide the tools that support architectural practices and to facilitate a broad range of continuing education options for architects.
Highlight for Knowledge Services in 2006 included:
•Delivery of six national event-based programs across the chapters, reaching almost 4000 people throughout the year. Feedback about this national seminar series was very positive and a new range of programs will be delivered in 2007.
•The launch of Continuum www.continuum.com.au. Members (and other industry professionals) who are unable to attend event-based programs can now access quality online training through Continuum. Launched by the Institute in July 2006 at National Council, this continuing professional development (CPD) portal is steadily growing in popularity and reputation.
•Development and publication of Advisory Notes covering a range of topics. In all 27 new notes were added to the set and a large number of notes reviewed and updated.
•Four meetings of the National Practice Committee (NPC) were held during the year to consider the status of Advisory Notes and the currency of information provided to members through RAIA publications. NPC undertook a review of approximately 100 notes (see also the National Practice Committee report)
•The contracts sub-committee, access work group and occupational health and safety work group, which report to the NPC, were very active, developing new forms of building contracts, providing advice on changes to legislation, assisting in the preparation of RAIA submissions and reviewing and drafting Advisory Notes relevant to their areas of expertise.
•New senior counsellors were appointed to the Senior Counsellor Service in most states in response to demand by architects and clients for information and guidance on architectural matters.
•The free legal reference service supported by Knowledge Services was updated to provide important advice and guidance to members on construction law issues.
•Three face-to-face meetings and two teleconferences of the National Committee for Continuing Education were held to develop policy and advise on program content.
•A face-to-face meeting of RAIA staff focused on continuing education to plan program content and share information.
The Way Forward
The Knowledge Services team is focused on raising the quality and breadth of publications and accessible CPD opportunities for architects. Existing resources will be used to develop programs that respond to the needs of Australian architects.
Knowledge Services thanks its sponsors – Parbury and Tarkett. Thanks also to our volunteers on the National Practice Committee, National Committee for Continuing Professional Development, Contracts sub-committee and work groups, as well as many other specialists who are called on from time to time for their expert opinion