The Incorporation's Council receives reports on matters which are of significant concern to members. Three such matters have prompted this note. These issues and the Council's view on them are as follows:
1. Unpaid, so-called, 'Internships'
The Council is of the view that all employees should be remunerated to at least minimum wage level. While appreciating the market problems which prompt this practice, the Council deplores the exploitation of trainees or 'interns' and encourages young architects/students of architecture neither to offer their services on an unpaid basis nor to accept offers of employment on such terms.
2. Zero/Low Fee Tendering
Tender submissions proposing fee levels insufficient to adequately resource the job are damaging to both the standing of the profession and to clients who may receive an inadequate service or may subsequently be the victims of feeing 'by the back door', based on contractual/legal challenges.
Recently reported zero fee tendering is the most extreme indication of this tendency. Such bids, rather than encouraging clients to re-use the practices concerned, may persuade clients that architectural services are the lowest value item in a multi-disciplinary package. Zero tenders may also render the offending architect's Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) void, which could in turn rebound badly on both architect and client. Council is deeply concerned at reports of zero tenders and strongly advises architects against issuing such bids and clients against accepting them.
3. Working Uninsured
Retirees who do not carry current PII who undertake 'homers', even of very modest scale or 'only for friends and family', are putting themselves and, more importantly, their clients at risk. They also commit a gross disservice to the standing of the architectural profession. The Council is deeply concerned at recent reports of retired architects who are continuing to provide partial or full services for small projects. Clarification of the definition of architectural services requiring PII can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org.