Eleanor Jolliffe takes issue with the way the new code of conduct infantilises the profession
A new set of RIBA code of conduct came into effect at the start of May. The RIBA told me that the codes needed to be strengthened, with “more detail and additional guidance – to meet best practice for professional disciplinary matters”. This hasn’t been done half-heartedly. The previous code, from 2005, could fit on two sides of A4 – with room to spare. The 2019 revision takes 18 sides of A4. This revision is significant, not just for the apparent 900% increase in content, but for the increased specificity of the codes.
For instance, until April 30 it was sufficient for members to “comply with good employment practice and the RIBA employment policy, in their capacity as an employer or employee”. Now the requirements, for responsibilities as an employer alone, stretch to nearly a full A4 sheet including guidance on contracts, employment disputes and employing interns. I could expand this at some length but, in brief, a summary of the changes I could see from a side by side comparison is as follows (bear with me):
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