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Workstream 10: Competence/ethics/advocacy

Levels of professional expertise and competence will become central to institutions’ activities with the core objective of enabling and delivering safe buildings, net-zero emissions & bio-diverse environments. Codes of ethics, practice and conduct will follow suite as will professional disciplinary systems and monitoring of skills.

Professional institutions will focus their advocacy, reward and award systems on achieving positive environmental and social change and will coordinate their message to government and others on both mitigation and adaptation.

Workstream Leader
Workstream Leader

Led by the Edge and ISSE, this workstream includes measurable deliverables divided into three priority groupings: short-term, medium term to be and long term.

What have we achieved in one year of the plan?

Some highlights reported by Workstream members have included:

On competence:

  • IStructE is running higher-level competency checks on new members and on CPD compliance. Members have been expelled for non-compliance.
  • RIBA is moving towards mandatory CPD, with testing, on climate literacy as part of its Way Ahead Framework
  • InstRE has made dealing with climate change an obligatory part of its training requirements

On ethics:

  • The Engineering Council and Royal Academy of Engineering have jointly published ‘Engineering Ethics: Maintaining society's trust in the Engineering Profession’. This supports their 2017 joint ‘Statement of Ethical Principles’
  • The RIBA has launched its separate mandatory CPD stream on ethics and ethical decision-making. Trialling knowledge tests for compliance will begin shortly
  • The RICS is proposing amending its Royal Charter to stress it and its members commitment to the “highest ethical and technical standards”

Next steps

On advocacy:

  • Discussions are proposed on the formation of an inter-institutional policy forum for institutional policy advocacy

The Professional Institutions, like the country, are grappling with multiple issues across many fronts, but none is more important than the rapidly developing environmental emergency. Taking the actions required is taking its time to come into focus, but by working together achieving the necessary change at pace is possible. The Institutions have the capacity to act and to cope, but only if they grasp the importance of action now.

Resource Library

  • Built for the Environment report

This global report, produced by RIBA in partnership with Architects Declare, makes the case that the built environment must drastically reduce its carbon emissions to work towards net zero.

  • The Big Issues Webinar Series

Following on from the conference programme at Futurebuild 2022, the Edge has curated a series of sessions highlighting some of the big issues that we are all probably aware of, but tend to put to one side as too difficult to resolve. These sessions interrogate these issues in the light of proposing solutions.