Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News

RIAS Scotland News, Governance Review, Secretary and Treasurer, A New Chapter Scottish Architects

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News

Questions from Charity Regulator OSCR: Scottish Architecture Professional Body Review

21 Dec 2017

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland Future Direction

Future Direction : Governance Update for RIAS Membership

from the RIAS:

Our announcement to you on the 14th December provided an outline of how the RIAS was intending to proceed with its governance review.  The following provides further details -December Update-about the programme we are working to, the arrangements that will be put in place and the areas of business that will be the focus.  Further updates and details will be circulated as they emerge in the New Year.

RIAS Governance Update – December 2017

Prepared by Karen Stevenson (Acting Secretary) and Karen Anderson (Governance Committee Chair).

This update outlines the plan of action for establishing the proposed new committees. All other committees will continue to operate and report to RIAS Council and the President’s Practice Committee (PPC) (practice, conservation, contracts, education and planning).

Establish the Governance Committee

The committee has a chair (Karen Anderson) and we are seeking 4 committee members drawn from Council and the Membership.  We are looking for applications (accompanied by a short statement of skills and experience) by 12th January 2018 for those with current experience of good practice in governance (send to

Agree the Remit of the Governance Committee

A draft remit will be sent to all members for information.  Any substantive comments received will be taken account.  Council will be asked to consider and approve the remit. The remit will include continuing the Review of Governance documents and ensuring clear and understood governance processes are in place in future. The committee will finalise the job description and set out the delegated responsibility for a new executive officer post at the RIAS for Council to approve.

Finance and Audit Committee

A key and critical first action of the Governance Committee will be ensuring the establishment of a robust and experienced Finance and Audit Committee. A Chair and members are being sought by 12th January for those with current experience of audit and finance practice (send to

Strategic Review and Consultation

The Governance Committee will also be tasked with considering and consulting on the structure and forward strategy for the RIAS. It is proposed that this will be developed by a cross membership ‘sounding group’.  It is hoped that this will be diverse and representative of RIAS and will include individuals from Council and the wider Membership, including A New Chapter.  This will take account of the recent strategy work carried out but will have a wider agreed remit and will consult the membership and key stakeholders.

Outline Timetable


Governance CommitteeFinance and Audit Committee12th Issue draft remit for commentReceive and review applications Receive and review nominations/applications

Consider Applications

15th -18th Consider Applications (Recommendation to Council from Karen Anderson FRIAS, Stewart Henderson PRIAS and Karen Stevenson Acting Secretary)Appoint Chair and Members


Appoint Members and review draft remit 22nd -26th  Draft remit29th (w/b)

First meeting to agree remit for Council approval, establish and take forward action plan and confirm timetable
First meeting to agree remit for Council approval


Strategic Review and Consultation

8th -19th

Desktop review and briefing re strategyInitial consultation with Chapters and Members re sounding group22nd  Establish sounding groupw/b 29thFirst meeting to agree consultation strategy for Council approval, establish and take forward action plan and confirm timetable

16 Dec 2017

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Announcement and Update

At their meeting last week, RIAS Council discussed the findings of the review of the RIAS governance, the vacancy resulting from the Secretary and Treasurer’s departure last month, the election of the President and the next steps toward establishing a new RIAS Strategy (2018-23).

As a matter of priority for the Incorporation, RIAS Council has agreed to advertise for a new Chief Executive and has appointed Karen Stevenson, current Director of Policy and Development, in an acting role. Neil Baxter is working his notice period and has agreed the terms of his departure at the end of January. He no longer has any involvement in the day to day running of the Incorporation.

Stewart Henderson PRIAS has been re-elected to stand for a further year to ensure we retain continuity during this period of change.

RIAS Council acknowledges that a system of decision making has developed that is not supported by a robust policy framework. The findings of the review has identified a lack of structured governance and accountability. The Governance Review Group (David Dunbar PPRIAS, Sholto Humphries PPRIAS, Iain Connelly PPRIAS, Iain Dickson PPRIAS and Willie Watt PPRIAS) was established by the current President, Stewart Henderson, when he took office, before any questions were raised about the role of the Secretary and Treasurer.

Very recently, the Charity Regulator, OSCR, wrote to RIAS with a series of questions. All of those questions can and will be answered. The RIAS President and Council will work fully and openly with OSCR to ensure full compliance with their requests and the obligations of RIAS as a Charitable Body.

Governance reviews of this kind are entirely commonplace in organisations such as ours, particularly Royal Charter bodies. Given the context to RIAS structure – a one-hundred-year-old Charter, an historic constitution with a number of committees – this review will take time to complete.

To proceed, RIAS Council has established interim committees to consider the ‘Future Direction’ of the Incorporation and to work towards an update of governance. These committees will have responsibility for ensuring there are the right checks and balances in place in relation to RIAS accounting and will be responsible for co-ordinating the arrangements for appointing a new CEO, updating policy and developing new structures to actively involve members.

RIAS is also considering its future strategy. Consultation with the membership will take place in the New Year that will help shape the new RIAS five-year Strategy. We look forward to engaging with our members in 2018 on agendas facing the architecture profession.

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, 15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BE United Kingdom

A New Chapter – Scottish Architects – excerpts below

18 + 17 Nov 2017

RIAS Secretary News

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) – Special Notice

The Royal Incorporation has agreed to the request from our Secretary, Neil Baxter Hon FRIAS Hon FRIBA, to leave the organisation after ten years of service.

10 Nov 2017
A New Chapter – Scottish Architects

Open letter, from A New Chapter to President Stewart Henderson of the RIAS,
7 November 2017

(RIAS response below)

A New Chapter is a loose (and growing) association of over 150 Scottish architects: many RIAS members, but all concerned at what they see as a lack of effectiveness, poor governance and insufficient financial accountability in Scottish architecture’s professional body.

RIAS Review information received Nov 2017

10 November 2017

As a member-led organisation, member interest and involvement in the issues facing the profession can only strengthen the Incorporation.

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Scottish Architecture Designs – chronological list

Scottish Architecture News

RIAS Awards Winners in 2017

• City of Glasgow College by Reiach and Hall Architects and Michael Laird Architects – Cathedral Street, Glasgow, Scotland – Further education college
City of Glasgow College Building + City of Glasgow College – City Campus

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries, Dunfermline (contract value: £9.1m)
Richard Murphy Architects
Carnegie Museum and Arts Centre Dunfermline Building
image courtesy of architects

Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries Building

RIAS Awards 2016 Winners

RIAS Special Category Awards
Murphy House
photograph from architect
Murphy House, Hart Street

RIAS Scottish Shortlist for RIAS/RIBA Awards 2016

The shortlist for Scotland included these selected buildings:

The Pyramid Viewpoint, Dunbartonshire
BTE Architecture
Pyramid Viewpoint Inveruglas
photo @ Andrew Lee

The Pyramid Viewpoint on Loch Lomond

The British Golf Museum and Café, St Andrews
Richard Murphy Architects
British Golf Museum Building Scotland
image from architect

British Golf Museum and Café

City of Glasgow College, Riverside Campus, Glasgow
Michael Laird Architects / Reiach and Hall Architects
City of Glasgow College
image from architect

New Glasgow City College

Tigh-Na-Cladach (House by the Shore) Innellan, Dunoon
Gokay Deveci, Chartered Architect
photo © Andrew Lee


White House, Griffipol, Isle of Coll
W T Architecture
White House Coll
photo : Ross Evans

Coll house

RIBA Awards

RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award Winner
West Burn Lane, St Andrews
Design: Sutherland Hussey Harris
West Burn Lane, St Andrews
photo © Keith Hunter

West Burn Lane

Scottish Buildings – Selection

RIBA Stirling Prize

Civic Trust Award

Scottish Architects

RIAS Festival of Architecture 2016

Comments / photos for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News page welcome

Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland News buildings + architects – page