Safety of all is the key PRESIDENT,Board of Architects, Malaysia.-Star Online Saturday November 28, 2009

Saturday November 28, 2009

Safety of all is the key

THE entry to any profession requires a rigorous examination of a person’s ability to perform with an accepted level of competence.

Architecture is no different. As correctly pointed out by One Malaysian Architect, in this country, to become a profes- sionally qualified architect, one has to undergo a prescribed course including a minimum of two years’ practical experience, for which a log book and a Practical Experience Evaluation Report of such experience has to be kept and submitted, passing an oral examination, and finally proceeding to a written examination.

The recent building collapses underline the need for candidates undertaking the Part III Examination to realise that architects in practice are not just designers of buildings, but have to take on a host of other responsible actions including supervision of construction works and contract admin- istration to bring a project to a successful conclusion.

Of paramount importance is the safety of all who will use the structures that we as architects design, and that is why under the Street, Drainage and Building Act, architects have been designated as a “Submitting Person” with all the legal responsibilities that come with it.

Hence the core competencies of the architect encompass not only professional knowledge and experience that he or she has acquired during the training period in the workplace, but also the moral responsibility that comes with any job.

At the same time, an architect must be able to carry out his advisory, contractual and fiduciary duties in an accurate, efficient and professional manner so that his clients, who are the catalyst for development, will experience higher profits and enhancement of their reputation.

These core competencies are what the Part III Professional Examination seeks to ascertain.

The Part III Professional Examination has been in existence for almost 40 years, and in its present form consists of two papers with questions derived from a published syllabus whose subject matter a candidate is required to have sufficient knowledge of to perform competently as a professionally registered architect.

The examination questions are set in both Bahasa Malaysia and English, and candidates have the option of choosing their language of preference to answer in.

In the past, candidates had to pass both papers to fulfil the exam requirements, but recently this was changed so that candidates who passed one paper was only required to retake just the paper they did not pass.

The method of assessing the papers is done in such a way that there is no room for bias.

In the absence of a better system to gauge the candidates’ readiness for professional practice, the Part III examination procedure at present seems to be the most appropriate form of assessment. LAM affirms that those who have passed the exams have successfully demonstrated their ability to do so by thoroughly understanding all the elements required to become a professional.

PRESIDENT,

Board of Architects, Malaysia.

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