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CIR 18/20 | UK withdrawal from the European Union

Communication relayed from the Architects’ Council of Europe

 

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

A Transition Period was agreed, running from 31 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 – during which time, the UK and the EU are negotiating the terms of a Free Trade Agreement which should cover, amongst other things, provisions for mobility and the provision of professional services.

While Directive 2005/36/EC on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) will no longer apply from 1 January 2021, the arrangements currently set out in this Directive continue to apply until the end of the Transition Period – including provisions for automatic recognition, recognition under the general system and temporary or occasional provision of services.

From 1 January 2021

The UK Government has said that

  • EEA/Swiss Architects already registered with ARB will continue to be recognised;
  • EEA/Swiss Architects practising under temporary and occasional status will be able to continue to do so until the expiry of such status, with no option to renew;
  • EEA/Swiss Architects who have submitted applications to ARB to have their professional qualification recognised before exit day but have not yet received a decision will have their application considered/concluded under the Directive procedure as far as possible (within the deadlines set out in the UK Architects Act 1997).

The EU Commission has also stated that decisions on the recognition of UK qualifications in EU Member States before 1 January 2021 are not affected[1].

Therefore, UK architects thinking of registering in one of the 27 EU Member States – and EU27 architects thinking of registering in the UK – are advised to initiate the procedure before 31 December and ideally as soon as possible if they wish to benefit from current arrangements. All those seeking to register in the EU27 or the UK are advised to check national application requirements in the host state and ensure that all relevant documents and certificates are available prior to making an application.

 

Applications submitted after 1 January 2021

  • The UK has indicated that it will retain a system of recognition for EEA and Swiss qualifications at exit day that is similar to the current system.
  • ARB, the UK regulator of architects will continue to recognise EEA/Swiss qualifications that are currently automatically recognised and referred to in point 5.7.1 of Annex V to Directive 2005/36/EC as it has effect on the day the UK exits the EU, provided the applicant has access to the profession in their home state. EEA/Swiss citizenship will not be a requirement for this system of recognition.
  • EEA/Swiss qualifications previously falling in the scope of the General System, and acquired rights nationals, will be required to apply under the third country route to recognition. This includes undertaking ARB’s Prescribed Examinations at Part 1 and Part 2, and the completion of an ARB-prescribed UK Part 3 qualification.
  • Individuals with UK qualifications seeking recognition to offer services in the EEA or Switzerland should check national policies in the host State.

 

Implications for the recognition, in the UK, of holders of EEA/Swiss qualifications

  • For EEA/Swiss professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA/Swiss qualifications) who are already established and have received a recognition decision in the UK, this recognition decision will not be affected and will remain valid.
  • EEA/Swiss professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA/Swiss qualifications) who have not started an application for a recognition decision in the UK before 1 January 2021 will be subject to future arrangements, as detailed above.
  • EEA/Swiss professionals (including UK nationals holding EEA/ Swiss qualifications) who have applied for a recognition decision and are awaiting a decision on 1 January 2021 will, as far as possible, be able to conclude their applications in line with the provisions of the MRPQ Directive.
  • EEA/Swiss Architects practising under temporary and occasional status will be able to continue to do so until the expiry of such status, with no option to renew.

Implications for the recognition, in EU27, of holders of UK qualifications

  • The European Commission’s “Notice to Stakeholders” of 21 June 2018 states that “the withdrawal of the UK does not affect decisions on the recognition of professional qualifications obtained in the UK taken before the withdrawal date on the basis of Directive 2005/36/EC) by an EU-27 Member State.
  • The EC’s Notice to Stakeholders also states that as of the withdrawal date, “UK nationals will be third country nationals and hence Directive 2005/36/EC no longer applies to them”. It follows that:
    – Recognition of professional qualifications of UK nationals in an EU-27 Member State will be governed by national policies and rules of that Member State irrespective of whether the qualifications of the UK national were obtained in the UK, in another third country or in an EU-27 MS;
    – The temporary or occasional provision of services by UK nationals in an EU-27 MS, even if they are already legally established in an EU-27 MS will be governed by the national policies and rules of that MS.

 

For further information please consult

 

Architects’ Council of Europe

 

[1] For recognition procedures that are on-going on withdrawal date, the “Joint report from the negotiators of the EU and the UK Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU: establishes that, in respect of persons covered in that report, these recognition procedures will be completed under Union law (para. 32).

 

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CIR 17/20 | World Architecture Day 2020 – Towards a Better Urban Future

Dear Perit,

Today, the Kamra tal-Periti joins its European and global counterparts in celebrating World Architecture Day, which this year is based on the theme “Towards a Better Urban Future”.

In 1986, the International Union of Architects (UIA) established World Architecture Day to coincide with World Habitat Day, with the aim to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing. This year’s celebration comes amidst the global coronavirus pandemic which has caused us all to make changes to our lifestyles, and has compelled us to question many of our ways, not least our urban environment and the design of our buildings, and how these support and impact our quality of life.

This year’s theme brings to the fore a number of issues that are relevant to our current reality. Most schools will be reopening today, welcoming our younger generations to a new reality which will take some time to adapt to. Many of our elderly are isolated in care homes, while others are left wondering how often they can see and embrace their grandchildren now that these are returning to their school benches. Various offices have resorted to teleworking practices in an effort to contain the spread of the virus and to protect their staff, while other workers who do not have the option to work from home face daily struggles to ensure their own safety and that of their families. All of these activities take place in buildings and urban spaces, designed and created by architects, engineers, and planners, whose responsibility in shaping our future is crucial – for indeed it is a responsibility, and a privilege, to be able to contribute to the future of our country in such a lasting manner.

This Day cannot, therefore, go by without a reflection on how our profession is contributing towards a better urban environment. Are we being of service to society, seeking the common good, or are we serving other masters for more immediate benefits? This brings to mind the seminal Encyclical Laudato Sí, penned by Pope Francis five years ago, where he stated that “If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirit of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony. Let us refuse to resign ourselves to this, and continue to wonder about the purpose and meaning of everything. Otherwise we would simply legitimate the present situation and need new forms of escapism to help us endure the emptiness.

How are we going to rise to the challenge to help our communities recover and rebuild? How are we going to ensure that what we design today is adaptable to future realities, while keeping the persons who inhabit our buildings and use our spaces at the centre of our design ethos? Are we ready to safeguard our common home in an effort to ensure the resilience of our future generations?

This is not just a lofty ideal. This is a duty, and a commitment we must all acknowledge.

Yours sincerely,

Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

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CIR 16/20 | Various Updates

Through this Circular, the Council of the Kamra tal-Periti would like to bring to your attention a number of matters, as follows:

1. Call for Court Experts

The Courts of Justice are in the process of renewing the list of architects and civil engineers that may be nominated as experts by the Courts. The Kamra tal-Periti invites those periti who are interested in providing their services to submit their details by no later than the 5th October 2020 at this link.

 

2. Periti Warranting Board

As reported by the Kamra on 23rd September 2020, the Electoral Commission notifies that it has duly received 2 (two) nominations from periti interested in sitting on the Periti Warranting Board, namely:

 

Grech Alfred    404054M         6, Triq San Pawl, Attard

Zammit Ivan    120475M         ‘Rivendell’, 81, Triq San Mikiel, Zurrieq

 

All periti are entitled to vote in a secret ballot for not more that one candidate.  Voting will take place on Friday 2nd October 2020, between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm (uninterruptedly) at the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Blk A – Boardroom, Francesco Buonamici Street, Floriana.

To vote, every perit must present his/her ID Card or another official photo identity document.  The voter must mark a cross (X) in the box on the ballot paper next to the name of not more than one (1) candidate. Counting of votes shall take place immediately upon closure of the poll.

 

3. Legal Notice 374 of 2020 – Amendment to Sanitary Regulations

Through the coming into force of Legal Notice 374 of 2020, the minimum clear internal height of parking levels is now 2.10m.

 

4. Legal Notice 375 of 2020 – Amendment to Regularisation Regulations

Regulation 7 regarding the expiry date and increase in fees for the Regularisation Regulations has been repealed with immediate effect through Legal Notice 375 of 2020. This means that the cut-off date has been removed, and the fees will not be increasing as previously established.

 

5. Notification re membership expiry

A number of periti have received automated messages from our website regarding membership expiry. We are looking into the matter with our IT support. Kindly note that membership ends on 31st December of each year. You can verify the status of your membership by logging into your profile on the website.

The automated email is meant to serve as a reminder to periti to plan for their renewal, as well as to inform them about the 20% discount for those who renew before 31st January. We are working on correcting the automated message and apologise for any inconvenience.

 

6. Premises for rent

The premises of the Malta Federation of Professional Associations (MFPA), of which the Kamra tal-Periti is a member, includes a shop which is currently vacant.

 

The area of the shop is circa 40 sqm.  It comprises one large front room overlooking the main road,  and a second room comprising toilet with shower. This shop is air conditioned. The premises can also be leased as an office/clinic but this can be discussed with the interested party/ parties. The rent for the first 2 years is €15/day.  Rent will increase to €17/day for the following two years and to €20/day for the fifth year.  Agreement  will be for 5 years, with one year notice to end or continue the lease agreement.

Any interested persons are requested to contact the Federation on 99471287 or via email info@mfpa.org.mt.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

Courts Registrar issues new call for Experts for 2021

The Registrar of the Courts of Justice of Malta has issued a call for Court Experts in terms of Art. 89 of Chapter 12 of the Laws of Malta.

The Kamra tal-Periti is hereby notifying all interested members of the profession to submit their nomination for 2019 through the registration form below.

Deadline for the submission of nominations is 5th October, 2020.

Registration form

Notification of Nominations for Warranting Board Elections 2020

NOTICE

By the Electoral Commission

BORD TAL-WARRANT TAL-PERITI

With reference relative to the circular dated 14th September and the advert published on local newspapers on 1th September 2020, the Electoral Commission hereby notifies that it has received the following nominations:

Grech Alfred    404054M         6, Triq San Pawl, Attard

Zammit Ivan    120475M         ‘Rivendell’, 81, Triq San Mikiel, Zurrieq

 

Call for Nominations for Warranting Board Elections 2020

NOTICE

By the Electoral Commission

BORD TAL-WARRANT TAL-PERITI

The Secretary to the Board notifies that nominations for the election of one member to the Bord tal-Warrant tal-Periti shall be received on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd September 2020 between 10:00 am and noon at the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Boardroom Blk A, Francesco Buonamici Street, Beltissebh, Floriana.

Nomination papers may be obtained from the Board Secretary at Blk A of the same address as above.

The Election shall be held on Friday 2nd October 2020 between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. Full details, nomination papers and regulations have been posted to all eligibile warrant holding Periti and can be downloaded by clicking below.

 

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PR 10/20 | No time for further delay

Verżjoni bil-Malti

This morning, yet another worker lost his life on a construction site following the collapse of a wall within the site. While the details of the incident are still emerging, one thing is amply clear: the construction industry is rife with systemic and fundamental deficiencies that must be addressed without further delay.

While the Kamra tal-Periti is fully cognisant of Government’s efforts in the past months to draft legislation that will bring about the much needed changes, it is evident that the lack of focus and resources is severely hampering progress in this respect. The outcome of the recommendations by the Committee appointed by the Prime Minister have still to be made public, and despite several lengthy meetings with the various stakeholders in the industry we are still far off from seeing significant results.

This situation is no longer tenable. Further delay is not an option.

On its part, after urging successive governments to bring about significant changes to the industry since 2007, the Kamra tal-Periti had published its draft proposals for A Modern Building and Construction Regulation Framework in May 2019. These were presented to all industry stakeholders, including the Chamber of Engineers, the Chamber of Commerce, the Building Industry Consultative Council, the Building Regulation Board, the Building Regulation Office, the Building and Construction Agency, the Planning Authority, the Malta Developers Association, and the Malta Insurers Association. All these entities and organisations endorsed the Kamra’s proposals and there is therefore industry-wide consensus that such proposals are both necessary and desirable.

The proposals were also presented to the European Commission and the Opposition, as well as to Government which, through a Letter of Commitment issued in August 2019, finally recognised the need for a comprehensive reform of the building and construction industry, and committed itself to implement the Kamra’s proposals.

After having taken on board all the feedback received, the Kamra tal-Periti published the final version of its proposals in June, and were positively received by the industry.

The Kamra tal-Periti urges the Prime Minister and the Ministers responsible for the industry in all its aspects to fulfil Government’s commitments of last August without further delay. It is unacceptable that a country which aspires to portray itself as “the best in Europe” remains complacent to these tragedies which have become all too common. The country deserves better.

 

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CIR 15/20 | Breach of Legal Notice 136 of 2019 – Site Technical Officer fraud

It has come to the Kamra’s attention that a person who is not qualified to take on the role of Site Technical Officer has, on a number of occasions, presented himself to Permit Holders as being qualified to take on such role and subsequently signed the Site Responsibility Form, which was then unwittingly uploaded by the periti responsible for the respective projects.

After being alerted to this matter, the Bulding and Construction Agency (BCA) advised such person that this was unacceptable. Said person, however, persisted in trying to defraud the system by presenting Permit Holders with Forms apparently signed by, to our knoweldge, at least two different periti, however it later transpired that such periti had not signed such Forms, and that their signatures had been copied and used without their consent. This latter fraudulent action has been reported to the BCA for the necessary action to be taken.

Periti are reminded that:

  • Only persons who have been authorised by the BCA to provide the service of STO should be indicated on the relevant Forms – the list of registered persons is updated regularly and may be viewed here;
  • According to Legal Notice 136 of 2019, as amended, the Site Technical Officer shall be “nominated by the contractor and shall be accepted by the perit in charge of the project”, and that as part of its discussions with Government, the Kamra had only agreed to the requirement for periti to “accept” the STO as long as a list of registered persons is published and regularly maintained – refer to point 3.1.2 of the Letter of Commitment which Government presented to the Kamra in August 2019, and further elaborated in Ciircular 14/19.

 

In view of this situation, it is recommended that periti go through their active projects and ensure that the appointed STOs are in fact indicated on the STO register, and that such persons are aware of being indicated in this role. In case of any anomalies, periti are requested to immediately inform the BCA, copying the Kamra tal-Periti, for further action.

 

The Council cannot stress enough the importance of adherence to legislation, in view of the serious consequences that may arise in cases of incidents on construction sites.

Yours sincerely,

Simone Vella Lenicker
President

 

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PR 09/20 | Kamra tal-Periti celebrates its centenary

Verżjoni bil-Malti

Today the Kamra tal-Periti celebrates a century of service to the profession and to society.

The foundations of the Kamra were laid amid the Sette Giugno uprisings of 1919 when, despite the turmoil brought about by the riots and the end of the Spanish flu pandemic, the new Governor, Field Marshall Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer brought into force the Architects’ Ordinance on the 25th July 1919. Less than a year later, on the 12th June 1920, he enacted Government Notice 202, which established the Chamber of Architects, now known as the Kamra tal-Periti.

As the sole recognised professional body representing architects and civil engineers in Malta, the Kamra’s  mission is to support members of the profession in achieving excellence in their practice of architecture and engineering in the interest of the community. It is also delegated with the duty of enquiring into any charge of professional misconduct or abuse made against any periti in connection with the exercise of their profession or with professional matters.

Over the years, the Kamra tal-Periti has established itself as the voice of the profession, and has taken on the role of promoting values of economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability amongst its members, as well as promoting beauty in architecture and the built environment.

General Meeting of the Camera degli Architetti

As it traces its roots over the past century, the Kamra tal-Periti is now looking towards a future which is founded on a key set of principles: Quality, design, community, progress, identity, innovation, culture, sustainability. These are the elements that must shape our built environment, forging the very essence of the spaces we inhabit in the present, and for generations to come.