Can you reassure the membership that the Institute is financially sound and has reserves? Absolutely, without question. The Finance Committeespends considerable time and effort, at itsFebruary meetings, to present a balanced budget to Council in March of each year for approval. Due to careful spending over the past few years, a surplus each year has resulted in a healthyreserve in excess of£ 600,000. This is in stark contrast to the Institute's accumulated deficit of some £ 120,000 in the early1990s. What is the Finance Committee's rationale for membership subscription increases in a recession? Each February the Committee has a full and frank discussion regarding the rates to be set for members' subscriptions for the following year. In past years, we have found it necessary to increase subscriptions in line with inflation together with a small ' actual' increase to cover the increased costs in running the Institute. If no actual increase is applied each year then the Institute would be unable to provide the services it does without running at a loss, which in time could resultin a possible substantial increase in subscription fees within two to three years. The Committee is of the opinion that members are in favour of small increases every year rather than substantial increases every two to three years. This year and last year inflation increases onlywere included in the budget figures. Compared to its sister Chartered institutes, I consider that CIAT offers exceptional value for money with its subscription. How has the Finance Committee demonstrated prudence in difficult times? The Finance Committee normally meets twice a year to set the budget and to approve the year end auditedaccounts, with any other consultation regarding finance being conducted, by email, between the five members of the Committee and the Operations Director, together with a full consultation with the Chief Executive. Since January 2009, additional meetings of the Committee have taken place to carefully monitor the finance of the Institute, ensure its operating budget is managed and to put in place strict guidelines for expenditure and to work with the Chief Executive to ensure expenses are managed in line with the budget without affecting the services or progress of the Institute. These guidelines are approved by Council. Every effort has been made by Council, the Chief Executive and members of Central Office staff to reduce the operational costs of the Institute. However, as agreed by Council, CIAT may present a deficit in the current financial year. Will this prudence affect the work and profile of the Institute? In discussions at the Finance Committee andCouncil, the effect of any reduction made in the budget and in expenditure would not affect the work and profile of the Institute or any services provided to the membership. To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the Finance Committee, both past and present, for their dedication and hard work over the years since I became Honorary Treasurer in 2004. I would like to assure all members that the Finance Committee will continue to monitorthe expenses and income of the Institute in this recessionary period, ensuring the best interests of the membership are paramount. CIAT offers exceptional value for money with its subscription. ATMARCH- APRIL20107 FINANCE Money talks As the Institute's Finance Committee puts the final touches to the budget for 2010/ 11, Adam Endacott meets Honorary Treasurer, Bob Kay MBE PPBIAT MCIAT to find out how the budget for the next financial year will affect CIAT and its membership. Above: The Finance Committee ( from left): David Traynor MCIAT, Kathy Thurman MCIAT, Doug Fewkes MCIAT, Bob Kay, Operations Director Les Bourne and Jeff Goodchild MCIAT.
A marked improvement I have just read the current issue of AT and thought you deserved complimenting on the editing and articles you have produced - the magazine is getting better every issue. Keep up the good work. Phil George MCIAT, County Durham The Sheffield Hallam Award I am writing with reference to the Student Award for Technical Excellence 2009, featured in the latest edition of AT magazine. Whilst I applaud the great work that appears to be going on at Sheffield Hallam University, I must say I am astonished that for the past three years, no other Accredited university has managed to teach Sheffield Hallam a lesson and push them off the top spot! Perhaps the way the course at Sheffield Hallam is structured allows students to submit projects for the Award with little or no extra work? Perhaps Sheffield Hallam deliberately structures its final design module with the intention that students can submit their work to CIAT at the end of the year and be in with a good chance of winning, or at least being highly commended. Who knows? What is clear from the winners presented in AT, is the use of CAD and BIM at Sheffield Hallam, which appears to be at the core of their teaching, allowing students to produce visually attractive work. Perhaps this is lacking at other institutions? In any event, fancy images should not in themselves win favour over a submission which is technically brilliant but has not been communicated in such a visually striking way. Perhaps I am being cynical, but all I know it that I would like to see work from other universities recognised by CIAT. Either way, it is good publicity for the university and good for the students CV. Come on other universities - lets see what you can do! Leigh Caller BSc( Hons) MCIAT, Yeovil Happy memories I was interested to see that the Manchester Convention Hall had received an Award. When I was at the College of Building there I used to take the train into what then was Central Station - a long time before it became a Hall. It used to be a good example of a Victorian transport interchange. Goods or passengers could use the rail station. Under the train hall were roads and canal links together with storage bays. Now no more. The recent issue was a good one though with the Ecobuild promotion, it came in a plastic envelope! Iain Elmslie MCIAT, Inverness The Institute has published a revised Conditions of Engagement, which supersedes all previous versions, and is free to Chartered Members. It is available as a PDF or in Word and can be downloaded from the members' section of the website. Cancellation of Contracts Members should be aware that any contract signed within the client's home or place of work falls within the Doorstep Selling Regulations. Whilst the information appears to be primarily aimed at traders, the legislation does in fact affect architectural contracts. More information can be found at the following link: www. berr. gov. uk/ whatwedo/ consumers/ fa ct- sheets/ page38115. html All members providing services directly to clients should be conscious of the fact that any contract which is signed in the client's home or place of work must be given a seven day cancellation period. So if your client signs the contract at home on the Friday and wants you to start work on the Monday - be warned that your client can still terminate the contract. If the client wishes work to commence before the seven day cancellation it may be wise to either post it for signature or have the client sign in your own offices. The Institute has now revised its Conditions of Engagement and in addition to the complete overhaul, the implications on members of the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 is considered. There is now a section at the end to be signed and the seven day cooling off period which must be given is included with wording directly lifted from the Regulations. These Conditions of Engagement are written for use in England and Wales. Versions are currently in development for those Members in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. If you have any queries, then please direct these to the Practice Department. 8ATMARCH- APRIL2010 Conditions of Engagement PRACTICE Letters IMPORANT NOTICE Revised Code effective 1 May 2010 Following approval at the 2009 AGM the Code of Conduct has an additional Clause. The new Clause 10 covers the issue of bankruptcy and insolvency which had previous been referred to in the Charter Byelaws rather than the Code of Conduct. For ease of use and understanding delegates at the 2009 AGM considered it appropriate to review and move the requirements for those members who suffer bankruptcy and insolvency to the Code, particularly at this time of recession. The new Clause 10 states: " Clause 10: Bankruptcy and Insolvency A member shall report to the Institute within 28- days, 35- days if resident overseas, if they are: a) made the subject of an order of court disqualifying them from acting as a company director; b) made the subject of a bankruptcy order; and c) a director of a company which is wound up ( other than for amalgamation or reconstruction purposes)" The former Clause 10 has now become the new Clause 11 which refers to ' Cessation of Membership'. Please be reminded that as a part of your ongoing membership you are required to comply with the Code of Conduct; it is recommended that you spend a few minutes refreshing yourself with your professional obligations under the Code which can be found at www. ciat. org. uk or contact Central Office on 020 7278 2206 for a hard copy. In tandem with this revision the Institute has also revised the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Information note which is featured in this issue of AT on page 9 and can also be downloaded from the website or again please contact Central Office for a copy. Code of Conduct