Social Mobility within the Architects' Profession - A report by Alan Jones to the Board of The Royal Institute of British Architects. (Thought leadership) Increasing the understanding and engagement with social mobility within our profession and institute

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Context of report

Following a proposal from Alan Jones at RIBA Board it was agreed in the November 2017 Board meeting of The Royal Institute of British Architects that he could progress the topic of Social Mobility with the RIBA Policy team.

This paper has been created to outline the issues around social mobility and its relationship with government and the professions. The paper has been structured around a variety of sources to encourage discussion as to how the RIBA may wish to broaden its understanding and engagement with social mobility.

Extract from paper:


Over recent months the need for the RIBA to increase awareness and action around Social Mobility has been raised by Alan Jones in RIBA Council, RIBA Board and RIBA Education Committee. In the RIBA Board meeting of 16th November 2017, it was agreed that Alan Jones should work with the RIBA Policy Unit to explore social mobility and its relevance to the RIBA.

This paper has been created in the style of a “reader”, with Appendix A containing a collection of quotes and sources that together highlight the increasing focus within the United Kingdom on social mobility and implies relevance across many aspects of the RIBA, to its strategy and direction, the current membership and the future profession.

All quoted text is in italics and links to publications and resources are indicated thus.

A first draft of this paper was initially reviewed by Yemi Aladerun, RIBA Council with her suggested additions incorporated into a second draft circulated to senior members of RIBA Board.

Alan Jones and Andrew Forth, Head of RIBA Policy and Public Affairs have reviewed the paper and agreed the recommendations presented.

Proposed Recommendations
It seems appropriate to identify the proposed recommendations at this point to give each reader a perspective on the main body of the paper.
For this paper to be considered within various sectors of RIBA to discuss and determine the need to increase the understanding and engagement with social mobility
within our profession and institute:
Architects for Change
BATB - in relation to the Schools Outreach Programme
Membership, Nations and Regions
RIBA Chief Executives Office / Policy Unit in relation to how the legal, accountancy and engineering institutes have been and are addressing social mobility
RIBA HR Department - in relation to recruitment and social mobility policies / strategies
Each Vice President / Chair / Director / Executive / Head leading the area highlighted will ensure a written summary of the discussion, conclusions and potential future actions (immediate, low cost and longer term) is created in time for (2) below.
A second paper should to be brought to Board on social mobility by July 2018 latest. This report would comprise of the summaries within (1) with discussion, conclusion and agreement on presentation to RIBA Council for consideration.
The RIBA should add a social mobility information request to each membership application and renewal, in accordance with questionnaire template contained within The Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, published by Professions for Good, 2012.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Institute of British Architects
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 08 Feb 2018


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