Report unpaid architecture internships, says RIBA
RIBA president Angela Brady

Report unpaid architecture internships, says RIBA

News: the Royal Institute of British Architects has called on students to report companies offering unpaid architecture internships and said it "deplores any architects treating students this way".

RIBA president Angela Brady (above) reminded architects operating under the institute's charter that they are required to pay student interns and said all architecture companies should follow suit.

"The rest of the profession should feel honour bound to follow this example and pay architectural students for their hard work," she said. "While it is legal for employers not to pay students for up to 3 months, it is certainly not good practice and risks devaluing our profession."

RIBA chartered practices are required to pay interns who are working to complete their Professional Education and Development Record (PEDR). UK architecture students must log a minimum of 24 months' work under the direct supervision of a qualified architect before they can themselves qualify as an architect.

Brady said:  "I urge any student working unpaid towards their PEDR, within an RIBA Chartered Practice, to contact the RIBA with their concerns."

On Twitter, Brady also called for the word "intern" to be dropped. She tweeted: "Work is work and pay is pay: Lets drop this word "INTERN" it was never part of architecture. It implies exploitation to me? What you think?" The term "intern" has no legal status in the UK.

RIBA said it had received reports of architects breaking the rule. "It is disappointing and worrying to hear of reports of architectural students taking unpaid internships in architecture," said the institute in a statement.  "The RIBA deplores any architects treating students this way".

Dezeen has recently come under fire for offering unpaid editorial internships. Yesterday we announced that we are ending unpaid internships and introducing a new, paid programme.

Here is the statement from the RIBA:


It is disappointing and worrying to hear of reports of architectural students taking unpaid internships in architecture.  The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) deplores any architects treating students this way; it is a requirement for all RIBA Chartered Practices to pay interns who are working towards their Professional Education and Development Record (PEDR).

Before any architectural practice is accepted as an RIBA Chartered Practice it is required to sign a declaration stating that they will ensure that at least statutory minimum wage is paid to all architectural students employed within the practice, where the work undertaken is eligible to count towards the students PEDR. Over time, and as the economy improves the RIBA wishes to see the statutory amount paid to students rise above the national minimum wage. All RIBA Chartered Practices are required to sign this declaration each year they remain part of the scheme.

To verify this policy, the RIBA undertakes a random annual audit of 5% of its 3,200 UK Chartered Practices. In addition to the declaration and audit, if the RIBA has reason to suspect a Chartered Practice is not fulfilling the criteria they have signed up to, then it is committed to fully investigate any claims of a breach. Chartered Practice suspension is automatically evoked, pending further investigation, once a complaint is received.