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Council Highlights - September 22, 2016 Meeting

A meeting of the Council was held on September 22, 2016 at the OAA Headquarters Building. The following priority agenda items were dealt with:
Council receives final Report re. 2016 OAA Awards Program Review 
Consultant Brigitte Desrochers presented her Final Report and Recommendations to OAA Council. Desrochers had been engaged earlier in the year at the direction of Council to undertake a comprehensive review of the OAA Awards program. Desrochers reached out to a wide variety of stakeholders and resources to understand the OAA’s current program as well as provide a detailed picture of the current landscape of awards programs within the design industry and beyond. The Report contained a number of recommended changes to the OAA program which were supported by the Awards Review Steering Committee that had been established to oversee the review process on behalf of Council. Council has approved the following three distinct areas of recommendation stemming from the Report and has directed the Awards Review Steering Committee to proceed with the development of a plan for implementation including, schedule, budgetary considerations and resources.
Recommendation 1
That Council approve in principle the streamlining of its existing suite of design/career achievement awards to simplify and strengthen its messaging and add greater weight to its communications mandate.
Recommendation 2
That Council approve in principle using the concepts awards as the seed of a new class of purposeful, aspirational prizes focused on significant societal issues of relevance to architects and well-suited to engaging younger and currently under-represented segments of the profession.
Recommendation 3
That Council approve in principle the adoption of a two-year program cycle such that design/achievement awards and purposeful prizes be given in alternating years, with communications and administrative cycles linked accordingly.
Click here to view the Final Report.
Approval for the development of an Online CERB Application under the IAP
Council has approved a proposal to develop an online application for the Canadian Experience Record Book (CERB) which will allow Intern Architects to record their hours of experience online as required under the Internship in Architecture Program (IAP). The application will be developed to allow for the employer as well as the mentor to interact as required under the IAP along with the intern architect.
A database consultant has been selected and will be on board shortly. Development is expected to begin in December. Launch is anticipated in late spring 2017. Watch for further details as this exciting project unfolds.
Council Policy – Female Representation on Council
OAA Council approved a Policy regarding Female Representation on OAA Committees.   The establishment of the policy is in keeping with the direction of both federal and provincial governments as well as other organizations and governing boards across the country to strive for better representation by women. Through the adoption of this Policy, OAA Council will endeavour to reach representation by women on OAA Committees that is proportional to the number of women that are members of the Association.
Streamlined process for Responding to RFPs
Wrapping up considerable discussion over the last 18 months or so, Council reviewed the details of a streamlined process for responding to member requests to have RFP and contract documents reviewed. This dovetails with the other two areas of focus which are: proactive discussions with client groups, government and procurement professionals; and, members’ professional responsibilities/standards of practice.  
Of particular note:
  • Members are being asked to identify clauses that they have concern over or that they would like the OAA to look at closely.  
  • Focus will be on issues that are contrary to the Architects Act and/or Regulation 27 as well as provisions that bring risk and liability which are outside the architect’s insurance coverage. Review will also focus on provisions that transfer roles and responsibilities onto the architect that are not usual and customary to the practice of architecture. We will not be addressing clauses and conditions that are considered business decisions.  Members are asked to evaluate and assess those clauses and provisions on their own and make decisions relative to their comfort level.
  • Members are being asked to make their request to review, along with the documents, to the OAA for consideration prior to the deadline for questions to be raised related to that specific RFP. We cannot respond effectively if the documents are received the day prior to closing.
  • A better tracking and logging system is being implemented to understand trends and compile statistics, including regularly occurring issues, which client groups are involved, responses and remedies to some of the issues if they cannot be eliminated entirely, etc.
More on this will be communicated to members in coming editions of OAA News! Watch for it.
OAA Representative appointed to U of T School of Architecture Council 
Council approved the appointment of Steven Socha as OAA Representative on the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design School Council for a three year term. Under the University’s constitution for the Faculty there is a seat on the School Council for a representative of the Ontario Association of Architects. Duties of the Council include setting standards for admission, setting details of the academic programs as well as policies and procedures, establishing awards and bursary programs, establishing committees to complete the work of the Council. The OAA also has a representative currently sitting on the Curriculum Committee which operates under the School Council.
Appointment of OAA Representative to CNEA
OAA Council approved the appointment of John Plumpton as the OAA Representative to the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA). The representative will provide input and insight from the perspective of the OAA and the architectural profession to the CNEA and report back to OAA Council as required with respect to the views and issues brought forth by the CNEA Membership requiring direct input or a formal position from the OAA.
Update on SPIF Study re. Consortium Business Models
OAA Council received a brief update on the progress of the Study being commissioned in cooperation with Ryerson University School of Business re. Consortium Business models for small and medium sized architectural practices. A graduate student from the School of Business is being sought to undertake the study through the Mitacs grant program and once engaged, the study should be underway shortly.
Additional Representation on Council
OAA Council approved a proposal advanced by the Interns' Committee to establish a non-voting seat on OAA Council for an Intern Architect at its September 22 meeting. Interns will be invited to participate in the upcoming Council election, along with all members eligible to vote, by voting for an individual to fill the new seat on Council from among nominated Intern Architects. Additional information is available on the OAA Elections Page.  
Council has also indicated that it will review previous discussions relative to having a Licensed Technologist, OAA seat on Council at its November meeting.