Often times the term “Regulations”, makes people cringe. But in the practice of architecture, regulations play a critical role ensuring the public’s health, safety and welfare. The efforts of the AIACC Regulatory Affairs programs are essential to the profession of architecture, not only in providing members with a voice, but also enabling them to be a participant in how regulations impact the profession. In order to strengthen member’s participation, a newly formed State Agency Liaison Committee (SALC) has been developed with the goal of monitoring and maintaining direct AIACC member contact with California State Agencies that have a direct impact on the practice of architecture. The new SALC team will bring forward the proposed slate of Agencies each year for review and approval by the AIACC Executive Committee. Four annual meetings are proposed to be conducted via conference calls with specific topics to be discussed on each meeting agenda. This newly formed team includes 15 AIACC members who are assigned to maintain contact and build relationships with specific agencies and work with the VP of Regulation and Practice to establish these bridges. Paul Schroeder, AIA, Vice President of Regulation and Practice, is looking forward to the impactful results this new structure will provide for the AIACC, as well as the profession at large. He has been active in AIACC leadership for several years, and has worked diligently to organize this new liaison team.
Schroeder states the liaisons will work with AIACC staff and the individual agencies in tackling specific issues related to each organization. Agencies like the California Architects’ Board, (CAB). Efforts will work toward improving the enforcement of unlicensed practice, and address possible changes to the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), as well as improve the profession’s knowledge and understanding of disability access regulations through continuing education. Efforts to address the Academy of Emerging Professionals and Intern Development Program issues will continue as well.
In addition to working with CAB, the identified individual liaisons will work with many other agencies such as Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), in analyzing the California healthcare infrastructure and in facilitating development of sustained capacity for communities to address local healthcare issues. The AIACC will participate in program activities and policy decisions affecting healthcare facilities, and work with OSHPD to identify issues of concern, and address the identified issues with the Capitol Forum Healthcare Group.
SALC will also work with the Division of State Architect (DSA) in providing oversight for K-12 schools, community colleges and various other state-owned facilities, becoming more involved in issues of significance to the profession such as building codes, access compliance, plan review, education, and much more, as well as reviewing CASp programs to ensure they are performing as it was intended to, and places no additional burden on the profession. Also, in working with the Department of General Services (DGS), the SALC team will identify issues of concern and foster constructive discussion on issues of mutual interest such as sustainability, procurement, and contract language.
In addition, The Office of Emergency Services (OES) relationship will now be enhanced by the implementation of the SALC team in maintaining communication to better provide members education and training assistance, improving architect’s ability to effectively respond to disasters as they occur. The California Department of Water Resources liaison will review the carrying out of the work of the FloodSafe California programs, partnering with local, regional, and state offices in creating sustainable integrated flood management and emergency response systems throughout California.
This is just a partial list of some of the agencies the SALC team will be working with. For a complete list of agencies, please contact Kurt Cooknick, Director Regulation and Practice at AIACC.
Many other goals exist for the Regulation and Practice programs as well. Not only for those with the new SALC group, but also in working with the DSA the next 13 months in helping to restructure the division, as well as to put forth a viable candidate for appointment as the next State Architect. Schroeder states, “We will also continue our efforts in working toward unifying the sustainability codes; International Green Codes; CalGreen Codes; and develop local chapter workshops with the needed information AIACC members need.”