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Role and requirements

RIBA Client Advisers are architects and other construction industry professionals who
have the specialist skills and experience (see below) to assist clients with the complex
process of commissioning projects, getting them built and delivered.

An RIBA Client Adviser who is a qualified architect is not the main architect in such
projects but acts as an independent adviser. They:

provide strategic advice

help clients to achieve their objectives
meet clients expectations on performance and design quality.

The RIBA Client Adviser will always be a senior professional with individual
responsibility of providing the client with strategic advice. It is possible that they will
work for a larger company, or will organise a team of others with appropriate skills to
support them. RIBA Client Advisers come from a range of backgrounds, but must have at
least five to 10 years relevant experience of the industry and of working directly with
clients and their stakeholders.

What skills and experience are required?

An RIBA Client Adviser will have demonstrated that they have met the required core
competencies; these fall under the following areas:

Vision and aspiration.

Stakeholder engagement.
Setting and safeguarding design quality.
Design value management.

Please refer to the following core competency matrix below before applying to the RIBA
Client Adviser Register. These will help you to understand how an RIBA Client Adviser
is expected to comply to the five core competencies.

What is the RIBA Client Adviser role?

This varies from project to project depending on the preparation required, the other
participants and size of the works. Potential tasks of an RIBA Client Adviser could
helping to define an agreed set of project outcomes
developing and examining options with the client and stakeholders through
feasibility studies, visits to other projects, the use of Design Quality Indicators
(DQIs) etc.
consulting stakeholders and identifying project requirements and key design
carrying out or helping to commission initial design studies
advising clients on financial planning, whole life costs and value for money
advising clients on procurement processes including EU procurement rules
developing value and risk assessments
checking budgets are sufficient to achieve well designed buildings
assisting the client with preparation of a project programme - ensuring that it
provides adequate time for the various stages including design and design
researching and developing the scope of works with the client, describing required
outcomes and outputs, and design aspirations for the project.
helping to prepare briefs, output specifications and other project documentation
assisting in the selection of potential design and construction teams
co-ordinating bid evaluation and helping to assess bids for the works, including
evaluation of design teams
checking design and construction details of emerging design proposals for the
negotiating final design and technical details with bidders
checking appropriate aspects of the contract documentation
monitoring during construction
commissioning post-occupancy evaluations and feeding back information to the
client and others
checking adequate facilities management and maintenance regimes are in place
advising on future modifications to the buildings
advising on final disposal.

In 2010 the RIBA revised the definition of the RIBA Client Adviser role. Please refer to
the following for the approved role definition for the RIBA Client Adviser registers.

What is the role of the RIBA Client Adviser?

Any client thinking about a project in the built environment needs to
make early decisions on what the project is about, how to set up their
own team and how to procure design and construction. An adviser
with design thinking skills can be invaluable in identifying the value
proposition and the way to achieve this. They can facilitate
productive discussions between all stakeholders and see that the built
asset will meet the clients requirements.
RIBA Client Adviser have a strong sense of how successful projects
are forged, making design requirements clear and achievable at every
stage. At the early stages they will assist with the development of the
brief. With a thorough knowledge of procurement, the RIBA Client
Adviser will support the client, knowing which questions to ask and
when, giving independent advice on the selection of design and
construction providers and whether a proposed design fully meets the

RIBA Client Advisers are highly skilled and knowledgeable built

environment professionals adept at inspiring shared vision and
confidence. Performing the key role of stakeholder engagement, with:
the client, users, facility managers, investors, suppliers and
authorities in order to align objectives and develop agreed outcomes.

Where it is likely that the client will choose not to appoint an architect
directly, perhaps because of the use of a competitive or design-build
process, there will be a lack of early and client-focussed advice. The
RIBA Client Adviser fills that gap, guiding and advising clients
through procurement and supporting them in getting the value and
quality they seek. . Once construction is underway the RIBA Client
Adviser can continue, to support the client in maintaining quality
through the building process and feeding back lessons learned when
the building is in use.