RIAS Pandemic Impacts- Looking Ahead

Thank you to all of you who responded to the surveys to determine the impacts of Covid 19 and Lockdown on our Members and Practices. A summary of the findings can be viewed HERE.

The results reflect the picture experienced by many in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK and give valuable insights into the personal, physical and organisational impacts of remote working experienced by our members, as well as critical employment and workload impacts.

We were particularly encouraged by the number of Members who wish to support others and through the Chapters we hope to take forward some of the suggested initiatives to bring Members and Practice together in mentoring and knowledge sharing.

The employment and workload picture present greater challenges and have already been shared with Scottish Government via the CICV Forum (a joint working approach we have with other industry bodies). The RIAS are also in discussion with the Chief Architect regarding the findings of both surveys and are engaged across the construction industry in joint actions as a result.

Your comments and suggestions for countering key impacts build on the messages which shaped our RIAS Inspiring 5-year Strategy and will inform the RIAS strategic planning for our external voice and internal support into 2021. Specifically:

• Building a strong RIAS position and voice on key issues in construction and the environment in the Post-Covid world and working together with other stakeholders to effect change and develop design solutions for a sustainable future.
• Supporting Members with advice on the developing business landscape and changing legislation and promoting more resilient procurement and ways of innovative working.

It has been a fast-moving situation since the surveys closed and there is uncertainty about what will follow. It is essential that we use our networks to develop smarter ways of quickly identifying emerging threats and trends affecting the membership. We have therefore asked the Chapters to assist in developing a network of representative practices willing to help us be aware of workplace and workload challenges as they emerge. This will enable us to respond swiftly and also support Members by sharing relevant advice. Please contact your chapter if you would like to support this network.

It is vital that we continue to focus on increasing our collective profile and impact in public life. We are developing an initiative, born of the pandemic, around ‘Design Led Futures’ as a platform to join with creative industries message ‘Making Life Better by Design’, and are working with Members to take its messages forward.

Karen Stevenson Acting Secretary
Christina Gaiger RIAS President