ACA - WA Update

18 March 2017

Best practice in procurement is top of the agenda for the ACA – WA in 2017, primarily procurement of architectural services for local and state governments.

On 12 April ACA – WA will launch the Best Practice Procurement Guide, a useful tool that will educate and advocate for a better understanding of the value of good design and high quality architectural services. In recent years, tightening economic circumstances in the state has led to a focus on fees as a major contributor to bid assessments. The shift of focus to the lowest tender price to the exclusion of all else is not a sustainable situation for architects – and is certainly not a long-term value proposition for clients. The Best Practice Procurement Guide will inspire discussion around this important topic and highlight the necessity of investing in good design.

On 25 May, ACA’s industrial adviser Michael Corrigan will present at an ACA – WA roundtable discussion. Always an incredibly useful event for studio managers and others responsible for HR and employment aspects of practice, this roundtable will detail the latest changes to the Architects Award and the implications for practice. Numbers for this session will be limited, so please book early.

ACA – WA is also putting the final touches on its calendar of events and activities for 2017, with several opportunities for members to catch up and discuss the issues of the day. In the second half of the year, ACA – WA will run a panel discussion on the Business of Competitions, focusing on the potential for the development of a Competitive Design Policy in Western Australia. We will have more information on this important event as the agenda is developed and guest speakers are confirmed.

As we head further into a new year, the ACA – WA branch is on the lookout for some additional committee members, particularly representatives from smaller firms. The ACA – WA is an active group with extensive experience with advocacy and lobbying local and state governments about issues that concern the local industry. As with all state branches, it has a high degree of autonomy, enabling the group to respond in an agile way to issues as they arise. Recent activities have included the development and submission of an ACA – WA response to four Design WA documents, including the State Planning Policy on the Design of the Built Environment, the Apartment Design Guidance Document for Apartments and Mixed Use Developments, the Design Skills Discussion Paper and the Design Review Guide.

So, if you have a burning issue you’d like to see addressed, why not put your hand up and get involved.