Contacting CIAT

If you have an enquiry, please email the most relevant staff member in the first instance (click here for details and click the arrows to show email addresses). If you do not know who to contact you can still email info@ciat.org.uk or call us on 020 7278 2206.


Meetings at/with the Institute

These will be moved to a video/conference call or rescheduled to a later date.


Professional interviews

If you have a Professional (membership) Interview booked in, you will shortly be contacted by our Membership Department. Where possible we will conduct these virtually rather than rearranging them.


Web conferencing software

Members may benefit from using web conferencing software. Click here to learn about different options available.


Checklist for Architectural Technologists

CIAT encourages its members to consider the ramifications of the current and evolving situation as daily life is disrupted for themselves and their businesses. Remember to keep up to date with official advice and guidance. Key considerations include:

For Practice Leaders

Protect your staff

  • Enable your staff to work from home during this period of disruption. ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) have released new guidance on supporting employees who have been asked to work remotely due to the pandemic.
  • Develop your policies and plans for supporting flexible working arrangements, particularly in light of school closures and childcare disruption.
  • Put in place mental wellbeing support for remote working staff.
  • Plan for significant levels of staff absence due to illness/self-isolation during the next three months.
  • Ensure that your core staff support systems, including those for payroll and staff sickness reporting are robust and resilient.

Review your insurances and contracts

  • If your PI insurance policy is due for renewal within the next three months make early contact with your broker.
  • Review all your insurance policies, including any business interruption insurance provisions.
  • Review all professional services and construction contracts for force majeure provisions.

Make contact with your local regulators

  • Contact your local planning authority and building control authority/approved inspectors to understand their plans for development control and building control processes during this period.

For salaried Architectural Technologists and staff

Employment rights
The UK Government has been clear that employers should support their staff’s welfare, especially during an extended response. It is important employees understand their employment rights, not just at times like these. 

ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has published advice for employers and employees. Click here to view it.

There is also new guidance on homeworking. See more here.

The Money Advice Service has a guide that looks at your sick pay rights, changes to claiming your benefits and what it means for travel. Click here to read it.

Personal finance
Review your personal finances and keep up to date with any announcements that may help your circumstances. New measures are being brought in to support individuals durings these challenging times.

Advice on sick pay, mortgages, rent and a warning about Coronavirus scams has been issued by MoneySavingExpert. Click here to view this. (Please note CIAT is not responsible for this external content.)

Homeworking
Everyone is urged to work from home during this disruption, if it is possible to do so. When working from home, ensure you have clear understanding about expectations on you for delivery, and maintain regular contact with your line manager.

For students

Your university
Make sure you have read all guidance that will have been provided by your university. Contact your tutors to understand how they intend to keep in touch with you, and maintain continuity of teaching over the coming weeks and months.

Managing your time 
In normal circumstances, the end of the academic year can be a stressful time but it is important to continue to produce your best work. Make sure you are clear when any assignments have to be submitted – make a detailed plan of what you have to do and for when.

Try to maintain your usual pattern of working, and follow best practice with respect to time management – create a timetable and and set yourself regular and reasonable goals with your work.

Keeping in touch
If you are currently in a different country/time zone, consider how this may affect your tutorials and teaching interactions – make sure everyone is aware of your current location and any impacts this may have. 

Keep in touch with family and friends, and maintain the conversations you have with your university peer group. Look for creative ways to share support, knowledge and information.

Your health and wellbeing
If you are feeling anxious or have concerns, there is lots of advice available. Remember to speak to your family, friends and tutors. The Architects' Benevolent Society (ABS) have many resources available in response to this unprecedented situation. Click here to read their statement on COVID-19 and access their resources.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs

The ACE has produced some FAQs about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Read them here.
 

Updates from The Construction Leadership Council (CLC)

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has written to the Prime Minister (1 April 2020). In summary, the letter asks the Government to enact the following measures:

  1. In addition to the Job Retention Scheme, suspending PAYE and CIS tax due to HMRC in April and May for construction and consultancy firms and workers, with no financial penalty. This will relieve some immediate cashflow challenges, and give companies time to secure the support of measures that the Government has established;

  2. Deferring/cancelling Apprenticeship/Levy payments due for the duration of the crisis. Whilst firms in the sector are committed to retaining apprentices, and in the longer term increasing the number of these, whilst the current restrictions are in place it is not possible for firms to train apprentices. This would further reduce cash flow pressure, but without affecting the longer-term provision of funding for apprenticeships;

  3. Welcoming the guidance on flexibities in public procurement rules provided by Policy Procurement Notice 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19, but urging Ministers to continue to encourage all public sector clients, regulated utilities and firms in the private sector working on public infrastructure to expedite cashflow through the supply chain, by making use of these;

  4. Support for the Directors of micro-businesses. There are many directors of small building firms and consultancies who pay themselves a small salary, and top this up through dividend payments. These currently fall between the support provided by the Job Retention Scheme and through the assistance for the self-employed. This is a problem for other sectors too, and it would be welcome if the Government could ensure these Directors would be able to access support from one of these schemes;

  5. Retention release – it is estimated that throughout the industry there is £4.5bn held by clients and firms in the supply chain in the form of cash retentions, which is a routine withholding of between 1% to 5% of each regular payment to be released upon successful completion of the works without defects. There will, no doubt, be some strong opinions over this, but were the Government to direct all Government bodies to release all retention monies held this would inject cash at all levels of the construction supply chain,

  6. Extend the £25k SME business continuity grants scheme to the construction sector.


CLC guidance note: Employment Schemes (31 March 2020)
This gudiance note gives up-to-date employment advice and includes a comprehensive FAQs list on construction specific queries. Please click here to view this.


Construction Leadership Council (CLC) statement (23 March 2020)
We are in exceptional circumstances, and are doing our utmost to keep construction sites operational wherever it is practical and safe to do so. Whilst the guidance from Public Health England may change in the future, for the time being construction sites of any size that are operating during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection.

To implement the Government's social distancing recommendation the Construction Leadership Council has now published Site Operating Procedures. I would strongly recommend that these procedures are implemented by every operational construction site, with the aim of us having a standard approach across the industry that all firms and workers can adopt.

It is also vital that the health and safety requirements of any construction activity must not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available, or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place. We are aware that emergency services are also under great pressure and may not be in a position to respond as quickly as usual. 

Download the document here: Site Operating Procedures – 23 March 2020

Andy Mitchell
Co-Chair, Construction Leadership Council


Site operating procedures during COVID-19

Update from Graham Watts, Chief Executive of CIC on construction sites (30 March 2020)
The formal government position with regard to construction sites being open is that construction work should continue. This was reiterated over the weekend of 28/29 March 2020 by Alok Sharma MP, the BEIS Secretary of State. Read the Secretary of State's open letter to the construction industry here.

This remains the formal line of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) with the codicil that sites operate in accordance with Public Health England instructions; without compromising health and safety; and in accordance with the Site Operating Procedures issued last week (23 March 2020) by the CLC. These are currently in the process of being revised to include more information on PPE but these are the current procedures in operation.

The CLC has prepared this template that firms can adopt and adapt to issue to their workforces regarding travel to work. 

If sites are to be temporarily closed, the CLC has published guidance on how sites should be closed. Read it here.


Urgent PPE support for the NHS

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is in touch with NHS London Hospitals Trust regarding the assistance of the construction industry to help the NHS with urgently needed PPE.

The Trust has provided a spreadsheet to ask what might be available across the spectrum of equipment provided. A summary of the equipment is as follows:

  • FFP3 respirator masks
  • Protective full-face visors (disposable or reusable, these must be transparent and without any holes or eye slits)
  • Full-face visors (reusable)
  • Safety goggles/glasses (that must cover the eyes)
  • Hand sanitiser or gel (at least 60% plus)
  • Full body (hazardous material) suits.

They are also asking for logistic/transport support.

If you, or your employer, are able to provide some of these essential pieces of equipment, please respond in the first instance to Graham Watts, Chief Executive of the CIC – gwatts@cic.org.uk. This is an important initiative and we encourage anyone who is able to help to do so.

If you would like to, you can use the banner here, from CABE, to add to your email signature to spread this urgent message.


FAQs from NHBC

The National House Building Council (NHBC) has published a list of frequently asked questions and answers for builders and developers, housing associations, homeowners, conveyancers and suppliers. Click here to read them


If you require any further information or advice please do not hesitate to contact us at info@ciat.org.uk - we will continue to do all we can to support our Members in this period.