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Honorary Secretary

Gordon Souter MCIAT

I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated again for the position of Honorary Secretary and if elected, I will continue to serve the Institute with immense pride, passion and dedication.

I have been working in the built environment sector for over 30 years. During this time, I have worked mainly in the house building sector holding a number of positions from Architectural Technician to Technical Director. I am presently Design Manager for Persimmon Homes North Scotland. My experience within the house building industry has provided me with the skills I believe are required to be Honorary Secretary of our vibrant and evolving institute.

I have been a member of CIAT since 1993, involved at Regional level for nearly 20 years - Chairman, Secretary, Councillor and CPD Officer; at national level for the last 14 years - Council, Executive Board, Conduct Committee and Documents Taskforce. I served on Building Standards Advisory Committee for a number of years until it was disbanded, chairing the working party on compliance. During this time, I have gained a sound knowledge of the workings of the Institute and it is this acquired knowledge I would utilise to maintain the reputation and stature of CIAT.


I am passionate about the Institute and I believe I have shown this by my commitment to the Committees I have served on and the positions I have held. As our Institute is run by the members for the members, it is important that members give their time to continue the growth and enhance the recognition of CIAT. I will always encourage members to get involved, especially the youth, as they will shape the future of CIAT.

Whilst the position of Honorary Secretary is not as high profile as that of the other Officers it is nonetheless an important position. At this time, the Institute is functioning well and as Honorary Secretary I would maintain this by dealing with potential issues swiftly and efficiently, as well as providing support to my fellow Officers and the staff at Central Office. I am not afraid to make the tough decisions when/if required.

It is my belief that the position of Honorary Secretary requires a steady and level headed approach, with good analytical and mediation skills to ensure the smooth operation of the Institute and the correct application of it’s policies and procedures. I possess the necessary attributes to ensure this process is maintained.

Over the last few years CIAT has moved forward in stature and recognition both nationally and internationally and I would endeavour to ensure any new policies and procedures put in place enhance this status, now and into the future. I would also strive to ensure the workings of the Institute continue smoothly and deal with potential issues swiftly and efficiently.

An important part of any organisation is to ensure that the regulations and policies are current, fit for purpose and, where possible, future proof. I have and would continue to work closely with the staff to ensure currency of the Laws of the Institute, if elected. This will be especially important over the next two years with a full review of the Conduct procedures being undertaken.

I will also work closely with the Chief Executive, staff and Officers to drive forward the Corporate, Strategic and Business Plans to the benefit of the Institute.

I do not have an agenda for radical changes, however if I see an opportunity to change systems for the benefit of the Institute then I will work with the appropriate Officers and staff to implement the changes as smoothly as possible.

If elected, I would serve with diligence and dedication for the betterment of the discipline of Architectural Technology and in particular the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

The position of Honorary Secretary requires the review of a lot of documentation which can be undertaken remotely. Therefore the position does not require an excessive time away from home or work, which I can easily balance.

I would consider it an honour and a privilege to be given the opportunity to serve the members of CIAT for a further two years.

Vice President Education

Matthew Brooke-Peat MCIAT

I entered the industry in 1994 and since that time I have worked in construction, architectural practice, technical consultancy and academia.  I hold a range of vocational and academic qualifications that were all obtained via part-time study. My education has taken a journey from a construction craft, through construction management, to Architectural Technology and building physics where I am in the final stage of completing a PhD. As a consequence of my experiences, spanning 25 years, I place great importance on education.

I am currently Programme Director (Grade 9) for Architectural Technology at Leeds Beckett University with responsibility for the development and delivery of several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Research, consultancy and enterprise form active parts of this role.  In addition, I have been a member of the CIAT Education Board since 2013 and I am also currently the Regional Treasurer for Yorkshire. I have previously held the Regional Education Officer post twice, participated in many MCIAT and CEnv Professional Interview Panels, and contributed to several other groups for the Institute.

An opportunity exists to create a sustained growth of the Architectural Technology discipline to meet the ever-increasing demands that society places on the built environment. However, the recruitment of staff with the requisite knowledge and skills presents a significant challenge for practices. To tackle this issue, ways need to be found to attract people to study and pursue a career in Architectural Technology. Academic establishments promote their programmes, but the Institute also has a role to play in generating interest in the discipline.

There is a drive for alternative routes into the professions and higher apprenticeships are seen by the Government as a sustainable method. There is an Architectural Technology based degree apprenticeship standard in development that has not been approved for delivery to date by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. The current version is primarily aimed at design manager roles in construction organisations. However, a large portion of levy paying companies that require Architectural Technologists are architectural and multi-disciplinary design practices, and these need to be served. It is important to engage practitioners in the promotion of the discipline to open up and develop networks.

Furthermore, there needs to be greater integration of practice in the delivery of Architectural Technology education to strengthen this symbiotic relationship and ensure the currency of graduates. After completing their initial education, practitioners need to keep up to date with legal, technical and management issues. The Institute could extend the support of its members by further developing and exploiting existing infrastructure. In particular, the AT Academy could enable widespread dissemination of knowledge.

It is my belief that the Vice-President Education is key in addressing the above matters in line with the Institute’s aims by leading the development and implementation of education focused initiatives that contribute to the realisation of the Strategic and Corporate Plans for 2018-23. To this end, I seek your support for my candidacy.

Paul Laycock MCIAT

No member left behind



Once again, I am very honoured to be nominated for the post of Vice-President Education for the election this coming September. As a Chartered Architectural Technologist and a Chartered Builder, I have had a varied career in the industry. It wasn’t until I came to membership of CIAT in 2004, whilst running my own development company, that I felt I had found a professional home and an Institute that that I have become increasingly proud to represent over the years. I am active on the West Midlands Regional Committee and have extensive national roles; as a member of the Education Board; as Chair of programme Accreditation Panels; as one of the original moderators of the Membership Assessment Panels and interviewing candidates on interview panels.

More recently, I have co-Chaired the Membership Grade Review and provided support to the Apprenticeship Trailblazer group in producing the Level 6 Architectural Technology apprenticeship standard.

I am looking forward, with cautious optimism, to the realisation of these projects and preparing for the next stage; the implementation of these two important initiatives to further strengthen the Institute as the lead qualifying body in Architectural Technology.

Through all of these roles and projects, I have had the very good fortune to work alongside the strong and dedicated staff team we have at Central Office and the equal fortune to meet, work and share ideas with many of our members from all of our Regions and Centres.

What are my intentions for my continued time as Vice-President Education?

So much good work has already been done in my time as Vice-President Education by myself and other members that it would not be realistic to suggest anything radical or direction changing.

With so much of this building on the work of predecessors, we now have a substantial foundation for the sustainable and steady growth and increases in quality of our educational provision and membership structure

I come to this election then with four principal objectives:

No member left behind

With my cautious optimism in mind, I look forward to the realisation of the Membership Grade Review and equally recognise that this is just the beginning.

In the next stage of this Review, I will be championing the implementation of the agreed structure and working for clear guidance and procedures to ensure that no member is left behind. No member is left with any uncertainty in the route they are taking to Chartered Membership; no member is afraid to ask to guidance and knows where or who to ask; every member is proud of their place in the Institute and every member strives to achieve Chartered Membership. This level of membership is the backbone of our Institute and should be celebrated as such.

Furthering the aspirATion Group

Integral to leaving no member behind is the promotion and growth of our aspirATion Groups throughout the Regions and Centres. The modern student is a savvy individual and very demanding as a consumer of their education. They are increasingly looking at their post educational prospects as part of their choice of programme and the profession they choose.

I see the aspirATion Groups as an initial beacon of fresh and like-minded individuals. Many still going through their own education, newly graduated or Chartered. These individuals highlighting the possibilities they are looking forward to and the support and direction being provided to them to establish their place as the next generation of Chartered Architectural Technologists.

This beacon being used to light the way for the new student as they progress through to graduation and on to Chartership.

A closer relationship between education and industry

Something I have been championing for a number of years now and have seen some success in many of our Regions. To continue working towards closer links between industry and education as a key element in improving the educational product, increasing employability and creating professionals with a life-long learning mind-set. 

Expanding the educational provision.

Alongside the Membership Grade Review, my other key task of this last year or so has been to help guide the Trailblazer Group in producing the Level 6 apprenticeship standard for Architectural Technology in England.

With this project almost at the point of realisation, my next task here is to champion the implementation of this new and latest route in Architectural Technology educational provision. 

Also, to use this example to champion similar models in other countries.

Summary and conclusions

As a practitioner in Higher Education and industry and as a member for a number of years, I have seen changes across all aspects of the industry and the educational sector. 

As I have already said, I don’t think I should be promising to make anything radical or direction changing.

At the heart of what I am promising is to firstly reflect on my journey so far; the collection of experiences I have gathered and the emotions that have come with them.  Secondly, to use this considerable and varied pallet of experience to promote excellence and innovation in all of our educational and membership activities.

Thirdly, to not stop listening to every member who asks a question or offers an opinion. It is through doing this that I have had some of my richest experiences and most interesting and illuminating conversations over the last few years.

I feel that the profession of Architectural Technology and the professional body that goes along with it is only as strong as the people that form it. As such, every member at every level has a voice and an important role in the future of the built environment, and I feel I can be an active member who will champion our pathway into that future.

Ann Vanner MCIAT

I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated for the position of Vice-President Education. Those that have met me, know how passionate I am about the Institute, the profession and about education.

For the last ten years I have worked in academia and I am currently the final year tutor for the Architectural Technology degree programme at University of Central Lancashire and the Degree Apprenticeship Lead for the School of Art, Design and Fashion. I am acutely aware of the pressures faced by educational institutes, in an ever-changing landscape of funding, league tables and student expectations.

Prior to that, I worked for several practices both in the UK and aboard, from large international interdisciplinary teams, to coordinating the design and delivery of small community buildings in conservation areas in, and around, the Lake District.

Having been on the North West Regional Committee for the last three years, I now hold the position of Regional Education Officer, allowing me the opportunity to represent the Institute, at college and school careers evenings, outreach events and various workshops. I feel a huge sense of honour, privilege and responsibility in representing the Institute and the profession. I continue to be involved with the MCIAT Professional Assessment, both as a Panel Member and as an Interviewer, and have recently been asked to become a mentor for the process.

I would carry out the role with integrity, professionalism and to the best of my ability. I truly believe in the mantra ‘I go to work, to live’, and if I felt in any way that putting myself forward for this role would negativity impact on that statement, I simply would not do it.

Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This familiar term was introduced in the Brundtland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), but I feel it sets out what my role will be.

My vision if I was to become Vice-President Education would be as follows:


Build on what we have already established. If elected, I would continue to promote the work that is currently being undertaken.

  • The Accreditation and growth of our undergraduate and post graduate degrees, preparing graduates for life in an ever-changing industry and ensure they understand that they are the future of the Institute.
  • I would also support and further enhance the magnificent work of the aspirATion Groups, encouraging them to develop their role with the Institute, but also with the wider built environment community.
  • I will also continue to work on our membership routes, to ensure a widening and deepening participation, but also in its diversity, skills set and expertise we can claim as now being part of the Institute and the profession. I believe it is essential we continue this good work.


  • There is an increasing acknowledgement of the role played by the Chartered Architectural Technologist in the project and design management process, as the industry diversifies with growing specialisms. The Chartered Architectural Technologist is best placed to respond to these changes and innovations. The education that they receive through the various Accredited programmes across the country ensures that they are agile, adaptable and highly employable.
  • Rising to the new challenge of working towards the Architectural Technology degree apprenticeship, a critical development in continuing the growth of the Institute and the profession. The best way to introduce young people into our industry is to offer mentorships, work experience, placements and degree apprenticeships. I believe we need to further develop, and foster, closer relationships with other professional bodies and  employers and to listen to what their needs are. This will then inform how we move forward to remain adaptable and responsive to the ever changing work place. I would also encourage greater engagement with the next generation throughout their educational journey, From primary school through to colleges, with the students, the parents, the teachers and the policy makers, at local, regional, national and now international level.
  • We should also develop the idea of a ‘ladder of opportunity’.  Access to the profession, should not be limited to those leaving school or college, but also those who are attracted to the profession later in life, either because of their first experience of education not what it might have been, those looking to retrain or those who were unable to access higher education while they were young.


  • We must continue to improve our visibility and communication to all. We can do those by enhancing the strong vision of Architectural Technology, further developing our own strong sense of identity and by education and promoting to the wider public the value and expertise our members have to offer. The built environment surrounds every one of us, and the role the Chartered Architectural Technologist has is key to ensuring these environments are safe, accessible to all, fit for purpose, recyclable and energy efficient and with the ability to deal with user’s wellbeing or have a positive impact on climate change.

I shall continue, as always, to raise the profile of what we have already achieved by clearly articulating the objectives held within the Strategic and Corporate Plans. I consider it a privilege to be nominated for the position of Vice-President Education and I look forward to receiving your support. Thank you for reading my manifesto and feel free to get in contact with me to ask any questions you may have.

Vice President Practice

Rob Thomas MCIAT

I have given an outline of my career to date, and how I would like to develop the Vice-President Practice role in my introduction article published in AT Journal. 

To give an example of what I am contemplating for the role, I have outlined below the proposed developments in line with the CIAT Strategic and Corporate Plans.

Aim 1 of the strategic plan states ‘Leading and Promoting the discipline of Architectural Technology and protecting its standards’

My aim would be to attend strategic meetings with external agencies with the intention of getting the views and opinions of our membership across in a professional and informative way. This would also involve meeting with Government departments and those with an influence in our industry. It is important also not to lose sight of single practice owners and individuals within an architectural practice whose opinions need to be captured whether that be to influence national policy or ensure that as members they have access to the practice resources.

Aim 2 of the strategic plan states ‘Enhancing the profile of the discipline, the membership and the Institute’

I would be highlighting the role of the Chartered Architectural Technologist as a profession which the public and external bodies can rely upon, with the skills, knowledge and experience to carry out the project in a professional manner. This in turn would give CIAT greater visibility, as well as promoting the discipline. I would also be looking at how the practice function could work together with other areas of the Institute to enhance membership numbers at all grades. Given my role as a director of an architectural practice, I feel I am best placed to work on behalf of our members to ensure that CIAT is recognised for the hard work everyone puts in, both at Central Office, and as working as part of a team.

Aim 3 of the strategic plan states ‘aligning, collaborating and partnering’

I would be looking to develop new national and international partnerships, as well as maintaining existing partnerships. This would involve the review of their criteria and how best this would benefit our members, to ensure that our core principles are not compromised, and our members are affected in a positive way. I would be looking at practice issues across these new partnerships, as well as the current regional issues, to see how we could work on getting these aligned. Being involved with the Special Issues Taskforce is a great sounding platform for this.

Aim 4 of the strategic plan states ‘providing services for the benefit of members and society’

I would be working very closely with Central Office staff, as well as the incoming President, Committee members and other Vice-Presidents to ensure that the member services, documents and other information available are both functional and informative for the members, as well as key stakeholders and the general public. I would further like to develop the work started on formulating information to members of the public to ensure it is appropriate and useful. I would be looking at working with the Honorary Secretary and Liability Taskforce to assist in the further development of cohesive procedures and information to avoid potential disputes.

Aim 5 of the strategic plan states ‘Remaining an effective and financially viable institute’

As part of the Vice-President Practice role it is essential to be maintain good communications with Central Office, the Regions and Centres. Effective governance and financial management depends greatly on good quality, timely and relevant information being at hand. The Institute should not only cope with the present but should also be planning for the future. The Strategic and Corporate Plans is a document which sets out the objectives for the next five years. Being Vice-President Practice would enable me to ensure that the objectives are undertaken, and kept to, given the uncertainty of BREXIT and the world economy in general. I would work closely with the Vice-President Education, Vice-President Technical and the other members of the Executive Board to ensure this happens.

My intentions and commitment to the role of Vice-President Practice can be summarised as follows:

  • To ensure that the members interests are maintained and where possible enhanced by the practice documentation and procedures.
  • To develop new and existing partnerships with external bodies, to ensure that our discipline, members and the institute benefit from this.
  • To assist in the development of CIAT, so it continues to be well respected with other professional bodies and external stakeholders.
  • To raise the Institute’s profile with the general public and those with an influence in our industry.
  • To work with Central Office and the Regions/Centres to ensure that the members are supported by the Practice Department.
  • To ensure that CIAT is promoted in a professional and technically apt way.
  • To ensure that the Strategic and Corporate Plans objectives are upheld, and that CIAT goes into the next five years being a Chartered Body that is held in further, high esteem and a world leader in Architectural design and Technology.