The preliminary survey results on what the architectural community wants and needs from the RAIC are in! While there is more analysis to be done, the initial results are very encouraging and reflect our long-held beliefs about our members – you are engaged, passionate, and understand the mission of the RAIC.
After last year’s proposed change to the MRAIC membership designation was defeated at the AGM in Nanaimo, the impassioned response and the degree of engagement on this issue brought into question the board’s assumptions. It was clear that we needed a better understanding of what our members value and what would encourage a sense of belonging to the RAIC. We promised to consult with our members and that process has begun.
A high number of survey responses were received. To those of you who participated, we are very grateful. Thank you as well to the provincial and territorial regulators and their members for distributing and participating in an additional survey to capture feedback from non-members of the RAIC.
First and foremost, we learned that eight out of 10 members value their RAIC membership. You place a high value on the MRAIC/FRAIC designation as well as quality continuing education, practice support like the CHOP, and practice documents. This tells us that members care about the practice itself. More than recognition, networking, discounts, or loyalty points, you genuinely care about the quality of the practice of architecture.
Members told us we that we can’t leave business out of the practice of architecture. Almost 80% said clearly they want business and career support from the RAIC, with high support for continuing education in project management, business development and staff retention.
70% of respondents said they believe advocacy is a benefit of membership, but just over half think that members are generally unaware RAIC’s advocacy work. Of the campaigns we’ve undertaken, the survey showed the highest profile was the Memorial to Victims of Communism which was effective in addressing architectural issues in the media.
We want to invest more in advocacy initiatives that align with member interests. The interest level of members on a range of issues are higher for architectural issues in the media and Quality Based Selection. Over 70% agree the RAIC needs to advocate for better procurement processes from public sector buyers.
We asked members to identify what social issues are important to them. While members’ interests span across a wide range of areas, sustainability, the environment, urbanism and healthy communities were cited most frequently by members.
Members are not to be painted with a single brush there are different needs for different members’ base on where you live, what type of architecture you practice, what interests you have, how old you are – these factors influence what you want from the RAIC and our survey gives us insight into these differences. To improve our member services, we need to find out not just what matters, but what matters to what people.
For instance, few respondents identified the RAIC as delivering on career guidance and support as a member benefit. However, almost 90% agreed that we should create service offerings that correspond to members’ needs at each stage of their career. A third of non-member respondents identified that career support would be a reason for becoming an RAIC member.
The RAIC’s next step is more analysis and in-depth study of this data. It will influence the board’s approach to both strategic and programming decisions, as well as investment. We will be reporting each phase of this process to members.
The membership designation issue was a wake-up call that caused us to explore member needs more deeply and test our existing assumptions. Results demonstrate that, while we do have some new directions and initiatives to explore, members’ expectations and priorities for the Institute are aligned with the RAIC’s strategic direction and initiatives.
We are committed to moving forward with a member-centric approach to all things. We’re investing in resources to meet members’ evolving needs. The RAIC is listening.