RIBA Professional Education and Development Record (PEDR)

Provision of Experience

It is not always possible to give a student every kind of experience outlined in the Professional Experience and Development Record. However, with careful planning, it is possible to make the best of time and opportunities available as well as the abilities of the student. Also, it is not intended that every student should necessarily obtain all the different kinds of experience in each office, which would clearly be impracticable in most cases. However, the employer and the Employment Mentor should ensure that students are given exposure to a wide range of professional activities undertaken by the office so that he/she is given an opportunity to satisfy the objectives of the scheme. The Employment Mentor should thoroughly check the Professional Experience and Development Record at regular intervals to see that as broad a coverage of activities as possible is being maintained within the circumstances of the office. If coverage is being limited, every effort should be made to increase the variety, by moving the student to another project, for example.

The student should be seen as a contributor to the office and a balance needs to be struck between the requirement to run a business efficiently and the educational needs of the student. However, students should not be expected to regularly undertake routine activities of no educational value. It should also be noted that most schools charge a fee for their students in the professional experience period (and students may be involved in paying back a government student loan) and this may need to be taken into account when determining the salary level. Students will have fresh ideas and abilities and although they might not 'pay' in the first few weeks, in most cases they will be worth more than their pay towards the end of their stay in the office.

The Professional Experience and Development Record give an opportunity for the student and Employment Mentor to reflect on the achievements of the professional experience on a quarterly basis. These discussions should be an opportunity for an open and frank conversation and permit both parties to understand each other's expectations of professional experience. Comments from these discussions can then be recorded on the record sheet for future reference. Frequent informal chats are also advisable, to give students a regular assessment of their progress and review their performance.

Students will be asked by their school to reflect on their professional experience in the form of an essay, career evaluation or report, as part of the final Examination in Professional Practice and Management (Part 3). These may be shown to an RIBA Visiting Board, but remain strictly confidential and not for publication. Students should feel able to be honest in what they say, but before it is finalised, the Employment Mentor should be given an opportunity to check it for factual accuracy, even if the student's opinions remain personal and subjective. Material is also often collected by students for their submission for the Part 3. Employers should advise students if they might purchase or collect copies of drawings they have prepared in the office. Spare or superseded copies of drawings should be allowed within reason for this purpose. Employers should not unreasonably withhold material from students; however, the student should ensure that the employer agrees to material being released to ensure that professional confidences are not endangered.