Introductory module
This free module introduces you to the aims and objectives of PALS and outlines its structure. It suggests ways to get the most value out of the PALS course and how to make the best use of it. Finally it gives basic information about the registration and examination processes and refers you to the relevant sources for more information.
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PALS Exam Module: So You Call Yourself An Architect

This module presents an introduction to the examination and registration process for architects in Australia. Through a series of short, informal interviews with four presenters; Kate Doyle, Melonie Bayl-Smith, Andrew Maynard, and Jeremy Schmolzer, this module will offer a general overview of the examination process, and take you through their four points of view of 'hows' and 'whys', the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of becoming a registered architect in Australia.

Module 1 Architects and the Law
Architects and the Law broadly covers aspects of the law that may impact on architects when providing architectural services. Often, as an architect, legal matters will crop up. The aim is to help you understand the relevant law and how to operate within the law.

Module 2 Commissions and Briefs
Commissions and Briefs examines the processes involved in obtaining work. This module is about how to achieve, after confirming the commission, the agreed architectural services, while at the same time dealing with the financial realities of being in practice. As an architect you must be confident you can provide all of the services you agreed to. For an architect starting out this can be a daunting requirement.

Module 3 Services, Fees and Agreements
Fees and Agreements covers how the architect articulates the services required to meet the client's brief, how an appropriate fee level is negotiated and how the client and architect agreement is established. The aim is to achieve an executed (filled-in and signed) agreement which becomes a binding contract between the architect and the client.

Module 4 Practice Management
Practice Management can be defined as the creation and ongoing operation of systems to ensure the effective use of resources such as staff, consultants, advisers, equipment, money, and time, to satisfactorily deliver architectural services. This module covers how to set up an architectural practice, the importance of having an office manual and the fundamentals of profit and profitability.

Module 5 Building Law and Authority Approvals
Building Law and Authority Approvals examines how to manage the statutory approval process (nearly always on behalf of the client) that is central to the work of a practising architect. You have to manage this process efficiently and should encourage the client to appoint specialist consultants as required. As the legislation in this area is growing rapidly it is important that you are able to identify what legislation is operational at any one time.

Module 6 Consultants
This module looks at the role of specialist consultants and when and how to use them. The client is often quite unsure about what consultants do, whether they need them or not and, if they do, who is to pay for their services. An architect must not claim expert knowledge they do not have; if they do and the client suffers loss or damage, then there may be a claim against the architect for providing inexpert advice.

Module 7 Project Cost Control
This module covers the issues involved in project cost control. It covers the importance of being able to design to a budget, how to help a client work out both their project budget and building budget and techniques for establishing and monitoring a building budget.

Module 8 Building Contracts
Modules 8 - 13 incrementally build an awareness and knowledge of building contracts. As a result you should have both an understanding of the broad framework regarding building contracts, and a good working knowledge of most of the aspects that fit within this framework.

Module 9 User guide and the ABIC Contracts
This module provides an understanding of both the underlying principles and the extensive detail found in lump sum building contracts, with reference to the ABIC suite of contracts and the ABIC SW-2008 simple works contract in particular. The broader aim is to prepare architects for the role of the contract administrator

Module 10 Building Procurement
This module examines the process of getting buildings built. As an architect you need to understand what tasks and issues are involved in the increasingly wide range of procurement options. You should be able to comment on and/or recommend an alternative strategy when appropriate. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods is a valuable tool when advising the client.

Module 11 Contract Administration, Framework
The objective of this module is to continue to provide an understanding of both the underlying principles and the extensive detail found in lump sum building contracts, with reference to the ABIC suite of contracts and the ABIC SW-2008 simple works contract in particular.

Module 12 Contract Administration, Finance
This module continues to focus on contract administration and in particular concentrates on monetary matters. It covers the principles found in lump sum building contracts that relate to provisions for payments and contract price adjustments and the techniques required for administrating these provisions. It also demonstrates techniques for keeping the client informed on costs.

Module 13 Contract Administration, Time
This module continues to focus on contract administration and in particular concentrates on the issue of time, including how it is defined in a building contract and what is involved in the practical completion of a project. It also discusses the ancillary tasks established by the client and architect agreement.

Module 14 Risk Management
This module examines how risk adverse management processes can be achieved. Risk management can be classified as being either proactive - actions taken prior to the event to identify, minimise and allocate the risks and their consequences, or reactive - actions taken during and after the event to minimise any adverse consequences arising from the event.

Module 15 Professional Indemnity Insurance
This final module deals with the issue of professional indemnity insurance (PII) and it is aimed at providing a better sense of how this sort of insurance works. It also covers how to incorporate risk management strategies into your practice to reduce the likelihood of being sued.

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