The Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) wants to upgrade Thai architects' skills with English-language courses and management programmes to prepare them for the coming of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2016.
Thai architects’ English is not that poor but still weak for Asean, says Mr Smith.
Despite Thai architects learning their craft from English-language texts, they remain weak in English, particularly speaking skills, said president Smith Obayawat.
"Thai architects' English speaking skill is not that poor, but compared with their peers in other Asean countries, theirs is weaker," he said.
Architecture is one of the seven professions that will face a removal of restrictions among Asean nations in 2016.
Mr Smith said management skills are another issue the ASA considers important that Thai architects embrace.
In an architecture firm with a multinational staff, Thai architects can be chief designers, as their design skills are high.
"But they definitely cannot be a CEO or account executive, as they are not trained in management or communications," said Mr Smith.
He suggests the ASA build awareness among Thai architects over the next three years about what is coming and warned architects not to be complacent.
The Asean Architect Council has finished the framework for continuing professional development (CPD) for Asean architects wanting a job in the region.
"CPD certification will not be difficult to obtain. It will encourage licensed architects to acquire new knowledge and update them on the latest architectural trends such as new materials," said Mr Smith.
To gain CPD certification, architects must collect points from any designated activities such as training, seminars or exhibitions.
The CPD scheme is expected to start no later than next year in order to prepare architects for regional integration.
"Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam already offer CPD certification," said Mr Smith, who is also founder of the Office of Bangkok Architects.
Meanwhile, the ASA will host Architect '13 at Impact Muang Thong Thani from April 30 to May 5, with Asean integration the main theme.
It expects 350,000 participants from 700 companies from Thailand and abroad.
Topics to be covered at a seminar during the event include competition, sharing and integration in lifestyle, and technology and change.
About the author
- Writer: Kanana Katharangsiporn
Position: Business Reporter