The secretary of Scotland's leading architects body has resigned a week after a deep schism was revealed in the profession north of the border.

Neil Baxter has left his post of Secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) after 10 years in the post.

His departure comes a week after more than 150 architects launched an unprecedented critique of the 100 year old institution.

The group, called A New Chapter, attacked the RIAS for being "secretive and autocratic" as well as having "a lack of effectiveness, poor governance and insufficient accountability".

A statement from the RIAS said: "The Royal Incorporation has agreed to the request from our Secretary, Neil Baxter Hon FRIAS Hon FRIBA, to leave the organisation after ten years of service.

"Neil will be standing down as of today and the senior management team at the RIAS will continue to deal with all matters relating to the business of the Incorporation."

Last week The Herald reported details of substantial concerns in the architectural world about the governance of RIAS.

The President of the RIAS, Stewart Henderson, acknowledged internal investigations had been carried out including "probity reviews, salary benchmarking and a review of governance policies."

He said there had been "legal reasons" why the information had not been shared.

A New Chapter said in a statement: "Today’s Special Announcement from the RIAS confirming Neil Baxter’s resignation as Secretary and Treasurer raises more questions than answers.

"The timing of this announcement is interesting in light of previous questions raised in an Open Letter to our President of  September 12  regarding governance, finance, strategy and relevance. 

"In the most recent RIAS Quarterly the President noted that a RIAS Governance Review Panel had conducted a strategy, which would herald a ‘clean bill of health’ for the organisation. 

"Over the past few months A New Chapter has seen a surge in positive thoughts and ideas about what a progressive, 21st century organisation for architects in Scotland might look like, how it might behave and what it might do. 

"We now look to our President and representatives on Council to answer our ongoing questions and now, to clarify why the Secretary and Treasurer has tendered a sudden resignation."

The Scottish architect and academic Professor Alan Dunlop said: "There have been many and various rumours reported to me about the difficulties at the RIAS for several years now but due to a culture of fear and intimidation no one has felt able to come forward and speak openly on the record.

"I hope very much that there will be open and honest discussion and that the RIAS can sort itself out for the benefit of Scottish architects."