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ARB set to get tough on unqualified architects

The Architects Registration Board is to get tough on architects attempting to practice without a Part 3 professional qualification.

The ARB is planning to tighten up on Brussels regulations which allow architects from across the European Union to practice in the UK without an equivalent qualification to Part 3. The ARB is afraid that UK architects without full qualifications could try to use the regulations to gain registration here.A statement on what form the clampdown will take is expected later this week and comes after an unnamed British 'architect', without Part 3 attempted to register to practice in the UK, citingthe European law. The law is aimed at guaranteeing mobility for professionals across the 15 member states and ARB chief executive Robin Vaughan said that the measures would be aimed at under-qualified British architects abusing the system rather than European architects who, he said, were typically well-qualified and experienced for practice in the UK.

The problem was discussed at length during the ARB's board meeting on 18 July, where the board also agreed to tackle the image of its complaints-handling procedure. The ARB's professional conduct committee (PCC), which tries architects accused of misconduct, has appeared under repeated attack from architects who have come before it and now the board has agreed to take steps to address this.

'Many cases have been misexplained, ' Vaughan said.

'We have a lot of work to do on explaining what the rules are.' The ARB is planning to focus on the way the PCC works in its annual report at the end of August to communicate its goals.

The board also heard that complaints and enquiries about architects received by the ARB totalled 800 during 1999.

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