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Christopher Shaw (AJ letters 16.11.06) claims that the registration of architects achieves nothing. Registration allows clients to differentiate between qualified professionals and those who do not have the correct training, experience, ethics and obligation to abide by a code of conduct.

The responsibility for an error or omission lies with the perpetrator. We do not blame the police or courts for the actions of criminals or expect them to compensate us for anything other than criminal injuries. However, unlike the police or courts, our profession can eliminate repeat offences and prevent persons from practising as architects when their conduct falls below the required standard. As imperfect as this may be, the vast majority of clients are assured of high standards when employing an architect, in itself a worthwhile objective.

If anything, this case illustrates the danger of allowing the public to expect too much from our register. It is clear the 'consumer' does not consider themselves to be 'protected'. The ARB slogan overstates its powers. If it is misleading, it should be dropped.

Mark Benzie, by email

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