FIXING A POSITION ON THE USE OF THE ARB AFFIX
Expat Peter Arnold (Letters, AJ 21.06.07) has no quali-cation to signify his years of training and elects not to be an RIBA overseas member. Although he clings to the notion that it is acceptable to use the invented affix ARB, he is wrong. His sophistry is exposed by the following salient points:
the ARB is not a professional body and thus cannot create a qualification;
the ARB's website rightly emphasises that its logo must not be used in the manner of a professional membership or qualification;
the ARB could sanction registered architects using the logo as an afix through its disciplinary procedures;
when brought into force, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2007 will place new duties on bodies that impose a code of conduct and, in dealings with consumers, breaches of such codes will be a criminal offence; and the government intends to update the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988, which implements the EU's Misleading and Comparative Advertisements Directive. New regulations will make misleading advertising a criminal offence in all circumstances. What can be classed as 'advertising' is defined very broadly and covers any form of representation (including oral representations) made in connection with a trade, business, craft, or profession in the promotion of supply of goods or services. Thus, the use of the affix 'ARB' on business cards or letterheads will become a criminal offence liable to prosecution by the Trading Standards Service.
Arnold should stay 'over there' in America lest in future he be recognised as a criminal 'over here' in Britain.
Maurice McCarthy, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire