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RIBA and ARB in fresh war of words over PII verdicts

A fresh spat between the RIBA and the Architects Registration Board over professional indemnity insurance has been ignited after the institute questioned a decision from the regulator's Professional Conduct Committee.

The RIBA believes last week's guilty verdict and £1,000 fine against Ayrshire-based Alexander White, for failing to provide evidence of his PII insurance (AJ 6.2.03), 'is highly questionable'.

And a RIBA spokesman said the decision to prosecute him for having undertaken work without the cover - a charge which was dismissed - led it to believe 'that the ARB is misinterpreting the provisions of the Architecture Act'.

However, the ARB hit back at the claims, saying it had 'no reason to doubt the legal basis of its referral to the PCC, or the verdict itself '.

'Does the RIBA wish to go to court to prove that the PII cover is not necessary when practising architecture?' asked the board's chief executive Robin Vaughan. 'Is it to be inferred that it is now RIBA policy that architects do not need PII cover?'

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