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Salisbury faces up to PCC threat

ARB rebel Ian Salisbury is teetering on the brink of having to face a professional conduct committee (PCC) hearing.

The AJ can reveal that the board has put in place measures to bring Salisbury in front of a hearing for refusing to disclose whether he has the minimum professional indemnity insurance (PII) cover.

Salisbury has become subject to a report from an investigations committee, which found that he should face charges of unacceptable professional conduct unless he reveals whether he has the minimum level of PII.

Salisbury has refused to fill in the mandatory form since the beginning of 2003, insisting that it is not within the board's powers to demand the information.

However, there is a precedent for a successful prosecution. In early 2003, Alexander White was suspended from the ARB after being found guilty of the same charge that is hanging over Salisbury. He was suspended from the register for six months. It is not yet clear how a guilty verdict would impact upon Salisbury's position as a board member.

The decision to push the case this far was down to an investigations committee made up of three of Salisbury's board colleagues:

Nirmala Rao, Jane Rees and Soo Ware.

In a private finding note from the investigations committee, the three demand that the board rebel must 'produce evidence within 10 working days' that he has purchased the requisite cover or he will have to face a PCC hearing.

It is understood, however, that if his case gets as far as a hearing, Salisbury's defence will argue that the board has no right to make a requirement of PII cover under section 13(4) of the Architects Act. The act states that: 'Failure by a registered person to comply with the provisions of the code shall not be taken of itself to constitute unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional misconduct on his part.' Salisbury will also demand an explanation of why ARB bosses chose to single out his case when there are 'many hundreds' of other architects that have also boycotted the board's PII demands.

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