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ARB under fire again as simmering CPD row reignites

The simmering argument over the ARB's would-be role in monitoring continuing professional development (CPD) has flared up again.

An outline move by the board to check architects' competence to practise based on CPD has set off the latest spat between the ARB Reform Group and the rest of the organisation.

According to new board recommendations, architects will have to be able to prove they have 'recent practical experience' in order to remain on the ARB register.

This 'prescribed practical experience' includes 'CPD and active engagement in the practice of architecture during the period of two years immediately prior to the application'.

However, Reform Group sympathiser Ian Salisbury believes the proposals, which could be adopted as an amendment to General Rule 20 at an ARB meeting in July, expands the board's remit beyond the activities permitted by the Architects Act 1997.

He also claims that any architect wanting to register for the first time might find it difficult to satisfy the new regulation.

He said: 'The [rule] can logically be no more onerous on those wishing to have their names retained on the register than on those applying for first registration- so there can be no requirement for CPD, which should be left to the RIBA.

'To require a higher standard of those renewing registration than those at first entry would be irrational - such a rule would be open to challenge on that ground alone,' he added.

It is understood the ARB Reform Group is now asking for the proposals to be amended and the issue deferred to allow for more discussion.

by Richard Waite

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