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Part 2 equality activist threatens ARB with court action

Association of Part 2 Architects-founder Paul McGrath is set to launch high court proceedings against the Architects Registration Board following the board’s rejection of his application to join the official register of UK architects

The board (ARB) considered McGrath’s application for registration at a recent council meeting, but rejected his plea on the grounds he had failed to obtain a Part 3 qualification or a qualification that demonstrates equivalence.

On the decision McGrath said, ‘The refusal was not unexpected but the ARB have completely ignored the issue of why people from the EU are entitled to register with similar qualifications to Part 2.’ He has sent a ‘letter before claim’ to the organisation as a precursor to launching a judicial review into the matter.

The ARB declined to comment.

McGrath aims to create a legal precedent, which could allow any Part 2 assistant to register with the ARB as an architect.

McGrath and the Association of Part 2 Architects (TAPTA) have written to the ARB council and to Andrew Stunell MP, the minster responsible for the introduction of the Architects’ Act in 1997 advocating the registration process be expanded into a two-tier system with the title ‘certified’ architect after obtaining Part 2 exemption and ‘registered’ architect upon Part 3 completion.

Stunell has said the current system creates ‘an unfavourable outcome’ for students. (AJ 22.11.10)

Such a system however already exists in Denmark and the Czech Republic.

TAPTA have also requested clarification on how the ARB applies ‘equivalent competence’. Currently there are no public guidelines.

The Registrar has revealed a handful of British people have been allowed on the register without Part 3 due to ‘Distinguished Achievement’. McGrath commented ‘This seems to undermine their position’.

An ARB spokesperson said the body was unable to comment on individual architects’ route to registration.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Hasn't the title of 'Architect' been devalued enough without taking away part of its justification, that its bearer has some sort of professional competence.

    This man is trying to set himself up as a martyr but it is for a cause that is fundamentally wrong.

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  • Mr McGrath should just bite the bullet and take Part 3 just like everyone else in Britain entitled to use the title 'Architect' has had to....

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Mr Mcgrath should focus the time he is wasting on pursuing this short cut to qualifying as an Architect on passing the exam.
    Creating the two-tiered system would create complete confusion around the profession in the eyes of the public. Anyone calling themselves an Architect in the UK should have to pass the Part 3 examination, as required to gain 'Chartered' status in any other Profession.

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  • I agree with the comments above. Being very proud of passing my Part 3 last year, who is Mr McGrath to diminish that achievement and that of every other architect in the country. It is hard enough trying to get the public to appoint architect's without adding another obstacle. Mr McGrath's time and effort would be better served proving he is worthy of the title 'architect' by passing his Part 3 like every one else.

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