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.