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RIBA bows to pressure and plans reforms for conservation register

The RIBA is planning a raft of reforms to the controversial Accredited Architects in Building Conservation register, the AJ can reveal.

The changes form part of the early conclusion of a special review group set up to assess the register after it was reported to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Critics - including Ian Salisbury and Peter Philips - have lashed out at the organisation, claiming it is a nepotistic old boys' network.

After it was reported to the OFT, the RIBA, under some pressure, set up a committee to assess ways of making the organisation more open.

The most significant changes planned are:

the development of a series of different levels of accreditation for different scales and types of historic work; and

the development of training courses to allow people with relevant experience to join the register.

These changes are likely to be welcomed by members of the profession. However, the AJ understands that the register's longest-term critics believe that the reforms do not go far enough.

by Ed Dorrell

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