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RIBA denies it is looking at 'ARB alternatives'

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The RIBA has poured cold water on rumours it is looking at new consumer-protection bills as alternative regulation mechanisms to the ARB

Both the proposed Legal Services Bill and the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill - unveiled in the most recent Queen's speech - will make it easier for consumers to challenge rogue professionals.

Some observers have suggested the legislation could be used to establish a new system of statutory regulation for architects and in doing so render the ARB redundant.

However, the institute has emphatically denied it is viewing the bills with any such intent.

Its public affairs head Stephen Harding insisted the bills were 'major' new legislation and that the RIBA was 'keeping an eye on them as any decent organisation would do'.

But when asked whether the RIBA was seeking ways of abolishing the ARB, Harding said: 'I would not go as far as saying that.'

by Richard Waite

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