'Draconian' is too narrow a description of ARB's hardline stance on PII (AJ 30.5.02). How about going mad? I recently asked the registrar for clarification on PII with reference to charities - I act as an architect in my own free time for a charity in an unpaid capacity, delivering professional advice but not services. So do I need the minimum £250k cover? The answer was a stentorian yes!
But wait, I opined.Was it reasonable that I should have to bear the cost of the minimum PII cover for such charitable efforts in the community? The answer was easy; the registrar elegantly suggested (in writing) that if I could not meet the cost, I should get the charity to foot the bill on my behalf! Which kind of defeats the object of undertaking charitable work in the first place. Of course, if it becomes impossible for architects to provide services to consumers, then the risks to consumers from architects will become nugatory and ARB will have done its job. Still, I'm sure there will be a place for PPRIBA somewhere in the 'jobs for the old boys' scheme of things.
Well done chaps!
Simon Danischewsky, Cambridge