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20% ARB fee hike approved

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The ARB board has unanimously approved an increase in its annual retention fee from £80 to £98.50

Equivalent to 36 pence per week, the increase would see architects paying £18.50 more to remain on the register in 2013.  

The rise followed a ‘significant increase’ in costs relating to misuse of title and complaints referred to the Professional Conduct Committee which threatened to breach the organisation’s minimum cash reserves level.

The increase was criticised by architects including AHMM’s Simon Allford who called for mass resignations from the register in response.

RIBA president Angela Brady has however given her support to the fee rise.The RIBA fees were also recently increased by 3.5 per cent to £383.

Increases to application, readmission and exam fees were also ratified at today’s ARB board meeting (20 September).

University of Bath architecture head Alex Wright and Bartlett School of Architecture director of professional studies Susan Ware however both voted against the proposal which would see the cost of the prescribed examination rise from £1,390 to £1,671. John Assael of Assael Architecture abstained.

The ARB board also voted to establish an investigations oversight committee to report on the progress of its newly established investigations pool.

ARB chair Beatrice Fraenkel said: ‘No regulator likes having to increase its retention fee, but we recognised that a failure to do so on our part would have a severely detrimental effect on our ability to deliver our statutory duties under the Architects Act.  We were, however, resolute about keeping the increase to the barest minimum, while still ensuring that we could meet our obligations under the Act.  ARB’s retention fee has always been one of the lowest fees paid by any professional, and we were determined to keep it that way to minimise as far as possible the financial burden on architects.”

RIBA president, Angela Brady, added: ‘The retention fee should be seen as an integral part of a practice’s overheads, and ARB has done well to hold the fee at the same level for two years running.  They are making every effort to contain costs through careful budgeting and by investing in technologies that deliver efficiency savings.   I appreciate that increasing the fee was a difficult decision for the Board to take, but it is a decision that I fully support.  Now we all face the real increased costs of providing the best service for consumers and architects which adds value to our profession and to the public.’


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