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All change for ARB investigations

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The ARB is set to hand over its investigations process to appointed officials who will replace elected board members

The organisation’s board will today vote on radical overhaul plans which will see board members excluded from decisions on whether to refer complaints against architects to the professional conduct committee.

The new approach would see the ARB’s investigations committee – comprising three board members and two specialists – replaced with an investigations pool featuring appointed experts.

An investigations oversight committee would be established to review the pool and file six-monthly reports to the ARB board. Expected to cost £2,500 a year, this committee would have no power to intervene in cases and would make recommendations only. In exceptional circumstances the ARB registrar could call for a case’s reconsideration.

The reform comes more than a year after the committee was expanded from three to five members to speed up cases. Despite this, just 12.5 per cent of cases were dealt with on time in the first half of this year.

RIBA vice-president of practice and profession Jane Duncan said: ‘The separation of powers between an investigations panel and oversight committee seems sensible and appropriate, subject to details.’

Former RIBA president Owen Luder suggested the committee should have the power to intervene if it considers a case is being handled without ‘correct transparency, fairness and impartiality’.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • John Kellett

    Perhaps the ARB should concentrate on it's principle tasks: maintaining a register of architects and 'protection of title'. Policing the profession, in which most are members of the RIBA with it's own independent disciplinary procedure, would appear to be a tertiary role at best.
    Since all chartered members of the RIBA are registered with the ARB, what is the point of us having two codes of conduct and two disciplinary procedures? Surely the ARB procedures should just be for those architects who are not members of the RIBA.

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