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ARB calls for greater powers to police 'architectural' titles

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The ARB is calling for an extension of its power to police misuse of title. The board has asked the government to give it control over the use of the word 'architectural' as well as over 'architect'.

The change, which would require Parliament to revise the Architects Act, would allow the ARB to prosecute non-architects describing themselves as 'architectural consultants' or offering 'architectural services'.

The calls came during a visit to the board from Sally Keeble, the DTLR minister responsible for architecture and urban design. Board member Susan Ware said the ARB received about 700 complaints a year about misleading advertisements in local papers. 'But there's nothing we can do, ' she said. 'The answer is to get the act amended.'

Vice-chair of the board Owen Luder said the ARB could extend its remit without a change in the act - by taking a successful test case to the Office of Fair Trading. It has been waiting for a suitable test case, he said.

lARB chair Barbara Kelly is to step down at the end of March. The AJ understands that lay members Judge Humphrey Lloyd and Alan Crane are the two most likely candidates to replace her.

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