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It appears that the journalists are having great fun upsetting the profession through this debate about the title 'architect' (AJ 05.04.07). I attended a Part 3 lecture at Westminster University recently, where Elaine Stowell from the ARB was discussing the role of the organisation. She rather hesitantly suggested that we could all call ourselves architects in a social situation, but that in a professional capacity it is necessary to make the client aware if you are not yet Part 3 qualified.

It was also interesting to hear Elaine talk about the sheer number of complaints received by the ARB about architects every year - and how only 50 or so complaints a year are taken further.

From those 50 complaints, only around one architect a year is struck off, following a long consultation process by the professionals at the RIBA. So, 19 full-time staff and 15 board members are set up to strike off one person each year after consultation with the RIBA. This all sounds rather uneconomic to me.

RIBA past president Paul Hyett suggested that if he were leaving the Part 3 process today he would hesitate to sign up for the ARB. Sure, the ARB provides PI Insurance, but what else?

As an aside, Mark Physsas of Archaos seems disgruntled by the fact that he cannot call himself a 'graduate architect'.

But doesn't he realise that this sounds so slovenly? If he joined the RIBA he could proudly state that he was a 'graduate member of the RIBA' - much more bang for his buck!

Follie Gioir, by email

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