The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has followed up last year’s mass strike off by removing almost the same number again from its register for non-payment
In 2014 the board came in for widespread criticism for kicking off 2,043 architects who had not managed to cough up the annual retention fee before the end of year deadline.
Although only 1,824 were removed this year for failing to pay the £107 fee ahead of the 31 December cut-off point, the number still represents 5 per cent of the profession and a 40 per cent increase in the 1,300 booted off in 2013.
However the board said that the cost of re-joining the register had been reduced this year from £170 to £162 - made up of the annual £107payment, £35 administration charge and a £20 fee - due to the ‘on-going streamlining of processes’.
A spokeswoman told the AJ that the two additional ‘fees simply cover this amount and they do not generate profit for the organisation’.
Karen Holmes, the ARB’s interim registrar and chief executive said, ‘We have taken additional steps this year to remind architects to pay their retention fee on time including enlisting the support of professional bodies and the architectural press as well as operating additional opening hours and using social media messages.
‘As a result 95 per cent of architects have paid their retention fee.’
Beatrice Fraenkel, chair of the ARB added:, ‘The Board’s policy on collection of the retention fee is driven by the principles of fairness to architects and clarity for consumers.
‘The fee is used to fund the regulation of architects to maintain standards in the profession for the benefit of architects and the public alike.’
Architects who have been removed from the register can apply for reinstatement. Click here for more details.
Ian Salisbury, long-term ARB critic: ‘How extraordinary - only a 10 per cent drop. I would not have predicted that. Clearly the ARB was mistaken to think that the high number of refusniks would evaporate after a year’s punishment. They say once bitten twice shy, but this looks more like a bite-back. And it’s more than can be accounted for through retirement: that would be no more than about 750….
Should the ARB strike architects off the register for missing the annual payment deadline?