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ARB does it again: 1,824 architects kicked off register for non-payment


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?

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Readers' comments (8)

  • Architect's complain if their bills aren't paid on time, so they should practise what they preach.

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  • Ahem. Apologies for the apostrophe.

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  • dominic cox

    Does ARB pay its bills on time ? eg. rent on weymouth street office ?

    let (apostrophe) s not forget their accounting period remains up to 31st march, which was the pre-2013 cut-off. The subscription fee was due on 31st december, but a 3 month grace period applied, because they didn't 'need' the money until then. coughing up on dec 31st means the money is in their bank in advance (comma) right ?

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  • ...This is a brilliant example of quangoism - chuck people off the register if they are late paying the fee and then charge them a fee for putting them back on. Like a dog chasing its tail - pointless and a waste of energy ultimately.

    I would imagine most of these architects were off enjoying their precious and infrequent holidays ..rather than worrying overly about paying 100 quid to the arb.

    Fingers crossed the government takes action on this organisation.

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  • It looks as though the ARB are within the law by throwing non-payers off (although that Act uses the word "may", so it's discretionary). But the fee that they charge for readmission (which freedom for applicants exists for a full calendar year) is defined as being a "further prescribed fee".

    Your report mentions a £20 fee and a £35 administration charge. I don't think they have the power to levy an administration charge, and they can only impose the £20 fee if it has been "prescribed", which I am sure it will have been. However, nothing can be "prescribed" except by rules (the Act, s.25), and the Arb cannot make up rules unless they "publish a draft of the rules and give those to whom the rules would be applicable an opportunity of making representations to the Board" (s.23).

    I don't remember being asked to make any such representation - can anyone else? And if they didn't ask then they must reinstate for no additional fee.

    Can't take this one up. I paid up at the last second.

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  • can anyone say how many of the 2000+, who were booted last year, re-enrolled?

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  • The act does prescribe both a fine and administrative charge. BUT it does not say non-payers have to be ejected within days of non-payment, just during the year.
    Has ARB made any investigation into why so many people have not paid on time?
    I do not believe they are all "Refuseniks"
    Incredibly high-handed action, and makes the profession and ARB look poor.

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  • Mushtaq Saleri

    Just a thought - instead of sticks how about a carrot? If the ARB offered a small annual discount for anyone setting up a Direct Debit this might encourage take-up of this automated method of paying? Surely receiving subscriptions in this way involves a reduction of ARB administration time too?

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