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ARB is just a glorified filing cabinet

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Letters

It remains an arcane arrangement for a profession to be administered by an institute operating alongside a separate registration body. That the professional institute knowingly contributed to, and approved, legislation which embeds legal responsibility for the validation of architectural education in a glorified filing cabinet, the arb, is more significant than a mere sad, bad episode.

Paul Hyett is correct that the compromised arrangement for validating UK courses strikes at the core of the brand that underpins our schools and lies at the heart of professional authority and legitimisation.

Whereas a more enlightened riba Council may now be committed to resist the ambitions of arb, as the legislation is presently drafted this is whistling in the wind. The arb is only obliged to consult the institute, no more. Whereas schools around the world seek recognition of their courses from the riba, that institute has a mere consultancy role in its host country. It is time to revisit Warne, for at a qualitative level what would be missed if arb disappeared overnight? Nothing! And what tears would be shed? Crocodile!

Allen Cunningham

London

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