The ARB has thrown down the gauntlet to Maurice McCarthy, the former RIBA honorary secretary who threatened legal action unless the board took retired architects off the register.
McCarthy claims that about 5,000 retired architects remain on the register. He believes that they should be barred from renewing their registration each year because, by being retired, they are not fulfilling their CPD requirements (AJ 12.7.01).
But at last week's board meeting chief executive Robin Vaughan said that there was 'absolutely no substance' to McCarthy's claims.
'I think we should rebut Mr McCarthy's case, ' he told the rest of the board. 'He threatens judicial review. I would be happy for him to do that.'
Vaughan argued that it was often difficult to assess whether or not architects were still practising - even if they declared themselves 'retired' they might still carry out occasional commissions.
He said: 'The word 'retired' is interesting in that people often continue to work. So how retired are you? This is a matter of appropriateness. I don't believe there is any consumer disquiet about the competence of people on the register. If we were to hit upon a category of persons which suggests to them that they are incompetent, I think we'd have a human rights case against us.'
The ARB is to undertake a review into whether or not individuals' CPD should be open for inspection by the board. The study has been written into next year's business plan. But new research conducted for the board shows that the profession was lukewarm about opening its CPD files for inspection - and 57 per cent said that it should be self-certificated.
McCarthy said he will be taking legal advice on whether or not to pursue the matter.
The ARB now has 30,341 architects on its register, a rise of 415 since August last year. The ARB's management board broadly welcomed the increase, but Marco Goldschmied was not so sure.
'There's only so much design work that is available.
We shouldn't pat ourselves on the back for growth.
We're not Marks & Spencer, desperate for new business, ' he told the board.