I have only just caught up with David Littlefield's report on the intention of the Architects' Registration Board to become more visible and proactive (AJ 6.9.01).
While I agree with the first of these aims, and find it disturbing that so many corporate clients do not know about ARB, I am doubtful about the second.
ARB has a clear and limited remit supported by statute.
Widening its activities would duplicate the work of others and, inevitably, increase costs (and therefore subscriptions - which are mandatory).
Apart from the RIBA representing architecture as a whole, other bodies are well placed to promote the interests and concerns of architects, including the Association of Consultant Architects, which concentrates mainly on practice issues and has long-established links with both the RIBA and ARB. While we are not a trade union, the ACA does a great deal of effective work in the protection and promotion of practices. It will be more helpful if existing bodies (RIBA, ARB, ACA etc) focus on their specific roles and work together effectively rather than try to widen their activities.
Andrew Rogers, president ACA Richmond, Surrey