The riba has secured an important concession from the arb in the fight to retain its key role in the validation of schools.
Institute president David Rock told the aj this week that after a 'hard but very honest' meeting with the board on 11 January, a riba contingent managed to persuade the arb not to go ahead with a complete rewrite of joint validation rules but to 'come back into line' and forge ahead with just a 'tweak' of the current arrangements. He pointed out that a joint validation document produced by the old arcuk could not be replaced without the agreement of both parties. Last year the arb claimed at one stage that validation was no concern of the riba and it could play no part in new procedures.
Rock said that he won an agreement that they should use the current document as a starting point and then argue which points could be altered. The aim is to present an agreed document to the arb board meeting on 23 February, but March is more likely. The main remaining areas to be debated hinge on the two parties' counsels' separate definitions of what is meant by the arb having the 'final decision' on validation. 'I see it as a strong but friendly fight,' said Rock.
arb vice chair Owen Luder said legal advice had told the arb that validation, it could be argued, 'fettered' its responsibilities for registration. 'We have to change the document so it complies with the act but we want to change it to the absolute minimum.' Consultation work continues.
Council news p20-21