Leonie Milliner is right that conflict over validation is likely to damage architecture courses, but her wish to involve the aj's readership in something from which it is normally excluded seems a sudden reversal (aj 16/23.12.99). Validation programmes, the composition of panels, and the content of reports, continue to be confidential. (Proposed continued confidentiality is, regrettably, implied by the Stansfield Smith report's proposal for the involvement, in validation, of a 'college' of architects, suggesting cardinals involved in a secret papal election.)
The arb does not inspire confidence as an independent alternative.
I should like to know how validation is achieved in other countries; and whether there is anything which may be learned from other countries' visions for aspirational standards in architectural education; as well as how such standards are nurtured, monitored and defended.
John Friend, York