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School validation faces legal dilemma

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RIBA officials and councillors are digesting a legal opinion that it commissioned, suggesting that joint validation panels (JVPs) which inspect schools of architecture do not have legal authority.

The institute has been told that minor amendments to current legislation would put the matter in order. But the Architects Registration Board, which has ultimate control over validation, may seek to regularise current procedures by creating its own list of approved persons to take part in visits. The board has a duty to consult the RIBA over educational validation, and discussions over the matter are likely to take months to conclude. Ironically, RIBA recognition is valued throughout the world.

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