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Self-regulation calls for responsibility

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Paul Hyett is concerned about the implications of Standard 11, the provision of the ARB Code of Conduct which outlines the entirely reasonable requirement that:

'An architect is expected to promote the Standards set out in this Code.'

Is there a particular problem, as Hyett believes, in relation to architects acting as experts, arbitrators, or mediators? It is true to say that those acting in this capacity do create special circumstances and this is a useful opportunity to explore them. It is after all perfectly reasonable to expect that any 'expert' discovering any serious breach of the Standards should suggest to the architect concerned that s/he should report their behaviour to the registrar of the arb. The responsible expert, mediator or arbitrator will be expected to indicate to the architect concerned that s/he has fallen short of the standards and report themselves to the arb. There is no requirement to breach confidentiality in the promotion of the Standards of the Code.

With the privilege of self-regulation there exists some responsibility to ensure that standards are maintained and constantly reviewed in order to further the reputation of and service provided by the profession. Experts should feel confident about their ability to preserve their professional integrity with clients and observe the provisions of the Code.

ANDREW FINCH

Registrar, Architects Registration Board

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