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Following the points made by the ARB's Alan Crane (AJ letters 25.05.06), it is worth noting that the RIBA has been concerned that CPD on an hours-and-points-only basis - in which CPD was generally unplanned - was not serving its overarching purpose of helping members to maintain competence. The way forward for us was therefore to establish a defined core curriculum focusing on key competencies and skills based on common learning outcomes.

When we began this work, we became aware that the ARB was also looking at the issue of competence of registrants.

To avoid an undue burden on members, who may have had to follow two systems, we were pleased to work with the ARB to look at a curriculum that would give enough rigour to CPD to allow it to be used to maintain competence. The new core curriculum, written by the RIBA and supported by the ARB, has been based on the RIBA parts 1, 2 and 3 - rewritten and made exible for the qualified architect. The overall requirement of 35 CPD hours remains the same - but we now stipulate that just over half of that total comes from this curriculum. This is a positive step forward for the profession, our membership, the consumer and the construction industry in general.

If the ARB does proceed with a new regime for registrants' competence, we are keen that it should be as easy as possible for our members to take part in, and that systems not be duplicated. We are happy to allow non-RIBA architects access to our CPD courses and systems in order to help them maintain their competence.

Jack Pringle, RIBA president

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