Readers will be aware that the Architects Registration Board obtained QC's opinion last year which stated that the ARB was not in a position to delegate responsibility for education. On the issue of validation the RIBA kindly sent the ARB a copy of its own advice from Junior Counsel which confirms that decisions on validation are for the ARB and not for the Joint Validation Panel or the RIBA.
The RIBA's opinion does not in fact contradict the view given to the ARB or suggest that changing existing events would amount to a breach of contract (AJ 26.2.98). Indeed, the RIBA's legal advice does not unequivocally state that the present situation is legally valid, as your article suggests.
The ARB is now considering how far the current arrangements can be used in order to make sure that it is fulfilling its statutory duties. Four ARB members (two architects and two lay members) are currently involved in determining suitable processes. Subject to the approval of the full board at the next meeting in May these proposals will, in accordance with the requirements of the Act, go out to consultation.
In the meantime the current procedures will remain.
BARBARA KELLY Architects Registration Board