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ARB confirms fee increase

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The Architects Registration Board (ARB) confirmed that the annual retention fee will increase by £6.50

The rise, which was approved at the board’s meeting earlier today (18 September), takes the annual retention fee up to £105.

The increase follows last September’s 20 per cent hike in the annual charge which saw the cost balloon from £80 to the current charge of £98.50 (see: ‘Never a good time’ for ARB fee hike - AJ 14.09.2012 )

Defending the move, ARB chair Beatrice Fraenkel said: ‘The ARB’s retention fee remains below the level set by many other regulatory bodies’.

She added: ‘As ARB becomes better known and understood and the register continues to grow, there is greater demand on our resources and inevitably upward cost pressure’.

The board also confirmed that the cost of re-registering would be cut by £10 while the cost to for a prescribed examination to be referred to a lead examiner was also raised by £70, to £300.

The full statement from ARB chair Beatrice Fraenkel

‘We are conscious of the desirability of keeping down costs and are making every effort to do so, while meeting our statutory objectives. The ARB’s retention fee remains below the level set by many other regulatory bodies.

‘As ARB becomes better known and understood and the Register continues to grow, there is greater demand on our resources and inevitably upward cost pressure. We continue to achieve efficiencies and are seeking to mitigate cost increases further by offering more self-service through improved technology, in areas such as online registration and payment facilities. This itself requires investment, but we can already see increased customer satisfaction about the registration process as a result of the self-service options we have offered to date.

‘In the coming year, there will be a yet greater workload arising from the Government’s Periodic Review and from initial work on considering implementation of the EU Professional Qualifications Directive (PQD), so that overall we will need to add temporarily to management resource.

‘Our principal responsibilities are to protect the users and potential users of architects’ services and to support architects through regulation, and we constantly strive to deliver value to all our stakeholders while fulfilling these objectives.’

Previous story (13.09.2013)

Another year, another increase in ARB fees

The Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) looks set to follow through on its earlier promise to ramp up its 2014 annual retention fee by £6.50 to £105

The increase, which is almost certain to be rubber-stamped at a board meeting on Wednesday, follows a 20 per cent hike in this year’s fees (compared to 2012’s rates) which took the cost from £80 to the current charge of £98.50.

In a statement ARB said the new £6.50 rise was necessary to ‘…ensure that it could deliver its 2014 business plan and meet the objectives of protecting the users and potential users of architects’ services and supporting architects through regulation.’

On Wednesday the board will also vote on a proposal to cut the cost of re-registering by £10 and also whether to significantly boost the cost for those who wish to have an ‘application for a prescribed examination referred to a lead examiner’ from £230 to £300.

Currently, in addition to the annual retention fee, architects also pay £35 to register with ARB.

There are also plans to boost the retention fee again in 2015 by another £5.

Previous story (20.09.2012)

20% ARB fee hike approved

The ARB board has unanimously approved an increase in its annual retention fee from £80 to £98.50.

Equivalent to 36 pence per week, the increase would see architects paying £18.50 more to remain on the register in 2013.  

The rise followed a ‘significant increase’ in costs relating to misuse of title and complaints referred to the Professional Conduct Committee which threatened to breach the organisation’s minimum cash reserves level.

The increase was criticised by architects including AHMM’s Simon Allford who called for mass resignations from the register in response.

RIBA president Angela Brady has however given her support to the fee rise.The RIBA fees were also recently increased by 3.5 per cent to £383.

Increases to application, readmission and exam fees were also ratified at today’s ARB board meeting (20 September).

University of Bath architecture head Alex Wright and Bartlett School of Architecture director of professional studies Susan Ware however both voted against the proposal which would see the cost of the prescribed examination rise from £1,390 to £1,671. John Assael of Assael Architecture abstained.

The ARB board also voted to establish an investigations oversight committee to report on the progress of its newly established investigations pool.

ARB chair Beatrice Fraenkel said: ‘No regulator likes having to increase its retention fee, but we recognised that a failure to do so on our part would have a severely detrimental effect on our ability to deliver our statutory duties under the Architects Act. We were, however, resolute about keeping the increase to the barest minimum, while still ensuring that we could meet our obligations under the Act. ARB’s retention fee has always been one of the lowest fees paid by any professional, and we were determined to keep it that way to minimise as far as possible the financial burden on architects.”

RIBA president, Angela Brady, added: ‘The retention fee should be seen as an integral part of a practice’s overheads, and ARB has done well to hold the fee at the same level for two years running. They are making every effort to contain costs through careful budgeting and by investing in technologies that deliver efficiency savings. I appreciate that increasing the fee was a difficult decision for the Board to take, but it is a decision that I fully support.  Now we all face the real increased costs of providing the best service for consumers and architects which adds value to our profession and to the public.’

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