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Should the ARB be kept? Last chance to put your opinions to government


There are just two days left to tell the government what you think of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and its functions

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is currently carrying out its three-yearly review into how the profession should be regulated.

Spearheaded by Stephen Williams, under-secretary of state for communities and local government, the review is considering whether the regulation of architects should continue and has asked for the profession’s views on the subject.

The call for evidence, which follows the launch of the review back in March, is examining the case for regulation and its different models, while evaluating both existing regulatory functions and the ARB.

The full-scale review could spell the end of the ARB, or lead to it being heavily restructured.

A recent survey of more than 800 readers carried out by the AJ revealed that 59 per cent of architects want the ARB’s role to be incorporated into the RIBA.

Respondents to the online survey were widely critical of the ARB’s current performance, with 67 per cent of architects saying the ARB didn’t do enough to protect the architect’s title and 58 per cent saying that the board’s annual retention fee did not offer value for money.

The DCLG’s three-yearly review is part of the government drive to ensure that all ‘arm’s-length bodies’ continue to have ‘regular challenge on their remit and governance arrangements’.

The call for evidence closes on Friday (30 May).


Readers' comments (5)

  • Harriet Harriss

    Incorporating the ARB into the RIBA must involve a reduction in fees (registration and membership combined) and a revision of the Code of Conduct to make a firmer commitment to public service.

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  • I think that the ARB should be omitted as an individual governing body and should be combined with RIBA as the reality is they both go hand in hand. It would also make things more simplistic only dealing with one body

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  • If you think the ARB are doing a poor and expensive job, just wait until the RIBA take over.

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  • The structure and organisation to the ARB and RIBA is so drastically different that combining their roles is not simple. An important thing to consider is:

    The RIBA 'works for/supports' Chartered Architects
    The ARB 'protects the consumer'.

    To ensure that the consumer is protected the core functions of the ARB cannot be under the control of the profession. Therefore if the functions of the ARB were undertook by the RIBA a new department would effectively be needed with a majority representation of non architects, or otherwise the RIBA would effectively be carrying out a different role as it would be seen to be operating in the interests of Architects.

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  • RIBA=CONFLICT OF INTEREST, implanted in an organisation already over diverse and conflicted in purpose.
    ARB=keeping the name of Architect in high regard and stamping out bad practice, discretely and in the background, and with a sole purpose that means its achievable.

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