Contents                            ACT1

- A useful 21st-century function? : concerning the merits of statutory registration.

- Analysis of the Architects Act 1997

- The Royal Institute of British Architects : concerning proposals for consultation and suggestions for reform.

- Another regime? : whether technical sufficiency, properly certified under current statutory provisions, may bring improved reassurance to the public and to building owners and developers.

- The option of dissolution

- Comments on a draft Government amendment - consultation published by the Government in August 2007

- The right to the removal of a name from the Register.

- Intentions of the new Government (May 2010)

- Straitened times (June 2010)

- The decisive issues concerning the legislation for the Register of Architects (July 2010)

- A word among the Association of Consultant Architects (October 2010)


Intentions of the Government formed in May 2010

The editors have noted from the press and other publications from time to time that the Conservative Party, while in opposition, considered extinguishing the Architects Registration Board with favour.  Our attention was first drawn to this in 2007 by an appraisal inserted in a submission to the Shadow Cabinet by the Quality of Life Policy Group. The paper was entitled Blueprint for a Green Economy.  At paragraph 2.2.5 it introduced the Architects Registration Board by describing it as "otiose" and concluded with recommendations (at paragraph 3.1.13):

"A future Conservative government should seek a much greater involvement of the profession in the decisions about the built environment. That new-found collaboration would be exemplified by the abolition of the unnecessary and empire-building Architects Registration Board with its functions being handed over to the RIBA subject to the same kind of protections that have been provided for in the recent legislation in the Republic of Ireland. In this way the RIBA would be accorded the control over standards of education that is proper to such a professional body."

This suggestion, which the editors suggest must find effect in a repeal of the Architects Act, appeared to have been taken up in particular by Mr Ed Vaizey MP who has frequently expressed his passion for architecture and who in an interview with the Architects Journal repeated an intention to scrap the Arb.

In the light of this reappraisal of the value of the Arb it would be surprising if steps were not taken by the responsible department to prepare for the changes rehearsed by present members of the Government while in opposition.  That department is Communities and Local Government.  Its spokesman the Minister for Housing and Local Government Grant Shapps MP works with John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage at the Department for Culture Media and Sport.  In December 2009 the Permanent Secretary CLG, and in January 2010 Beatrice Fraenkel, Arb Chair, signed a framework document "within which ARB and CLG currently intend to operate".  Section 15 of that document is entitled "Arrangements in the event that ARB were to be wound up".

Note on the Joint Framework document

But even if winding up the Architects Registration Board is intended, there will be a period while the Board continues to operate.  A contributor assesses the Arb-Government nexus here and adds a further note questioning the fundamental value of the framework document - also taking a sideways glance at the use of jargon.


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Architects Act
Architects Registration Board
- education
- competence to practise
Professional standards - the code, etc
Use of title
Links to websites:
- chartered bodies
- historical notes