- Composition of the Board

- Regulations made by ARCUK

- 2 Questions : How does the Architects Registration Board answer inquiries?

- The wider remit : an observation on the claim of former Board chairman Humphrey Lloyd that "Arb only fulfils its statutory role, no more".

- 2009 election : A majority of candidates support reform.

- Status of the Registrar as Registrar and when acting as Returning Officer.

- Occasional notes of Board Meetings.

- RIBA Report On the Registration and Regulation of Architects by Sir Christopher Ball

- ARB and its statutory functions: another judicial precedent (April 2010)

- On persons offered appointment to the (1) ARB or (2) its PCC. (April 2010)

- The ARB continues to misconduct itself (May 2012)


(1) Appointment to the Board by the Privy Council "to represent the interests of users of architectural services and the general public":

The "interests of users of architectural services": for the most part the demand for architectural services comes from public bodies, commercial and industrial enterprises or investors, philanthropists, benefactors and others who are intent on commissioning the building (or renovation) of factories, warehouses, offices, educational establishments, hospitals, housing, places of recreation and entertainment and places for religious and other purposes.

Members of "the general public" clearly have an interest to the extent that the legislation makes it a criminal offence to infringe the restrictions placed upon the freedom of individuals (including qualified architects), and of firms and partnerships, and companies and corporations of all kinds, to use the word "architect".

(2) Appointments to the PCC

The Architects Act 1997 (as amended, and subject to further amendment by statutory instrument) requires that:

  • the Professional Conduct Committee will consist of four of the elected members of the Board* (architects who are registered), three of the government appointed members of the Board (not registered persons), six persons appointed by the Board*, including three registered persons (architects), and three persons nominated by the President of the Law Society; and

  • the chairman will be elected by the members of the Professional Conduct Committee from among themselves

It also permits a chairman to resign by notice in writing addressed to the Registrar; authorises the removal of a chairman by a majority vote of the other members of the Professional Conduct Committee; and allows the Board to make Rules for the appointment of a person to act as chairman in the event of a vacancy or in such other circumstances as may be prescribed.


In view of (1) above, it will be well that persons accepting appointment to the ARB or its PCC are sufficiently aware that the purpose of the body re-constituted as the ARB under the Architects Act 1997 was somehow misaligned to serve another and narrower purpose under the pretended name of "consumer" protection, in respect of which the Board is practically impotent. A search of the Act (as amended) finds no mention of "consumer" (and "protection" is found only in Schedule 1A - Visiting Architects from Relevant European States).

*Note: For some time, at the instigation of the elected members, so as to avoid the potential conflict of "judging in their own cause", members of the Board have declined to sit on the PCC.


Progress at Weymouth Sands?  (Remarks of an independent commenter, for the information of inquirers and policy-makers, 3 May 2012.) 

The clearest evidence that the affairs of the ARB continue to be misconducted is at present being comically exhibited on its website:  

"Proposed amendments to the Investigations Rules and Professional Conduct Committee Rules, Open date:  27 March 2012 Closing date: 27 June 2012.


"The Architects Registration Board was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK.  We are an independent public interest body, and our work in regulating architects ensures that good standards within the profession are consistently maintained for the benefit of the public and architects alike."

Ample refutation of the assertions in and behind that introductory statement have been in the public domain for years. From the inception of the regime under the 1997 Act, the legality and legitimacy of this body have been subverted by persons known (including appointed Board members and Registrars) and unknown. The lapse of time from 1997 (when the name of the Register-keeping body was changed from ARCUK to ARB) has shown that the ARB cannot be relied on as a competent body in the performance of the responsibilities contained in the consolidating Act of 1997. The name of the Act has been used as a front for other objectives. How else (as one example) can its simple duty to maintain the Register of Architects enable it to have entertained a meretricious proposal for soliciting registered persons to engage in leaving self-promotional contact notes on a website hosted by the ARB? 

Is this acceptable? At least one elected Board member has made use of the opportunity for self-promotion (faute de mieux?), being (according to the ARB website) not only 'passionate about Architecture' but also understanding 'the commercial realities of development and regeneration projects, with the key role of the architect to add value by increasing the design quality of our buildings and improving the built environment; doing the very best job we can for our clients and communities.' 

Briefly, in the interests of the teaching and practice of architecture and of the general public in this country, the most likely remedy available is simply to adapt the operation of the Act by disapplying the restriction in sub-section 20(1). (This was explained in the postscript of 2 August 2010 to the note headed "Rules and Responsibility", 8 July 2010).

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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