ARB Reform Group
In 2006 five of the twenty-two candidates seeking election to the seven architect places on the Architects Registration Board swept up 70% of the profession's votes. They have united under the umbrella title of “The ARB Reform Group” to present a joint platform supporting the RIBA and the ACA in their campaigns to define and restrict the regulatory powers assumed by the Board.
The Group argues that the ARB was set up in 1997 as an architects' registration body - hence its name. It points out that Hansard confirms that Parliament intended that it would be a minimalist body, but that the Board has instead progressively sought to involve itself in regulation of the profession, in indemnity insurance, education, accreditation of architectural courses, CPD and regular revalidation of those on the register. Members of the group believe the Board’s expansionist policies are unnecessary and restrictive, being particularly oppressive towards women and those working outside mainstream practice.
Accordingly the Group stands for:
• Review of the implementation of The Architects Registration Act.
• Reversion of function to the originally intended role of registration rather than regulation.
• Establishment of a truly independent and effective Professional Conduct Committee with full rights of appeal.
• Removal of duplication with other bodies in matters such as CPD and education, particularly with regard to course accreditation in the case of the latter.
• Acceptance that levels of PI insurance should be determined by the nature and value of the work undertaken rather than by setting of arbitrary levels, also putting a stop to unnecessary and intrusive accountability.
• Openness in all Board proceedings, with accountability to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
• The right to hold the title of architect for life.
• Firm action on abuse of title against non-architects.
The Group is concerned that excessive retention fee increases, the implementation of aggressive policies of legal action against elected Board members and the procuring of expensive legal opinions to support an expansionist Board agenda all damage the profession. It believes that the Board should have no ambition to act as if it were in competition with the professional bodies.
Accordingly the members of the group: Mark Benzie, Colin Brock, George Oldham, Derek Salter, and Nicholas Tweddell are asking architects and the public to assist them to be united on behalf of all architects in achieving reform.
[elected members ]