ARB Reform Group    

2009 Manifesto

Without regard to its statutory purpose, the ARB has involved itself in unnecessary regulation, indemnity insurance, education, accreditation of architectural courses, CPD and the revalidation of those on the register. ARB policies are particularly unfair to those starting up in practice, those taking career breaks including parental leave, the semi-retired, teachers, and architects working outside mainstream practice.


The ARB Reform Group, with prominent support , therefore aims to:

  • Continue to limit the board’s activities to its lawful and statutory purposes;

  • Continue accordingly in our efforts to reduce the annual subscription fee;

  • Continue to defend the title ‘Architect’;

  • Remove the board’s arbitrary insurance requirements – frequently an unnecessary expense;

  • Put an end to secrecy; support openness and accountability Currently the ARB code restricts the board members even from speaking in public;

  • Lobby government to create parity between lay appointees and elected architects – ARB presently has a majority of lay appointees that have consistently outvoted elected architects. The result – unnecessary regulation and excessive interference;

  • ‘No Taxation without representation’ – Ensure that those on the register continue to elect architects to the board.


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 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 cannot be justified by reference to the Architects Act, and are unnecessary and restrictive; they believe that evidence shows that the profession has no need for oppressive regulation, and feel that the Board damages the reputation of the profession by acting as though the public interest requires it.  ARB has succumbed to the maxim that an organisation tends, once created, to work to increase its own position and existence whether or not that is in the public's best interest.


The Group remains concerned that excessive retention fee increases, the implementation of aggressive policies of legal actions 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.

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