25 March, 2014: Strip ARB to the Basics, says the ACA

The ACA has today released its position ahead of the Government’s review of ARB.

After a debate in ACA Council and having consulted members, the ACA considers that there remains a case for some regulation of the profession while believing that society deserves and would prefer to see protection of function.

The scope and process of regulation should be kept to the minimum necessary for its basic function and the cost to practitioners should reflect this. While it may be appropriate to have a dedicated body to deal with maintaining the list and regulation, it is possible for the body to draw heavily on well established functions of the RIBA, particularly education, course validation and examination, as well as discipline and CPD.

The regulatory body may need to adopt and promulgate standards for the profession to discharge its duties under the Architects Act, but such standards would effectively be those set and adjudicated by the RIBA or another existing and competent body. Duplication of standards, responsibilities and procedures discharged effectively by other bodies such as the RIBA should be avoided at all costs.

The regulatory body only needs to:

(a) represent the architectural profession within the EU;

(b) maintain the register of qualified architects in the UK.

Other necessary functions could be contracted out to another body, most likely the RIBA to deal with:

(c) code of conduct, (d) discipline and (e) education.

Terry Brown, ACA President comments that there is a compelling case for eliminating costly duplication especially with education and discipline.

Council member Alfred Munkenbeck emphasises the ludicrous position whereby a registered architect is subject to professional regulation but anyone unqualified may offer the same service without regulation.   The consumer has no equivalent protection from the unregistered suggesting the government feels that qualified architects represent a greater risk to society than unqualified  designers!

Full ACA policy document can be  found: ACA_policy_on_ARB_Review02014-0203.

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