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Closed consultations

  • Fees for accredited learning providers: your views

    ARB exists to protect the public and uphold confidence in the profession of architects. We do this by assuring the public that those on the Architects Register are suitably qualified and competent. Our legislation sets out in more detail how we fulfil this important role on behalf of the public. In...

    Closed 16 February 2024

  • International routes to the UK Register of Architects: Survey for Employers

    About ARB The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is an independent professional regulator, established by Parliament as a statutory body, through the Architects Act 1997. We are accountable to government. The law gives us a number of core functions:  To ensure only those who are...

    Closed 5 February 2024

  • International routes to the UK Register of Architects: Survey for EU qualified architects

    About ARB The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is an independent professional regulator, established by Parliament as a statutory body, through the Architects Act 1997. We are accountable to government. The law gives us a number of core functions:  To ensure only those who are...

    Closed 5 February 2024

  • Consultation on proposed updates to ARB’s plagiarism policy

    The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is an independent professional regulator, established by Parliament as a statutory body, through the Architects Act 1997. We are accountable to government. The law gives us a number of core functions: To ensure only those who are...

    Closed 17 December 2023

  • Tomorrow's Architects: ARB consultation on education and training reforms

    Architects play a crucial role in creating a built environment that is safe, sustainable and where everyone in society can live well. As the professional regulator, ARB’s main function is to ensure all those who are on the UK Register are competent. We do this in a number of ways, but this...

    Closed 10 May 2023

We asked, you said, we did

See what we've consulted on. See all outcomes

We asked

From February 2023 to May 2023, we launched a new consultation on our approach to the way architects are trained and educated. We consulted to invite views on a new regulatory framework, new competency outcomes, new standards for learning providers and new plans for quality assurance. We proposed that:

  • The regulatory framework for educating and training architects should change from the current approach (Parts 1, 2 and 3) to require only two accredited qualifications.
  • Qualifications accredited by ARB should be based on a new set of competency outcomes, so that they are based on what architects can do, not what they are taught.
  • Clear standards should be required of universities and all learning providers delivering ARB-accredited qualifications.
  • ARB should introduce a new proportionate and risk-based quality assurance of qualifications.
  • Should our proposals be approved, anyone setting out to become an architect from September 2027 onwards should be trained and educated through the new, improved framework and assessed using the new competence outcomes. We published a draft transition timetable as part of the consultation.

You said

We received 672 unique responses, demonstrating a wide reach across different roles, regions, and respondent characteristics. Most responses (59%) were from registered architects (396). One hundred and ten of these (16% of total respondents) were also academics. We also received responses from students, other built environment professionals, member of the public, and other types of respondents including international architects, architectural technology students, and retired architects.

The framework
There were mixed views about the proposed regulatory framework, with 40% agreeing that it would meet our aim and 43% disagreeing. More respondents agreed that our proposals will improve access (43%) than disagreed (36%). In addition to this, many respondents agreed that the proposals would enable innovation and flexibility, as well as increase access for underrepresented groups.

Professional practical experience
The majority (60%) disagreed with our proposal to remove the minimum duration of practical professional experience and one in ten said they found it unclear.

Competency outcomes
In our proposed new structure, skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours are defined through five competency areas: Professionalism and Ethnics, Design, Research and Evaluation, Contextual and Architectural Knowledge, and Management Practice and Leadership. There were high levels of support for all the proposed competency areas, ranging from 74% (Professionalism and ethics) to 64% (Research and evaluation). Furthermore, we received a variety of opinions regarding the competencies' content, as well as numerous beneficial suggestions for drafting changes to improve clarity and feedback from respondents about the number of competencies presented, along with suggestions for additional competency outcomes.

Accreditation and transition
More respondents agreed than disagreed with each proposed standard for learning providers, from 52% (Educational content) to 43% (Human resources). The most commonly expressed opinion (provided by 17% of respondents) on the transition arrangements was that we should be more explicit and provide more clarity about our plans.

We did

ARB’s Board has discussed the analysis and considered the next steps alongside the aims of our reforms and our statutory remit, and has made the following decisions:

The framework
Important modifications will be made to the regulatory framework before we introduce it, to make sure it upholds standards whilst also removing bureaucracy and opening up the potential for new routes to joining the Register of Architects. Respondent views on the framework were mixed, but those who disagreed were not in alignment about an alternative. We will issue new guidance to learning providers about the appropriate learning and experience of those seeking to access the new Masters qualification. Our proposals do not negatively impact student access to funding.

Professional practical experience
We will revise proposals for professional practical experience. We have learned through the consultation that removing the minimum duration will not address the problems that arise for those looking to gain the experience, and could have the unintended consequence of weakening the standards of the architects’ profession. We will consider short-term modifications like additional flexibility about the types of experience which are deemed relevant.

We will also appoint an independent Commission to develop new recommendations for the Board. We cannot solve all the problems with practical experience, but we want to take the lead in helping to improve access to it, and the experience of future architects. The Commission will help us identify how best to do that. It will run alongside our overall timetable and will not delay it.

Competency outcomes
We’ll make some drafting amendments based on useful feedback, and publish the final versions this autumn.

Accreditation and transition
We will publish the final version of the standards this autumn. We will establish a stakeholder group to give us agile feedback as the transition progresses.

We asked

From September 2022 to January 2023, we consulted to invite views on a draft of the guidance before it is finalised. The consultation asked for feedback on key parts of the guidance, including the activity-based nature of the scheme, suggestions on mandatory topics, views on the reflective statement, as well as the inclusivity of the scheme and further recommendations.

You said

We received 1,350 unique responses in total. Most responses (96%) were from registered architects (1,302) including registered architects who are also academics (65). We received responses from people across the country and the profession, with responses from different sized practices and architects at various stages in their career.

A majority (58%) of respondents agreed that recording activities is a good way of measuring CPD that has been undertaken. Sixteen percent of respondents strongly agreed and 42% agreed with this draft proposal. Twelve percent disagreed, 19% strongly disagreed and the remainder neither agreed nor disagreed.

ARB recommended that architects carry out a minimum of eight CPD activities over the year (which will include activities carried out in respect of mandatory topics). Views on this proposal were split, with slightly more respondents agreeing (44%) than disagreeing (41%).

Fifty-five percent of respondents made recommendations for mandatory topics, with the most popular recommended topics from respondents being regulatory changes (24%), sustainability (22%) and safety (21%). These topics have also been raised with ARB through previous engagement and research exercises. 

Overall, respondents did not support the proposal for a reflective statement (68%), wherein an architect would need to discuss how their chosen activities supported their development. The most common concerns around the requirement of reflective practice were that it was too bureaucratic (32%) and took time away from fee-earning work (18%).

Two-hundred and eight (15%) respondents were recorded expressing a concern about the scheme relating to money, disabilities, caregiving responsibilities, online access, location or gender. Affordability and the exclusion of those on lower incomes was the most common concern, raised by 65 (5%) respondents. 

The full report can be accessed here

We did

Following a positive response to both the principles underpinning the scheme in our last survey, and to the activities-based nature of the scheme we proposed in this consultation, ARB intends to introduce the outcomes focused CPD scheme. This means that architects will need to carry out CPD activities every year and confirm they have undertaken it when they pay their retention fee in order to remain registered. Architects are free to identify their own CPD activities. If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learnt to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development.

There will be no minimum number of activities that an architect must complete. ARB will suggest, not but mandate, that architects undertake eight activities a year.

Based on feedback from respondents on mandatory topics, ARB will make it an initial requirement of the scheme that architects carry out CPD on sustainability and building safety in a way that is relevant to their practice.  development areas when the scheme launches. We will issue guidance to support architects in doing so, and work with professional bodies to signpost knowledge sources. We will we review the CPD scheme as it embeds to better understand its effectiveness, and consider whether different areas of architecture should be the subject of mandatory CPD in the future.

Following feedback on the equality, diversity and inclusion implications of the scheme, we will develop and test the online portal so that it is accessible and we will offer reasonable adjustments. Basing the scheme on activities and giving architects the flexibility to define their own activities makes the scheme inclusive; architects can opt for activities based on the best learning style for their needs and their practice, and that need not cost money.

A reflective statement is a crucial outcome-focused aspect of the scheme. Concerns from respondents focused on how this requirement would be implemented rather than its underlying purpose and benefit. ARB will retain the reflective statement but will consider how to improve our guidance on the statement so that its value is better understood, and so that it is straightforward for architects to complete. We will also pilot the scheme so we can better understand how it operates in practice, and consider whether suggestions made by consultees would improve the process.

ARB will finalise the scheme based on the conclusions above and feedback we have received from our pilot study. We will publish updated, final guidance by the end of 2023. The scheme is expected to be launched in 2024, becoming mandatory for registered architects from January 2025. We will share further information on the detail of the scheme and the result of the pilot is planned for later in 2023.

We asked

  • Changes to the law through the Building Safety Act 2022 require ARB to establish a new Appeals Committee.
  • The scope of decisions that the Committee can consider is set in legislation but ARB is able to set rules on the Committee's composition and functioning. 
  • In October 2022, ARB invited views on proposed rules to establish the Committee. These covered how an individual can appeal to the Committee and the procedure for how it should function.
  • The survey comprised of four questions.
  • Two questions featured ‘closed’ multiple-choice elements, with the remaining two using solely an ‘open’ free-text element where respondents could give more insight into their views. The questions are reproduced in order below:

Question 13: Status of the Appellant while the appeal is being considered

The proposed rules would mean that:

  • For appeals against an initial decision involving an application for registration, the Appellant will remain unregistered pending the outcome of the appeal.
  • For appeals against an initial decision to remove someone from the Register under the new competence (CPD) scheme, the Appellant will remain on the Register pending the outcome of the appeal.

Do you agree with this approach?

Respondents were invited to select one of the following options: Strongly agree, Agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Disagree, Strongly disagree.

Respondents also had the opportunity to explain the rationale for their response in an open text box. 

Question 14: Appeal Fee

The proposed rules include that ARB will set a fee that must be paid by an individual before their appeal can be considered. This would be set annually by the Board, on a purely cost recovery basis, and stated on ARB’s website.

Do you agree with this approach?

Respondents were invited to select one of the following options: Strongly agree, Agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Disagree, Strongly disagree.

Respondents also had the opportunity to explain the rationale for their response in an open text box. 

Question 15: Is there anything within the proposed rules that could have an impact on ARB’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, or have a positive or negative impact on anyone with particular protected characteristics?

Question 16: Do you have any other comments about the proposed rules?

You said

  • We received 48 unique responses to the consultation.
  • 96% of respondents to the survey were registered architects.
  • The majority of respondents supported our proposed rules.
  • There were no significant recurring themes raised that would impact the inclusivity our proposed rules.

We did

We produced an analysis report that summarised responses to the survey. This was discussed at ARB’s Board meeting on 15 February 2023 and approved for publication. This report is available here.

Alongside the consultation, we identified technical changes that would help to clarify the status of Committee members by reflecting developments to the status of ARB’s workers. These changes will also mean a more efficient and transparent approach to membership of ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee and Appeals Committee. These two committees cover separate areas of decision-making.

In line with requirements of the Architects Act 1997, ARB has also consulted the Secretary of State on the Rules regarding the Committee’s composition.

At its meeting on 15 February, ARB’s Board approved the updated Rules for the Committee and its functioning. We will now implement the Rules to establish the Committee and, when the Committee is established, we will begin to inform individuals as part of any decisions we make that are eligible for appeal.