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

Closes 10 May 2023

Opened 8 Feb 2023


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 consultation is about a fundamental overhaul of the regulatory framework for the education and training of architects. This means we are proposing to change the way in which we ensure those who study and train in the UK have demonstrated the necessary competencies to become architects.

This consultation is the culmination of over two years of detailed policy development, including focus groups, surveys, events and in depth conversations with stakeholders. Our research and engagement have demonstrated that change is needed if regulation is to enable the continuing innovation within the Higher Education sector and if the UK is to sustain its reputation for excellence.

UK architectural education is globally respected and attracts students from all over the world, but the regulatory framework is inflexible and hasn’t changed in over fifty years. Learning providers need a framework that allows for flexibility and innovation and helps students achieve the competencies required to face emerging and future challenges, including the climate emergency. We’re also aware that whilst the current regulatory framework for education has produced thousands of excellent architects, it’s created significant barriers to some people becoming architects at all. We’ve heard that the cost of education and the requirements for work experience create barriers for people from less affluent backgrounds or without existing networks in the profession.  

In 2021 we proposed that the most effective approach would be to move away from the traditional, three-part qualifications structure and for ARB to set a new framework based on educational outcomes, or the competencies required for registration. By doing so we want to enable learning providers to innovate and develop new routes to registration including the expansion of work based and apprenticeship style models. This means moving to a new framework in which our regulatory focus is on what an individual must know, what they must be able to do, and how they must behave, rather how and what they are taught. We held a public survey on our proposed approach: 65% of respondents agreed that the existing structure of Parts 1, 2 and 3 needs to change (with only 17% disagreeing) and 80% agreed that we should move away from a rules-based approach of the Criteria to an outcomes-based approach. Read our vision for education here, and the results of our survey here.

Under our proposals:

If our proposals are approved, anyone setting out to become an architect from September 2027 onwards will have to be trained and educated through our new, improved framework and assessed using the new learning outcomes.

Why your views matter

We want to continue to build on our previous engagement efforts and to work with architects, academics, students and others in the built environment sector so that your views, expertise and experiences can shape our regulatory approach. We want to develop a new regulatory framework that works for students and institutions, that provides assurance of the quality of qualifications, and produces competent architects for the future.

Give us your views


  • Academic - registered architect
  • Academic - other
  • Registered architect
  • Architectural assistant, designer or consultant (not Part 3 qualified)
  • Architecture Student – undergraduate (studying Part 1)
  • Architecture Student – graduate (studying Part 2)
  • Architecture Student – Part 3 candidate
  • Elected political representative e.g. councillor or MP


  • Initial education and training
  • Education