Proposed changes to the Investigations and Professional Conduct Committee Rules and associated guidance

Closed 20 Dec 2021

Opened 23 Sep 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the professional regulator of architects. We maintain a Register to protect the public, so that anyone using an architect’s services, or a building designed by an architect, can be reassured that the design has been developed by an appropriately qualified person. As part of its role in maintaining the Register, ARB must take action where serious concerns are raised about the conduct or competence of an architect.  

The Architects Act 1997 (the Act) requires ARB to investigate where it is alleged an architect is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, serious professional incompetence or that they have been convicted of a criminal offence which is relevant to their fitness to practise as an architect. Where those investigations conclude that the architect has a case to answer to the allegation(s), they must be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) for it to decide whether they are guilty of the allegation, and if so whether they should receive a disciplinary sanction.

Aside from the Act, the framework for how ARB investigates complaints is set out in the Investigations and Professional Conduct Committee Rules (the Rules). ARB also issues a body of guidance for the procedural application of the Rules and in making key decisions. The ‘Standard of Acceptance’ (now the ‘Acceptance Criteria’) guidance provides the criteria which must be met for investigating complaints, and the Sanctions Guidance is a key aide for the PCC when issuing sanctions against architects who have been found guilty. These are both important decision points in the investigatory process.

Why your views matter

In March 2020 the Board commissioned an independent review of ARB’s investigatory procedures. That review recommended changes to ARB’s Investigations and Professional Conduct Committee Rules and supporting guidance.

We are now consulting on proposed changes to the Rules and key associated guidance documents. Those changes are being proposed with the aim of addressing the unduly complex and inconsistent language within the Rules, to modernise ARB’s approach, and improve the accessibility and transparency of the process.  We want to understand whether we have achieved those aims and whether any further changes should be made.

What happens next

At the close of the consultation ARB will analyse and consider the responses received. The Board will be invited to consider the consultation responses before determining whether the proposals (and any further changes following the consultation) should be adopted. It is envisaged that the Board will carry out that consideration in the first quarter of 2022.  


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  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion
  • Professional Standards