How we regulate
The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the UK’s statutory regulator of architects. Our remit comes from a piece of legislation called the Architects Act 1997. This sets out our role which involves maintaining the UK’s Register of Architects and regulating the profession in the public interest. Regulation, in this context, is a four-pronged approach. It involves maintenance of an accurate Register as one of the regulator’s key responsibilities, alongside prescription of qualifications (which includes setting the standard of entry to the profession), managing a robust professional conduct process and protecting the title ‘architect’. This Report sets out ARB’s work in these areas during 2015.
The below diagram provides a visual illustration of ARB’s role.
From the statutory remit the Board identified two broad regulatory aims.
Protect the users and potential users of architects’ services
We will protect the users and potential users of architects’ services by regulating architects so that the public can be confident that architects are appropriately qualified. We will raise the public’s awareness of the Register.
Support architects through regulation
We will maintain and publicly demonstrate the status of architects as competent, qualified professionals, and we will regulate use of the title ‘architect’. We will raise awareness of the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice and the need for those on the Register to maintain their competence.
Business plan and reporting
ARB’s annual business plan is drawn up and agreed prior to the start of the year. The plan incorporates priorities agreed previously by the Board and set out in ARB Priorities 2014-2016.
This Annual Report sets out our objectives and the work undertaken by ARB in 2015 to deliver on the business plan.
Two key elements of government policy have set the context for the landscape within which ARB operates.
Firstly, the government is committed to reducing unnecessary red tape and ensuring that all regulation is underpinned by the five key principles of good regulation: proportionality, accountability, consistency, transparency and targeting.
Secondly, as part of this commitment, the government has tasked itself with reviewing all arms-length bodies, to ensure they are transparent and accountable, and to promote efficiency. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), ARB’s sponsoring government department, commenced the Periodic Review into the regulation of architects in March 2014. The first phase concluded, in November 2014, that the regulation of architects would continue based on protection of title. During 2015 DCLG’s review team continued with phase 2 of the Review, which has looked in more detail at the form and function of the regulator’s role. This process has carried on into 2016.