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ARB to modernise regulation of Architects

Posted: 15th October 2021

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has published a new five-year corporate strategy outlining a new bold and ambitious approach to regulation to deliver significant improvements in education and training, continuing professional development, and in how architects access ARB’s services.

The strategy recognises the importance of the architects profession in responding to significant challenges faced by society in relation to public health, safety and sustainability. Over the next five years, ARB will invest in and improve its core regulatory functions, focusing in particular on its responsibilities in architectural education and training. Earlier this month ARB announced plans to modernise the way that architects are educated, including reviewing the current Parts 1, 2 and 3 model. The review aims to enable institutions to respond more flexibly to external challenges such as the increasing importance of safety and sustainability, and to enable new routes to, and therefore diversity in, the profession.

Other key pillars in ARB’s strategy include the introduction of a scheme to address Continuing Professional Development following new powers in the Building Safety Bill, and the transformation of processes and online systems for architects, moving steadily towards a self-service model.

The strategy commits the organisation to building on recent improvements in engagement with the architects profession, to ensure all its work is informed and influenced by meaningful involvement of the profession and other key stakeholders.

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said:
“Architects play a central role in creating a built environment that is safe, sustainable and where everyone in society can live well. ARB must demonstrate leadership on key challenges facing the profession and society, engaging with the profession and listening better. We have set ambitious targets for the next five years and intend to deliver on them.

“It’s especially important that we play our part in supporting a new culture of safety across the whole of the built environment. The new CPD scheme we’re designing will be focussed on encouraging architects to reflect on their development needs and address them. Our strategy sets out how we will do this in an effective and proportionate way, without placing unnecessary burdens on the profession.

“The scale of the modernisation programme we’ve already launched for the initial education and training of architects reflects our ambition to make ARB a thoroughly effective regulator, responding to the needs of the public and the profession.”

Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar of the Architects Registration Board, said:
“ARB’s new corporate strategy commits us to an ambitious programme of work over the next five years. We will deliver improvements in all our core services including registration and applications, we will overhaul our prescribed examination to make it more proportionate and reduce unnecessary barriers to entry for international architects, and we will review our Code of Conduct and Practice.”

The strategy sets out ambitious outcome goals for each of the strategic priorities. The costs of delivering the improvements necessary require an increase in the retention fee for 2022 to £149, an increase of £30. This fee level remains low compared to professional regulators across the UK. ARB recognises the impact this will have, particularly for newly qualified architects, and the Board has therefore agreed to freeze the £35 application fee which is significantly below the processing costs.

More information about ARB’s five-year strategy is available online at