Overwhelming support for modernising initial education and training
Posted: 7th June 2022
The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has today published ‘Modernising initial education and training: analysis report on ARB’s IET survey’. This 50-page report details original evidence collected through ARB’s survey to shape its ongoing review of initial education and training of architects.
If approved, ARB’s modernisation proposals will introduce a new flexible and inclusive approach to education and training in architecture. As well as ensuring that the UK continues to be recognised as a leader in architecture globally, the proposed changes will open up the profession to a wider pool of talent, offering those who might have previously been excluded a new range of routes to qualification and professional practice.
All five parts of the vision ARB set out were endorsed by the majority of the 711 people who completed the survey. ARB’s analysis found that:
- A flexible and innovative approach was recognised as vital by respondents: 79% agreed with ARB’s vision for institutions, namely that ARB should allow for flexibility and innovation by bodies that provide education and training, ensuring that the UK remains an attractive place to study.
- Different routes into the profession would be welcomed: 79% also agreed with ARB’s vision for future architects, namely that changes should enable anyone with the right competencies to become an architect by a route that is right for them.
The report also details the following findings:
- An outcomes-based approach: ARB’s proposals set out a new outcomes-based approach, which was welcomed by all the stakeholder groups that responded – 80% either strongly agreed or agreed. The ARB Board therefore intends to continue to develop reforms to education and training based on its view that the most important consideration is what a newly qualified architect knows, what they can do and how they behave, not how they got there.
- A change in structure: 65% of all respondents agreed with ARB’s proposal that the structure of education and training needs to change from the current approach of Parts 1,2 and 3. Architecture students were most likely to agree with the need for change (94%) followed by related professionals working in the built environment (90%) and over half (55%) of architects. Of the architects who responded, only 22% disagreed with the need for change.
- The need for practical experience: respondents described the need to change the practical experience or training requirements as they are currently set up, to help improve the development opportunities for future architects, and how easy it is to access these opportunities. Respondents also expressed a desire for more flexible ways of learning and training, and the need to explore how to reduce the cost and time it takes to qualify.
Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar at ARB, commented:
“This positive response has confirmed our direction of travel. It marks a clear endorsement for the proposals ARB is making in terms of modernising education and training in architecture and in particular introducing more flexible routes into the profession as well as making architecture more diverse, equal and inclusive.
The enthusiastic support from those who have responded to this survey, as well as through the many engagement meetings we have had over the previous six months, gives us confidence to continue our detailed policy development work to modernise the regulation of the initial education and training for architects.”
In the next phase of engagement and policy development ARB will develop new outcomes for the initial education and training of architects, standards for institutions and an updated accreditation model. Within this ARB will consider what changes to the structure of education will enable wider access to architecture without compromising on the quality of architects. These proposals will not be developed in isolation: ARB will engage experts and continue to share ideas as they evolve, listening to the views of architects, academics, students, and others working in the architecture sector over the next six months. ARB will launch a full public consultation in 2023, once its proposals are more developed.
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