Changes to the Architects Act 1997 - Architects Registration Board
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New legislation is changing the Architects Act 1997 and how we carry out our functions.

Below we set out the main changes, when they will happen and how architects might be affected.

Some changes will come into force on a set date, while others will require the Government to implement further legislation through Parliament.

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Continuing professional development (CPD)

What’s changing:

Changes in the Building Safety Act will give us new powers to ensure that CPD is carried out by architects throughout their careers.

How it might affect architects:

All architects will need to comply with any new requirements under the scheme. We want these requirements to be proportionate and we recently ran a survey on this and our other proposed principles. The results of the survey showed strong support for these.

We’ll keep listening to architects’ views as we develop the scheme and we’ll make it very clear when any new requirements are in place.

When it will change:

The new scheme will be in place in 2023 at the earliest.

Listing disciplinary outcomes

What’s changing:

The Building Safety Act means we’ll be able to list disciplinary outcomes on an architect’s Register entry.

How it might affect architects:

Decisions by the Professional Conduct Committee will be listed on an architect’s Register entry for a specific period of time.

We’ll work with the Government and consult the profession to determine the length of time a disciplinary order would be listed on the Register. We expect that the time for which the order is listed will take into account its severity.

We’ll make it clear to those involved in disciplinary proceedings whether the outcome will be listed on the Register and for how long.

When it will change:

This part of the Building Safety Act doesn’t come into force until 28 June. We’ll start listing disciplinary proceeding outcomes once we’ve consulted and the new rules are ready to put in place.

A new appeals committee

What’s changing:

Individuals will be able to appeal to an ARB Appeals Committee against some registration decisions, as well as decisions about whether they have met the requirements of the new CPD scheme above.

How it might affect architects:

The new appeals committee will be established under rules set by the Board, with rules on its composition subject to consultation with the Secretary of State.

When it will change:

This part of the Building Safety Act comes into force on 28 June. We’ll publish more information soon about how this will work in practice and which decisions will be within the committee’s scope.

How addresses are listed on the Register

What’s changing:

The Professional Qualifications Act means ARB will be able to exclude part of an architect’s address from their Register listing if it’s their residential address.

How it might affect architects:

The Register currently lists an architect’s business address but for many architects that business address is also their residential address. This could be due to their employment status or working arrangements, for example.

The change will mean we can protect an architect’s residential address from being published in full. We expect to still include a general location so that the public could use this to identify the correct architect on the Register.

When it will change:

This change to the law comes into force on 28 July.

Architects will need to request a change to their Register listing and we are currently setting up the process by which you can do this. We’ll let you know when the process is ready by promoting it through emails to architects, and updates on our website and social media.

New international routes to registration

What’s changing:

The Professional Qualifications Act and subsequent legislation will give ARB the power to enter into mutual recognition agreements with other regulators.

How it might affect architects:

Where an agreement is in place, it would mean that architects with eligible qualifications could benefit from a more straightforward process to register in the UK and other countries. Eligibility would be determined by each individual agreement.

Our aim is to support and uphold standards, including by increasing our understanding of each other’s regulatory systems, while also facilitating and supporting the architectural profession’s ability to trade and work internationally.

We have started exploring the development of agreements with some countries, including the USA, Australia and New Zealand, Hong Kong, as well as with Europe.

When it will change:

In addition to the Professional Qualifications Act, further legislation is needed before we’re able to enter into agreements. This is something the Government is already working on.

We publish regular updates on our own work and progress on potential agreements here.

New fees for some services

What’s changing:

The Building Safety Act and subsequent legislation means ARB will be able to charge new fees for additional services.

How it might affect architects:

New legislation will set out the services, or types of services, in respect of which ARB will be able to charge new fees. It will also make provisions about who is liable to pay a fee, and how they’re charged and paid.

Fees would be designed to recover full costs and not intended to make a profit.

This change will help to ensure we have the resources we need to deliver any additional services, for example the implementation of new routes to the Register for architects who qualified outside of the UK, and that the costs for these services fall on those who are using them.

This will help to minimise the annual retention fee that architects pay.

The Government has also published its own factsheet on this change.

When it will change:

In addition to the Building Safety Act, further legislation is needed before this happens. The Government has published a draft version of this legislation.

How we delegate functions within ARB

What’s changing:

ARB’s Registrar will be able delegate functions to another member of staff.

How it might affect architects:

This is an internal operational change that means decisions we make will happen more quickly and more efficiently, meaning better use of the annual retention fee. It also adds important contingency.

When it will change:

This change to the law comes into force on 28 July.