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ARB consults on new safety and sustainability guidance for education providers

February 25, 2021 | News Release

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has today launched a consultation seeking views, on draft guidance for all education providers delivering ARB-recognised qualifications. The proposed guidance sets out what ARB expects of institutions in relation to the design of safe and sustainable buildings and environments.

Last year ARB surveyed over 4,400 architects, around 10% of all architects working in the UK. When asked about the issues that had become more important to their job in the last five years, the two most common issues raised by architects were safety and sustainability:

  • The management of health and safety risks, including fire safety, was raised by 96% of respondents;
  • The climate emergency and sustainability was raised by 88%.

As the statutory regulator, ARB protects the public by ensuring that anyone admitted to the Architects Register has the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours necessary for practice. It sets the criteria and processes institutions delivering architecture qualifications must meet for their students to be able to register as architects in the UK. The guidance has been developed to secure greater consistency across institutions and ensure architects of the future are equipped to respond to the fundamental importance of safety and sustainability.

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said:

“Competent fire and life safety design is central to the services architects offer. Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review ‘Building a Safer Future’ recommended that ARB should address fire safety in design as part of the competence levels required of architects. Our guidance will respond to that recommendation and also to the climate emergency – two issues architects recognise as fundamentally important in their work.”

Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar for the Architects Registration Board, said:

“I want to make sure everyone with an interest and expertise in architectural practice has an opportunity to help shape ARB’s work. ARB has a responsibility to ensure that institutions teaching qualifications in architecture are preparing tomorrow’s architects to the correct standard. Our draft guidance responds to the increasing importance of safety and sustainability. It has been drafted taking into account both commissioned research and engagement with key organisations, but we want to hear from anyone with an interest in these issues, particularly architects and the institutions that train them.”

To view the consultation please click here. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their contributions by midday on Friday 23 April 2021.

Once the consultation has closed, the ARB Board will consider the consultation report and any proposed changes to the guidance before it is introduced. The new guidance for institutions will complement new safety and sustainability guidelines for architects due to be published by ARB later this spring.



Notes for Editors

o The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest.

o Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:

– Maintain the Architects Register
– Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
– Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
– Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
– Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
– Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects

o ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

o ARB’s survey of architects, undertaken in autumn 2020, is published online here.

o ARB has an Information Pack detailing its key messaging intended for use by the press and other stakeholders.

For further information please contact or 020 7580 5861.


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