Guidance has been updated to address concerns about recent changes in the insurance market that particularly impact architects.
01 November 2022: ARB has published updated guidance on professional indemnity insurance (PII). This sets out the insurance arrangements architects need in order to remain compliant with the Architects Code of Conduct.
The updated guidance follows a consultation earlier this year, when draft changes were developed by ARB based on feedback from architects and insurers. The changes address the issues currently faced by the UK’s architects in securing the insurance they need to protect themselves, their clients and the people who live in and use their buildings.
All architects are expected to have adequate insurance arrangements in place. However, because of the challenges the built environment faces following the Grenfell Tower disaster and subsequent cladding crisis, combined with global economic factors, access to PII has become more difficult for architects.
Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said:
“It was no longer tenable to require architects to hold insurance they simply could not obtain. Our updated guidance recognises that there are structural issues with the global insurance market that go beyond anything ARB can resolve on its own. But the changes we have made mean architects should find it easier to get compliant cover that still provides protection for consumers and the public.”
ARB’s updated guidance has been informed by the feedback from over 300 consultation respondents. It is important that architects are aware of the updated guidance requirements and comply with them. The updated guidance means that:
- It will remain the case that architects should have adequate insurance before undertaking any new work.
- Coverage for certain types of claims – including fire-safety and cladding – can be held on an aggregate basis, and limited to covering direct losses.
- It will not be a matter of misconduct if an architect cannot acquire retrospective insurance to cover historic liabilities, because of new exclusions applied to their policy
- No architect should accept a minimum level of cover below £250,000
NOTES TO EDITORS
The updated guidance can be accessed here.
Alongside the new guidance, ARB has published a report from the survey the results, including how it analysed the views people shared. You can download the report here.
ARB has also published additional advice for architects on securing professional indemnity insurance. This can be read here.
ARB is an independent professional regulator, established by Parliament as a statutory body, through the Architects Act, in 1997. It is accountable to government.
The law gives ARB a number of core functions:
- To ensure only those who are suitably competent are allowed to practise as architects. ARB does this by approving the qualifications required to join the UK Register of Architects.
- ARB maintains a publicly available Register of Architects so anyone using the services of an architect can be confident that they are suitably qualified and are fit to practise.
- ARB sets the standards of conduct and practice the profession must meet and take action when any architect falls below the required standards of conduct or competence.
- ARB protects the legally restricted title ‘architect’.
The Architects Code of Conduct sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of persons registered as architects under the Act. It can be accessed here.
For questions and information requests, please contact the ARB Policy & Communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org