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ARB welcomes introduction of Building Safety Bill

July 5, 2021 | News Release

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

“The Building Safety Bill introduced today is a significant milestone, one we warmly welcome. Every architect I’ve met through ARB is passionate about public safety. The Board is too and we are committed to working with the sector to ensure we contribute to a built environment that supports safe, healthy and happy lives.

“The Bill paves the way for new powers to let us monitor the continuing professional development architects undertake throughout their careers. We want to work with architects as we design the new scheme. We’ll make sure it can be tailored by each architect to their own practice and needs, so that it supports them to be the best they can in the areas that matter most to their work. Soon we’ll be sharing our early ideas about the scheme and inviting views on how it can best work. Any architects who want to be involved in this work can join our Architects Engagement Group to stay informed.”

In June 2021 the Government published its response to its consultation on proposed amendments to the regulation of architects. This response included the decisions on ARB’s powers that have now been incorporated into this Bill. ARB has published further information on these legislative changes and what they mean for architects here.

Further information about ARB’s Architects Engagement Group can be found here. This gives architects the opportunity to shape ARB’s work and the future of architecture.


Notes for Editors

  • 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. By law, an individual must be registered with ARB if they are to use the title ‘architect’ in the UK. There are currently some 44,000 registered architects
  • 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
  • ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council.  This includes one lay, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
  • The Building Safety Bill introduces fundamental reforms of the entire building regulatory system. It builds on the recommendations of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, ‘Building a Safer Future’. The Bill places greater accountability and responsibility for fire and structural safety issues throughout the lifecycle of buildings in scope of the new regulatory regime for building safety, including in the building’s design phase. 
  • ‘Building a Safer Future’ recommended that ARB should address fire safety in design as part of the competence levels required of architects. In March 2021, ARB responded to this by publishing new Fire and Life Safety Design Guidelines for architects. All registered architects should ensure the health and safety of the people who use buildings outweighs any other obligations they may have. The guidelines also promote the need for architects to understand their role within a design team, and for them to know how to manage risk on a building project.

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