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ARB’s CPD scheme plans confirmed, following consultation

June 7, 2023 | News Release

A new consultation report published today reveals the profession’s views on ARB’s new CPD scheme, which will be launched next year.

Wednesday 7 June 2023: Following its most recent consultation that closed in January this year, ARB has published a report that sets out its plans for its new mandatory CPD scheme. The record number of responses the consultation received – 1,350 – provided a large amount of feedback about ARB’s proposals. All these responses directly demonstrate the profession’s views on its obligations around continuing professional development. They have been carefully analysed and used as the basis for ARB’s final developments on the new mandatory scheme which will be required for all Registered architects.

Under the new, outcomes-focused scheme, in order to remain registered architects will need to carry out CPD activities every year and confirm they have undertaken it when they pay their retention fee. Architects are free to identify their own CPD activities. If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learnt to their practice, then that can be considered continuing professional development. A majority of respondents – 58% – agreed that recording activities is a good way of measuring CPD that has been undertaken.

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

“I am delighted that we received such a strong and detailed response to our consultation. This feedback is a vital part of our work to shape this new scheme, whose central aim is to ensure architects have the knowledge they need to create and maintain a built environment that is both safe and sustainable.”

ARB will make it an initial requirement of the scheme that architects carry out mandatory CPD on sustainability and building safety in a way that is relevant to their practice. ARB will issue guidance to support architects in doing so, and work with professional bodies to signpost knowledge sources. There will be no minimum number of activities that an architect must complete. Instead, ARB will suggest, but not require, that architects undertake eight activities a year.

As it embeds, ARB will review the CPD scheme to better understand its effectiveness and consider whether different areas of architecture should be the subject of mandatory CPD in the future.

The majority of respondents disagreed with ARB’s proposal of a reflective statement, as currently described. The analysis has showed that most concerns about focused on how this requirement would be implemented, rather than its underlying purpose and benefit. Sixty-eight percent did not support the overall proposal: the most common concerns were that it was too bureaucratic and took time away from fee-earning work.

Although our Board has decided that the requirement for a reflective statemen will be retained as a crucial outcome-focused aspect of the scheme, we will be using the pilot scheme and further engagement to identify ways to improve guidance and support architects. We will publish examples of completed statements, so that it is straightforward for architects to complete. .

In response to feedback expressing concern about cost and inclusivity, ARB will develop and test the online portal so that it is accessible, and will offer reasonable adjustments. Giving architects the flexibility to define their own activities makes the scheme inclusive; architects can opt for activities based on the best learning style for their needs and their practice, and that need not cost money.

A pilot scheme is currently under way and the findings from it will be incorporated into the final guidance on the scheme, that ARB will produce by the end of 2023.

The full report is available to read and download here: ARB’s Consultation on a Scheme for Continuing Professional Development


Here are some key findings from the responses:

  • A majority (58%) of respondents agreed that recording activities is a good way of measuring CPD that has been undertaken.
  • Views on ARB’s proposal to recommend a minimum number of eight activities were split, with slightly more respondents agreeing than disagreeing. ARB proposed recommending that architects carry out a minimum of eight CPD activities over the year.  Twelve percent of respondents strongly agreed and 33% agreed that it would be helpful.
  • Fifty-five percent of respondents made recommendations for mandatory topics, with the most popular recommended being regulatory changes (24%), sustainability (22%) and safety (21%).
  • Respondents did not support the proposal for a reflective statement (68% disagreed), where an architect would need to discuss how their chosen activities have supported their practice and informed their future development. The most common concerns around the requirement of reflective practice were that it was too bureaucratic (32%) and took time away from fee-earning work (18%).
  • Topics suggested by respondents included regulatory changes (24%), sustainability (22%) and safety (21%).


The Architects Registration Board (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’.

For questions and information requests, please contact ARB Policy & Communications team at media@arb.org.uk.