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Welcome everyone to the first issue of ARB Insight for 2023. This promises to be an important year for ARB and the profession, and we have already made a momentous start with two major announcements – one on our proposals to reform the regulatory framework for educating and training tomorrow’s architects, and the other, a landmark mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between the UK and USA. We have also published ARB’s Business Plan for 2023 which sets out the goals we want to achieve over the coming months.

Tomorrow’s Architects: this is the title, and the focus, of our new education consultation which launched on 8 February, the latest step in developing the proposals we have been shaping for over two years. Please add your voice to the hundreds that have already responded and contribute your thoughts to this consultation which will shape the future of architecture. It’s a key talking point for the profession, and we welcome both the positive feedback and the debate it has generated. The proposals and a link to the consultation can be found here. The survey is open until Wednesday 10 May.

On 16 February I was delighted to welcome our American counterparts, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards [NCARB] to London. They joined us in the impressive Churchill Room in the Old Admiralty Building, hosted by the Department of Business and Trade, to sign ARB’s first ever MRA. Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State at the Department of Business and Trade said: “This landmark agreement will pave the way for our world-class architects to export their expertise across the Atlantic.” The agreement means that if you’re on the UK Register, you can apply to join Registers in US jurisdictions through a process simpler than at present – with reduced costs and fewer exams. ARB and NCARB are now finalising the procedures for architects to register in either country, and will open for applications on 25 April. You can read more about this here.

On a far less positive international note, it is almost a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the UK Government’s response including sanctions that affect architectural services. If you’re still unsure whether your work may be affected, our advice is to review the Government’s guidance on the subject.

ARB’s Business Plan for 2023 is now available to read online and includes a range of objectives including the development of more international agreements and the start of our plans to review the Architects Code of Conduct and Practice.

Finally, following consultation the Board has approved the proposed Rules for the new Appeals Committee. We’ll now implement the new arrangements and will publish a summary of the responses we received to the consultation.

I hope your year, and ours, continues on this positive trajectory.

Alan Kershaw, Chair, Architects Registration Board