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Commission on Professional Practical Experience launches call for evidence and announces further Commissioners

March 13, 2024 | News Release

Today ARB’s independent Commission on professional practical experience (PPE) in architecture has launched its call for evidence. The Commission is seeking evidence to support its investigation into the challenges faced by future architecture students in seeking suitable work experience and into potential recommendations to improve its quality.

The call for evidence asks for views, experiences and insights into PPE in architecture. It is aimed to gather both positive examples and areas for improvement, and provides the opportunity for respondents to suggest changes that could be made.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Chair of the independent Commission, said:

This call for evidence kicks off the Commission with a chance for everyone to tell us what’s working and what isn’t. We want to hear from as many people as possible, whether you’ve already completed your education or are in the process of doing so. If you’ve had bad experiences, we want you to tell us how we could help to improve things. And if you’ve seen something good, we want to learn from that too.” 

The call for evidence can be accessed here, with the full list of questions also available to view here. 

It will be open for six weeks and closes on Wednesday 24 April.  

ARB has also announced Polly Mackenzie and Peter Barker as the third and fourth members of the Commission. 

Polly is Chief Social Purpose Officer at UAL, having previously served as Chief Executive of Demos, which brings citizen voice and lived experience into public policy discussions. Her previous roles also include founding CEO of the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute and establishing the operations of the Women’s Equality Party. From 2010-2015 she was Director of Policy to the Deputy Prime Minister. 

Peter is an architectural technologist by background and is a partner at Ryder Architecture. With over 40 years experience in practice and a focus on learning, research and development, Peter was a founding director of BIM Academy and brings a wealth of experience and interest that includes developing new routes into the sector, including the award winning PlanBEE programme and architecture degree apprenticeships. Founded in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1953, Ryder Architecture has teams across the UK and internationally. 

Polly and Peter join Chris Husbands as chair alongside Felicity Atekpe as the full set of Commissioners. 

The Commission forms part of ARB’s efforts to reform how architects are trained and educated, in order to modernise the competencies required of architects to face emerging and future challenges. ARB’s reforms aim to remove regulatory barriers to becoming an architect in the UK, whilst upholding the profession’s high standards to protect the public. 

Alongside the call for evidence, the Commission will visit different parts of the UK to hear from learning providers, students and architects directly. 

The Commission’s full terms of reference are available to read here. 







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’