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Consultation on ARB’s Investigations Process

Consultation paper 2017/02

Consultation on the ARB’s procedures for investigating allegations of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence against registered architects (“the Review”)

Open date:  19 July 2017

Closing date:  1 September 2017

The Architects Registration Board was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK.  We are an independent public interest body, and our work in regulating architects ensures that good standards within the profession are consistently maintained for the benefit of the public and architects alike.

Background to consultation
The Architects Registration Board has agreed to hold a consultation exercise in advance of its Review of how it fulfils its obligations under section 14 Architects Act 1997 – the investigation of allegations of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence.   The consultation will comply with ARB’s Code of Practice for consultation exercises.

Purpose of consultation

Section 14 of the Act states that where an allegation of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence is made in relation to a registered person (an architect) then

1) it will be investigated by persons appointed by the Board;
2) where those persons find that the architect has a case to answer, a report must be made to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC);
3) the PCC then must decide whether or not the architect is guilty, and if so may impose a disciplinary sanction

There is no legislative change proposed as part of this review, so the focus will be on:

1) how investigations are undertaken, and by who
2) how reports are made to the PCC
3) the procedures by which the PCC reaches its findings

Aside from the Architects Act, the current framework for how ARB investigates complaints is set out the Investigations and Professional Conduct Committee Rules, and in the guidance note ‘Making a complaint- What happens when you complain to ARB’. There is additional guidance on the main aspects of ARB’s disciplinary procedures listed under the heading ‘Current Investigations Guidance’ below.

ARB is using this pre-consultation as an opportunity to seek the views of its stakeholders before the substantive review is undertaken. Before provisionally deciding on any course of action, it is important that we have as wide a range of opinions as possible.


Contact details

Responses can be sent to us by email, fax or post, and should be addressed to:

Simon Howard
Professional Standards Manager

8 Weymouth Street

T: 020 7580 5861
F: 020 7436 5269

We would appreciate any views or comments you might have on the proposed changes. Please let us have these by no later than 5pm on 1 September 2017. If you have any queries about any aspect of this consultation exercise, please contact or call us on 020 7580 5861.  We will publish a summary of all responses on our website once the Board has considered them.