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Consultation on the ARB General Rules (2019-05)

Opening Date: Monday 16 December 2019

Closing Date: 12pm on Thursday 23 January 2020


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 following its proposals to amend the Board’s General Rules.  The consultation will comply with ARB’s Code of Practice for consultations which can be found via menu to the right.

Purpose of consultation

Under Section 23(1) of the Architects Act 1997, the Board may make rules generally for carrying out or facilitating the purposes of this Act.  The Board has established a set of General Rules for this purpose.

Appointment of a Temporary Board Chair

On 7 January 2019, a revised version of the Architects Act 1997 came into force which made changes to the Act in relation to the constitution of the Board and the Professional Conduct Committee.

Schedule 1 of the Act states that:
1.—(1) The Board is to consist of eleven members-
(a) a person appointed to be chair of the Board who is not registered in Part 1 of the Register;
(b) five other persons not registered in Part 1 of the Register, and (c) five persons registered in Part 1 of the Register.

(2) The members are to be appointed by the Privy Council after consultation with the Secretary of State and such other persons or bodies as the Privy Council thinks fit.

(3) Rules made by the Board may make provision for the temporary appointment of a person to act as a member of the Board in such circumstances as may be prescribed. …….

7.—(1) Rules made by the Board may make provision for the appointment of a person to act as chair of the Board for any period when there is no person appointed under paragraph 1 or in such other circumstances as may be prescribed. (2) No person who is registered in Part 1 of the Register is eligible for appointment under this paragraph.’

The Board has already made adjustments to the General Rules so that it may appoint a Board member on a temporary basis in prescribed circumstances.  The Board may also however make provisions for the temporary appointment of a chair in circumstances which it sets down in its rules under the legislation.  In line with good governance practice, it would be prudent to make such rules in the event that the Board finds itself in a position whereby it needs to make a temporary appointment and so that the Rules are in complete alignment with the Architects Act 1997.

Sections 11.4 to 11.9 of Annex A set out the proposed new rules in this area.

General Updates

In September, the Board noted that we would be undertaking a further review of the General Rules in their entirety to ensure that the rules remain aligned with the revised Architects Act 1997.

In order to ensure that the Rules continue to be effective and facilitate the organisation’s ability to fulfill its statutory responsibilities efficiently, we are proposing that the changes and additions highlighted in sections 1, 3.3, 6.2, 17.5 and the section relating to Schedule 1 of Annex A are made to the Rules.

EU Exit – Contingency Planning

A revised version of the Architects Act 1997 will become effective if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. In the event this scenario materialises, we will need to make some minor adjustments to the General Rules as a result so that they would continue to align with the revised version of the Act.  We believe that it would be prudent to make such adjustments as soon after Exit Day as possible.  As a result, we are recommending that the adjustments and additions outlined in sections 2.1, 2.2, 9.1 and 21.1 of Annex A are considered and consulted upon at the same time as the changes outlined above.

If the changes are not needed they will not be used, resulting in the relevant sections remaining unchanged.  However, if the UK does leave the EU without a deal the Board can agree to implement them expediently after Exit Day.

Note: the proposed adjustment to section 9.1 will be necessary on EU exit day, regardless of whether the UK reaches a deal with the EU or not.

All Other Adjustments

All other adjustments relate to the renumbering and formatting of the Rules.

Annex A sets out the details of the proposed changes as outlined above.

Consultation Documents

Please use the links below to access the consultation documents.

Track changed version of ARB’s General Rules (PDF)

Consultation response form  (PDF)
Consultation response form (Word)

Equality and Diversity monitoring form (PDF)