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Consultation on the Procedures for the Prescription of Qualifications (2019/03)

Opening Date: 26 September 2019

Closing Date: 24 October 2019 at 5pm

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
In line with Section 4(1) of the Architects Act 1997, our Board is responsible for determining what qualifications and practical experience are eligible for entry to the Architects Register under the UK routes to registration.  In order to ensure that individuals have met the appropriate standards, our Board has established Criteria, which must be met at the appropriate levels as well as prescription procedures for ‘recognising’ those qualifications and practical experience. Our Board is supported in its duties by our Prescription Committee who help oversee the operation of the procedures.

The current Procedures for the Prescription of Qualifications set out the process our Board undertakes when prescribing qualifications for the first time as well as renewing the prescription of existing qualifications. The Procedures also set out the annual monitoring process and provide information to institutions on the requirements and conditions to secure and maintain prescription.

The current Procedures have been in operation since 2011. They are accompanied by a Good Practice Handbook which supports those involved by providing further insights into how we operate the prescription process and how the Board and our Prescription Committee approach certain areas. Since 2011, we have regularly sought feedback from institutions about the way in which we operate our process which has led to some minor adjustments being made to the Good Practice Handbook.

At its meeting on the 19 July 2019, our Board agreed that our Prescription Committee would operate under new terms of reference from November 2019.  Under these terms, the Committee will scrutinise and challenge the work of the Executive to ensure it is in line with the Procedures.  The Executive, supported by technical experts, will have responsibility for gathering information relevant to an application to present to the Board for consideration.

Purpose of consultation
At its meeting on 19 July 2019, our Board decided to cease a business as usual review of the Procedures and to instead request that proposals for governance and operational adjustments should be brought to them at the earliest opportunity for consideration.

This consultation concerns those governance and operational adjustments, which our Board agreed should be consulted upon at its meeting on 11 September 2019.

The proposed governance and operational adjustments relate primarily to the information gathering processes that take place prior to the Board’s consideration of an application for prescription or to renew prescription.

Additional low level adjustments have been proposed in order to facilitate internal operational elements of the process.

Adjustments have been also been proposed to the Board’s objectives/factors that institutions must meet to secure or maintain prescription.  It has also been proposed that the objectives/factors be reordered so they flow more appropriately.

No major adjustments to the Board’s requirements or decision making processes have been proposed.

The Board has agreed that, pending its consideration of the outcomes of this consultation, the adjustments should become effective in November 2019 when the newly constituted Prescription Committee will be ready to commence.

The Executive will update guidance material and supporting documents as required to help support institutions seeking prescription.

Institutions which are seeking to apply for prescription during late 2019/early 2020 should contact the Qualifications Department as soon as possible if they have not already engaged with the team –

For context, our Board has agreed to a undertake a more significant review of its approach to prescribing qualifications and practical experience in 2020. Proposals for the scope of that review will be given to the Board for consideration in December 2019.

Consultation documents

Track changed proposed Procedures (PDF)
Clean copy proposed Procedures (PDF)

Consultation response form (word)
Consultation response form (PDF)

Equality & Diversity data form (word)
Equality & Diversity data form (PDF)

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 24 October 2019.  If you have any queries about the proposed adjustments of the consultation, please contact Head of Qualifications and Governance, Emma Matthews –  We will publish a summary of all responses on our website once the Board has considered them.