Prescribed qualifications (schools) | Architects Registraion Board
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Information on ARB prescribed qualifications

This information is intended for education providers and relates to the delivery and assessment of ARB prescribed qualifications at this time. Information for architecture students can be found here.

In the rapidly changing environment, we will keep this information under review and update it as needed.
This page was last updated on 22 January 2021.

As part of our role as regulator, we set the UK educational standards required by those wishing to enter onto the Architects Register in order to practise as an architect in the UK. We ‘prescribe’ or recognise qualifications that enable individuals to meet these standards.

Our focus during this time is on ensuring every prescribed qualification continues to provide a sufficient basis for registration as a UK architect. Outlined below is a summary of the advice we have shared with Heads of Architecture involved in delivering ARB prescribed qualifications.

Responding to the coronavirus outbreak

Education providers should be following Government guidance designed to protect the wellbeing of students and staff. General Government guidance can be found here, guidance for schools and other educational settings can be found here, and guidance for business and employers is available here.

Education providers will need to take appropriate action to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Many will be making adjustments to teaching, assessment and examinations processes and learning sites are likely to be closed for a period of time. Using their judgement, they should respond rapidly taking care to document actions and the rationale for change.

Our current expectation, notwithstanding any adjustments, is that any holder of a prescribed qualification achieved in current circumstances will be as suitable for registration just as they would have been under normal circumstances. You can find the latest Board guidance here.

Closing learning sites

If learning sites are closed for any period of time, education providers should notify us promptly and keep a record of the extent and period of closure as well as assessments of the impact it may have on prescribed qualifications.

Adjustments to prescribed Part 3 qualifications

In a variation from earlier guidance, we no longer require an urgent course change notification for Part 3 oral examinations being moved on to remote video conferencing platforms. This information can also be reported through your annual monitoring in line with the requirements below. However, more significant changes to any Part 3 level qualifications (or any qualifications), such as changes to learning outcomes, qualification structure, and/or Criteria mapping, will need to be reported to ARB at the earliest opportunity, following the guidance in Annex 3 of our Procedures, Changes to Prescribed Qualifications (page 32).

Adjustments to prescribed Part 1, 2 and 3 qualifications

In regards to adjustments more generally, educations providers should keep detailed records which include:
• the processes by which changes were considered, approved and implemented
• an assessment of their impact
• the level of assurance that prescription requirements have been met

Education providers should ensure that adjustments are:
• in line with Government guidance and the general standards of best practice
• proportionate
• demonstrably necessary because of the pandemic
• made within the approval frameworks of existing institutional quality assurance processes
• subject to regular and documented review as to effectiveness and outcomes

Annual monitoring

Education providers offering prescribed qualifications are required to provide specific information to us each year through annual monitoring submissions. We will be asking education providers to submit information, assurances and, where appropriate, evidence, that prescription requirements have continued to be met through annual monitoring for 2019/2020 cohorts.

We appreciate disruption to student learning may leave gaps in coverage and will look for information to show steps were/are being taken to identify such gaps and plans to resolve them as far as circumstances allow.

We will be in touch with education providers to remind them of the material needed for their annual monitoring submissions before they are due. An updated example Annual Monitoring form can be found on our website here, which details expected information, including assurances with regards to coronavirus adjustments.

Contact us

If you have a question not covered by this information, you can also contact us at using the subject line Coronavirus – Prescription Advice.