One of our strategic aims at ARB is to help develop a profession that is representative of the communities it serves. We want to help create a built environment that helps people live happy, healthy and safe lives. If the architecture profession is drawn from and representative of different types of communities and lifestyles, it will be better equipped to design environments for different types of communities and lifestyles. We are committed to furthering equality, diversity and inclusion in the profession.
ARB is an inclusive organisation, and we operate in line with the Government’s public sector equality duty. That means we actively promote equality of opportunity for everybody who has dealings with us, irrespective of their race, gender, disability, religion, belief system, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background. This has the primary aims of eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between people of different groups.
Alongside this, we recognise that we have a role in making the profession more accessible and inclusive. A key part of our new strategy is therefore to foster a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in our own organisation, and to take action to ensure change occurs in architecture.
This action includes big projects like our review of education and training, with its aim is to help develop a profession that reflects society. ARB is responsible for setting the standards for registration as an architect, and we’re currently modernising our educational model. The current system has produced thousands of excellent architects, but it’s also created significant barriers to some people becoming architects at all. Our statutory role means we are in a place to help change the makeup of the profession and we believe creating a new system that will enable different routes.
We are also developing how we use the data we have on the profession. As part of the registration process, every architect must provide certain legally recognised information, such as their nationality. We go further than this and invite UK architects to complete an Equality and Diversity survey in order to provide much insight as possible into who is on the Register. It’s voluntary but we encourage all architects to complete it because it helps us to:
- understand the profession in order to shape our regulatory activities
- inform policy makers and those that are able to affect social change
- ensure we are not discriminating against any particular group and as free from discrimination as possible
- ensure that our day to day work is compliant with the law
One of our projects this year is to use this data and other research to produce a ‘state of the nation’ report. This will set out what we know about the Register by exploring data from 2016 to 2021 and give us useful insights into trends in the profession. For example, it will inform the work we’re currently doing to review the framework for architectural education and training and create a new system that will enable different routes to registration to emerge.
The data you share with us really does make a difference to the work that we do. That’s why we are asking all architects to share their EDI information with us, so that we can analyse the data to fully understand the makeup of registered architects so we can prepare positive proposals to promote inclusion. Please do have a look at what we ask for and consider sharing information with us if you can: registrants.arb.org.uk/PersonalDetails.aspx