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Serious concerns about architects are rare. On the limited occasions they do occur, as the UK regulator we are here to ensure standards, and therefore trust, in the profession is maintained. We hope the information published about conduct and competence decisions provides useful learning points for others. 

On 27 May 2021 the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) issued Mr Keith MacRae of Heli Limited, London with a reprimand after he admitted unacceptable professional conduct (UPC). 

Mr MacRae had made an application to the Local Authority for amendments to the address of assets that had been part of a development formerly known as 250 Bethnal Green Road Ltd. Following an exchange of correspondence with the Principal Officer at the Local Authority, on 16 October 2020 Mr MacRae sent an inappropriate and/or offensive email to the Principal Officer.

Mr MacRae accepted that his action was in breach of Standards 1.1, 1.2, 9.2 and 12 of the Architects Code, which he accepted amounted to UPC.  

Mr MacRae waived his right to have his case heard at a public hearing and agreed a decision could be made by the PCC on the papers alone.  

In considering the case, the PCC found that Mr MacRae’s breaches of the Architects Code could diminish his reputation and that of the profession generally and that they are sufficiently serious to require the imposition of a disciplinary order. The PCC noted that Mr MacRae has admitted and shown insight into his failings, along with his good disciplinary history. The PCC considered a reprimand to be the appropriate disciplinary order to impose. 

A copy of the Consent Order can be found here.

—ENDS—

Notes for Editors

  • The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. 
    • Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:
    • Maintain the Architects Register
    • Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
    • Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
    • Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
    • Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
    • Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects
  • ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council.  This includes one lay, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
  • The PCC is established under Schedule 1, Part II of the Architects Act and is required to consider any report referred to it. The PCC determines whether an architect is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence. 
    • Where a guilty finding is made, the PCC will consider whether to make a disciplinary order, which means:
      • a reprimand
      • penalty order
      • a suspension order (to a maximum of 2 years); or 
      • an erasure order
  • Money raised by fines imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee is paid to HM Treasury.
  • Where an architect admits unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence and the proposed disciplinary sanction, the PCC can impose that penalty by consent, and without the need for a hearing.
  • ARB has an Information Pack detailing its key messaging intended for use by the press and other stakeholders.

For further information please contact media@arb.or.uk or on 020 7580 5861.