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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.

A hearing of ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) concluded on 18 September 2020 with the erasure from the Architects Register of Mr Theodore Adiyan of Decode Architects, London following a conviction for a criminal offence.

In November 2019, Mr Adiyan was convicted of breaching a restraining order imposed by the West London Magistrates Court, which resulted in a suspended custodial sentence. The allegation heard by the PCC was that the conviction was relevant to his fitness to practise as an architect.

Mindful of its need to protect the public, the PCC concluded Mr Adiyan’s conduct had brought the profession into disrepute and amounted to a lack of integrity. It was a serious matter that had impacted significantly on those involved.

In considering sanction, the PCC noted that Mr Adiyan had accepted that breaching the court order was serious, had engaged in the investigation and had self-reported the conviction to ARB as required under the Architects Code.

However, the PCC considered the nature of the conviction gave rise to a need to protect the public, and the reputation of the profession, and because of this erasure was the appropriate sanction. If Mr Adiyan wanted to resume his career as an architect in future he would need to satisfy ARB that he has addressed the behaviour that gave rise to his conviction. While removed from the Register, Mr Adiyan is not permitted to use the title ‘architect’ in business or practice.

A copy of the decision can be found here.

—ENDS—

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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 UK 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
– a 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.

• ARB has an Information Pack detailing its key messaging intended for use by the press and other stakeholders.

For further information please contact Kate Howlett (ARB Communications Manager) by email at media@arb.or.uk or 020 7580 5861.

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