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The way we educate and train architects in the UK needs to change. To meet the demands of today and the challenges of tomorrow, we need to ensure architects acquire the right skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours to support safe, effective practice. In short, the right competencies. What we are proposing could lead to the most significant reform of architectural education in fifty years.

As the professional regulator, ARB is responsible for setting the standards for registration as an architect. We currently fulfil this role by setting Criteria and processes that institutions teaching architecture must meet in order for their students to qualify and register as architects.

However, ARB’s evidence suggests that the existing educational model of Parts 1, 2 and 3 is inflexible and needs modernising to address key challenges facing the sector. The current system has produced thousands of excellent architects, but it’s also created significant barriers to some people becoming architects at all.

We have a vision of how we might modernise education and training, by developing a regulatory model that focusses on the outcomes required of an individual at the end of their initial period of education and training.

We believe that the most important factor is what a newly qualified architect should be able to do – not how they got there. This means that we are open to considering different routes to registration, particularly those which might widen access to the profession.

 

Vision for success: what we want to achieve
We want to work with the sector and modernise initial education and training in a way which will achieve our vision:

  1. PUBLIC: Ensure that anyone joining the Register is equipped to design a built environment that reflects the needs of society so that people can be safe and live well, and helps to tackle the fundamental challenges our planet faces
  2. PROFESSION AND EMPLOYERS: Provide future architects with skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours that they can develop and apply throughout their career
  3. INSTITUTIONS: Allow for flexibility and innovation by bodies that provide education and training, ensuring the UK remains an attractive place to study
  4. FUTURE ARCHITECTS: Enable anyone with the right competencies to become an architect by a route that is right for them
  5. REGULATORY: Through an effective and proportionate quality assurance model, give clarity about the accountability of ARB, the institutions, and students

The evidence which has helped shaped our thinking, and our plans for the new regulatory approach, are explained in more detail in an informative discussion paper.

 

Have your say
We cannot do this on our own – nor should we. We want to work with the sector to find bold and innovative solutions to these challenges. We need an accessible system of education and training that works for students and institutions, that provides assurance of the quality of qualifications, and produces competent architects for the future.

In addition to some questions that will help us identify who you are, and help us analyse your response and compare it to that of other stakeholders, the survey includes the following questions:

  • Chapter 4 of the discussion paper sets out the evidence we have analysed to date, and the conclusions we’ve reached. Is there anything you believe is missing from these conclusions, that we should also take into account as we start developing the outcomes-based approach?
  • Chapter 5 of the discussion paper sets out the vision for our new regulatory approach. To what extent do you agree with our vision? Please feel free to explain your view, and make any suggestions as to what is missing.
  • To enable institutions to innovate and to promote diversity, we think that the structure needs to change from the current approach of Parts 1, 2 and 3. What are your views on this?
  • We believe that the best way to describe the competencies architects need may be to describe what an architect must know, what they must be able to do, and how they must behave. To what extent do you agree?
  • Are there any other views you would like to share with us about this work?

The survey will close on Monday 10th January 2022 at midday.