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Over 40,000 architects pay their 2019 retention fee on time

January 7, 2019 | News Release

The retention fee for 2019 was £111 with payment due by 31 December 2018.  We received 40,074 payments, which means that once again the vast majority of architects, 97% of the Register, ensured their fee was paid on time.

The duties of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) include maintaining the Architects Register, a public record available online of those individuals with the skills required to practise as an architect in the UK.  Architects are legally required to pay a retention fee for registration each year to cover the cost of regulating the profession.

The Architects Act 1997 requires us to hold an accurate Register and therefore those who do not pay their fee by the payment deadline are removed under Section 8.2 of the legislation.  We know removal from the Register can cause concern and upset for some and our aim is to try and ensure no one is removed who doesn’t wish to be.

To help architects prepare, we sent out notifications about the fee as far back as October, including tips on how to make paying on time easier, advice on obtaining financial support and reminders by email, letter, social media and text. We also offered a range of payments methods and extended our office opening hours across December to help architects make payments outside of office hours and over the holidays.

The 3% of 2018 registrants who did not pay on time have now been removed from the Register.  Those wishing to re-join the Register can find out more information on how to do so on our website here.

Karen Holmes, Registrar and Chief Executive of the ARB, said “Thank you to every architect who ensured their fee was paid on time.  Your fee enables us to carry out regulatory work to maintain standards, and therefore trust, in the profession – including regulating the use of the title ‘architect’.  We welcome and value feedback, if you have views or insights you can contact us and we will take them into account when we reflect on this year’s retention fee process.



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
  • 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

ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council.  This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

  • Our Retention Fee FAQs, which include information on what the fee is used for and why the payment deadline is 31 December, can be found on our website here.
  • The Architects Register included 41,176 registrants at the end of 2018.
  • 1100 architects have been removed from the Register this year, 1202 were removed last year.
  • 385 EU nationals were removed from the Register for non-payment this year, only a marginal difference to the 379 that were removed last year.
  • As part of our ongoing reconciliation process, the figures given in this release may ultimately alter slightly depending on how payment investigations resolve.

For further information, please contact Kate Howlett, Communications Lead on 020 7580 5861 or by email at

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