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Year in Review

Scroll down to see facts and figures about ARB’s work in 2022, or click the link below to read the full 2022 Annual Report.

I believe passionately in the value of career-long learning, and I am pleased to say we have made strong progress on our new arrangements for continuing professional development.

Alan Kershaw, Chair

Read the Chair's foreword to the Annual Report


I am delighted to present our Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2022. The past 12 months have seen us make tremendous progress towards the goals set out in the ambitious five-year Corporate Strategy we launched at the end of 2021.

I believe passionately in the value of career-long learning, and I am pleased to say we have made strong progress on our new arrangements for continuing professional development (CPD), made possible by the power entrusted to us in the Building Safety Act 2022. This mandatory scheme will help architects demonstrate their commitment to continued learning throughout their professional lives, underpinning public confidence in the profession’s competence. I repeat here my firm belief that most architects, like all good professionals, are already engaging in substantial amounts of developmental activity. Our scheme will give us the task of monitoring what is happening, and perhaps enable the profession to give itself something of a health check.

We have a lot to do to prepare the system and our Registrants for this changeover. The proposed launch date of 2024 is fast approaching and so the publication of our detailed proposals, with draft guidance to help architects understand how it will work, was a key milestone in September 2022. This was followed by a three-month consultation on the scheme, which closed on 3 January 2023 with a record 1,350 responses. We are now getting ready to pilot the scheme, to see what works best before the formal launch.

Indeed, consultation and engagement are fundamental to our regulatory approach. We want to develop policies and processes that will make a genuine difference – for example, by embedding sustainability in architectural practice for future generations – and can be implemented in practice.  To do that, we have to hear from architects and a wide range of audiences, to make sure our work is based on expertise and to improve any of our proposals before they are finalised. We have been delighted to see our consultations and events reach ever-wider audiences. Our online events in 2022 were widely attended, with over 150 people joining us for a live Q&A on the CPD scheme.

I was also delighted to be able to hold ARB’s first ever in-person conference, the Education Symposium, at which we met over 60 educators and architects to discuss our fundamental review of architecture education and training – the first in as much as five decades. The year began with the analysis of 711 responses to our engagement survey, which formed the basis of new draft proposals. Our early ideas were scrutinised at the Symposium, with useful sessions on the future regulatory framework, and on the competencies that should form the basis of qualifications.

Importantly, the new framework is intended to create a more open and accessible profession, offering more – and more flexible – routes to anyone who aspires to become an architect. To aid the development of our thinking, we visited several schools of architecture, and I was enthused by the dedication of the professors and Heads of School who kindly welcomed me. By the end of the year either the Chief Executive or I had visited Bath, Brighton, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Reading, Robert Gordon, Salford, Ulster and UWE. As 2022 came to a close, final preparations were under way to launch a major consultation in February 2023.

It is essential that any regulator’s processes are robust and fair. Important changes in our regulatory processes were made throughout 2022. They include the publication of new rules and guidance in support of an efficient disciplinary system, and improvements to the examination process and candidate experience, alongside working with institutions in architecture education to simplify the submission of pass list information for those registering for the first time.

This was also a year of positive internal change at ARB with a new set of staff values and behaviours developed and implemented, with staff choosing four key values: collaboration, innovation, commitment, and each other. I cannot hope to list here all the work of our dedicated team, but other projects on which we made notable progress include our programme to build a more robust and resilient IT infrastructure that will ensure secure data can be managed more effectively, and work on mutual recognition agreements, as part of our new international routes to registration. Below, you can see facts and figures demonstrating the progress we made across all our strategic objectives.

I want to end by welcoming the new Board members, thanking the Board for their service and thanking ARB’s hard-working staff for their dedication and application during a fantastically productive year.


Alan Kershaw, ARB Chair

We made great strides to improve our core regulatory services, particularly registration where we met or exceeded all our key performance indicators throughout the year.

Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar

Read the Chief Executive's foreword to the Annual Report


This year’s annual report covers the first year of our bold and ambitious Corporate Strategy 2022-26. Against our five key priority areas we have made excellent progress and delivered on most of the commitments we set out in our Business Plan 2022. The five priority areas are:

  • Continuous improvement in our regulatory services
  • Modernising the Education and Training of architects
  • Delivering a new system of Continuing Professional Development for architects
  • Transforming our systems, processes, and technology
  • Investing in our people and building a positive and inclusive culture based on shared values and behaviours.

We made great strides to improve our core regulatory services, particularly registration where we met or exceeded all our key performance indicators throughout the year. We completed a full statutory consultation on a new system of Continuing Professional Development for architects and we remain on course to launch this later in 2023 with a roll-out in 2024. The Board also approved proposals for consultation on major reforms to the initial education and training of architects which will be subject to consultation in 2023.

One of the most challenging operational areas for ARB has been our ageing IT infrastructure and the need to replace our legacy application systems. In 2022 we began a major IT Transformation Programme which will deliver enhanced IT security and enable us to deliver improvements in our service to architects. By moving away from paper-based manual processing we will improve delivery efficiencies for ARB and foster a much better working environment for staff.

One of our most notable successes in 2022 has been the investment in our people and culture change. We have brought in new performance management framework and pay structure, co-created new ARB values with our staff and overhauled many of our HR policies and procedures. We saw sickness absence fall and a staff turnover drop of 24% in 2021 to just 9% in 2022.

Looking ahead to 2023, subject to the outcomes of our statutory consultation, the Board will be asked to approve new competency outcomes for those studying and training to be architects, alongside a new set of standards for education providers and a new risk-based accreditation methodology. If approved, we expect implementation of the new requirements to be phased in over a number of years from 2023 with students starting courses delivering to new learning outcomes from 2025.

We were also scheduled to sign new Mutual Recognition Agreements with regulatory colleagues in the United States, as well as Australia and New Zealand. These agreements will provide a much simpler and more affordable route to registration for UK architects wanting to work overseas as well as international architects wishing to take up employment in the UK. These landmark agreements are designed to uphold public safety – through robust analysis of qualifications and quality assurance in those jurisdictions – as well as supporting UK businesses.

Looking beyond 2023 we will manage the introduction of the new CPD framework, review our new UK Adaptation Assessment and conduct a full review of the ARB Prescribed Examination. We aim to publish a new updated Code of conduct in 2024 after extensive engagement with the public and the profession. In 2024 we should complete our organisational Transformation Programme, where all architects will be able to access ARB registration services through a ‘self-serve’ model, and we will be in a much better position to capture, analyse and publish data and insights into the profession and the sector.

We have made good progress within ARB to ensure we are an organisation which values and supports equality, diversity and inclusion. But we know we have much more to do, both ensuring that, in particular, our Board and network of associates better reflect society and also that we are continuing to promote professionalism and quality within the profession.


Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar

Departmental Updates

Accreditation (Qualifications)

Qualifications delivered by 65 institutions

Qualifications renewed, delivered by 18 institutions

(30 qualifications renewed across 12 institutions in 2021)

New qualifications accredited for delivery by 5 institutions

(10 qualifications accredited across 9 institutions in 2021)

Qualifications monitored across 62 institutions

(147 qualifications monitored across 53 institutions in 2021)

In 2022, we notified RIAI of:

New qualifications

Changes to existing award titles

Governance and International

MRAs under development with 4 partner organisations

Architects Council of Europe

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

Architects Accreditation Council of Australia

New Zealand Registered Architects Board

MoUs under development with 3 partner organisations

Architects Registration Board Hong Kong

Architects Accreditation Council of Australia

New Zealand Registered Architects Board

Active MoU

Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Professional Standards

Complaints received

(160 in 2021)

Complaints resolved without the need for formal action

(101 in 2021)

Complaints referred to the Professional Conduct Committee

(38 in 2021)

Incidents of title misuse investigated

(326 in 2021)

Complaints referred for investigation

(59 in 2021)


(5 in 2021)


(1 in 2021)


Architects on the Register

(42,170 in 2021)

Architects removed from the Register

(2,218 in 2021)

  • 67 deaths
  • 1,107 resignations
  • 1,656 architects removed for non-payment of annual fee

New admissions from the UK route

(1,182 in 2021)


Of UK admissions processed within 15 working days

New admissions from EU routes

(324 in 2021)


Of EU admissions processed within 15 working days



Expenditure 47% | Income 53%

(Same as in 2021)


Suppliers paid within 30 days

(85% in 2021)

Total permanent staff at year end

(36 at the end of 2021)

New hires

(13 in 2021)

Policy and Communications

Average audience for five issues of ARB Insight

(44,067 for six e-Bulletins in 2021)

Attendees for four online events and one symposium

(295 attendees for eight online events in 2021)

Followers on five social media channels

(38,989 in 2021)

Visits to

(352,202 in 2021)