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Today ARB launches its Call for Evidence and Architects’ Survey, two strands of its wider research programme to inform the review of its regulatory model and architects’ competence.

This research is part of one of the largest projects ARB has conducted and will inform ARB’s review of what the standard of entry to the Architects Register, and competences to remain on it, should be to meet the challenges of the future.

As well as defining the competences, the review will support the development of the regulatory processes needed to ensure they are met.

The full programme of research includes:

  • A Call for Evidence open to any interested party
  • A survey emailed to all UK architects
  • A survey of employers of architects
  • Qualitative interviews with a sample of staff and students from Schools of Architecture
  • Consultations with other stakeholders such as relevant professional groups, client groups and insurers
  • Workshops to test the research findings

Architects’ Survey

This seeks insight into the experiences of architects as well as their views on their current role and changes within the profession.

It will remain open until 18 September at noon.  Invitations to the survey have been sent to all UK architects who have listed an email address with ARB.

Call for Evidence

This seeks views and evidence from all interested parties on whether the current Criteria (educational standards) remain fit for purpose, and whether current systems are effective in ensuring architects remain sufficiently competent as long as they are registered.

It will remain open until 23 October 2020 at noon.  Further information can be found on our website – Call for Evidence.

ARB started the process of designing the research and appointing lead consultants SQW earlier this year.  The research will provide the vital evidence base to underpin the Competence Review. The real experiences of architects, employers, clients, stakeholders, academics and students are therefore central to this important piece of work.

Alan Kershaw, Acting Chair of ARB, said: “This is a vital review for ARB and for UK architects at a time of rapid change and development. We are determined to maintain an effective regulatory system that enables the profession to thrive and assures the public of architects’ competence.

“In addition to COVID-19, the profession have had to confront the many technological, material, environmental, educational and political factors which have evolved since we last reviewed the Criteria in 2010.

This review must be grounded on a robust evidence base, which is why we have invested in this programme of research.

Marc Stoner, Acting Chief Executive of ARB, said: “The review and research is timed to define how to take forward the legislative power to monitor competence which is due to come in at the end of 2021. This must be based on the real experiences, challenges and opportunities of 21st century architects.  To all interested parties, I would really encourage you to contribute your views and comments to help us shape the future of our regulation.”

SQW will report on findings in early in 2021, after which ARB will progress the next stages of the review.


Notes for Editors

o 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.

o 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

o 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.

o 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) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at