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The Architects’ Registration Board confirmed at its Board meeting today that its annual retention fee would increase by £6.50 in 2014. This is in line with the forecast made a year ago and takes the total to £105.

Speaking after the Board meeting, Beatrice Fraenkel, ARB Chair, said:

“We are conscious of the desirability of keeping down costs and are making every effort to do so, while meeting our statutory objectives. The ARB’s retention fee remains below the level set by many other regulatory bodies.

As ARB becomes better known and understood and the Register continues to grow, there is greater demand on our resources and inevitably upward cost pressure. We continue to achieve efficiencies and are seeking to mitigate cost increases further by offering more self-service through improved technology, in areas such as online registration and payment facilities. This itself requires investment, but we can already see increased customer satisfaction about the registration process as a result of the self-service options we have offered to date.

In the coming year, there will be a yet greater workload arising from the Government’s Periodic Review and from initial work on considering implementation of the EU Professional Qualifications Directive (PQD), so that overall we will need to add temporarily to management resource.

Our principal responsibilities are to protect the users and potential users of architects’ services and to support architects through regulation, and we constantly strive to deliver value to all our stakeholders while fulfilling these objectives.”

Other fee changes coming into effect in 2014 are:

  • a decrease of £10 in the fee payable (excluding the retention fee element) by applicants wishing to rejoin the Register, made possible by streamlined back office and online systems which reduce the cost of processing applications of this nature
  • an increase, from £230 to £300, in the fee payable by individuals when an application for a prescribed examination is referred to a lead examiner. This reflects the underlying costs of the process and this fee has not been changed since 2008.

The ARB agreed in its 2014 Business Plan to scope a fundamental review of the routes to registration rather than to implement the project in full, owing to resource constraints arising from the timing of the Periodic Review, the need to consider the PQD and an overall growing workload. The project would explore whether registration should continue to be qualifications-based and whether alternative methods would widen access to the Register while maintaining standards of competence.

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Further information: Alison Carr, Registrar and Chief Executive, 020 7580 5861

Notes for Editors 

ARB has prepared a series of frequently asked questions about the retention fee. Click here to read.

ARB is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. The Act requires ARB (among other things) to:

• Maintain the Register of Architects (Section 3)

• Prescribe qualifications for entry to the Register of Architects (Section 4)

• Deal with competence to practise (Section 9)

• Issue a Code which lays down standards of professional conduct and practice (Section 13)

• Regulate use of the title “architect” and prosecute those who use it unlawfully (Section 20)

ARB has a Board of 15 members, which is responsible for delivering the Architects Act in the public interest.  Membership of the Board is composed of seven architects who are elected by the profession, and eight members of the public who are appointed by the Privy Council.

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