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31 July 2017

The ARB has released the 2016 Annual Report which shows that there was a growth in demand for a number of its core regulatory functions.  At the end of 2016 the Register stood at 38,511, up over 1,500 on the 2015 year end figure of 36,932.  There were over 2,500 new admissions in 2016, of these 1,249 were UK applicants and 1,232 were EU applicants, with the remaining 26 gaining entry via the Prescribed Examination route.  The registration data also shows that new female applicants made up 44% of new admissions in 2016, up on the 42% recorded in the previous year.

ARB continues to deal effectively with professional conduct matters with the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) issuing 33 decisions in 2016 and the team disseminating key learnings from these cases via press releases and a regular information column in the ebulletin.  The cost of hearings increased as a consequence of longer and more complex cases. There has also been an increase in the active involvement of architects in both the regulatory process and defending of their cases, and a rise in their use of legal representation. There is a consent order process in place which can be used in certain circumstances, this allows ARB and the architect under investigation to reach a consensual decision by way of an agreed disciplinary sanction, without the need for a full PCC hearing.  In 2016, the data shows that 91% of all cases were upheld by the PCC.

Another key element of ARB’s regulatory role is to recognise the qualifications which lead to prescription, in this area the Board renewed prescription for 21 qualifications from nine institutions and awarded prescription of four new qualifications from four new institutions.

Whilst the data shows that the organisation’s online services are popular with users, the staff team also provided information and guidance to architects, applicants, students, members of the public and many other stakeholders at face to face meetings, exhibitions and events as well as on the telephone with ARB logging over 20,000 calls to its office during the 12 month period.

The report provides an overview of ARB’s regulatory role and work programme throughout 2016, setting out how the organisation has delivered on its objectives.

Nabila Zulfiqar, Chair of the ARB said, ‘The 2016 Annual Report contains a raft of interesting data. Notably, we saw a continuing upward trend in the size of the Register including an increase in the number of new female architects. New courses were prescribed and many other courses had prescription renewed. The data shows that demand for the regulator’s services remains strong in all areas.  The year ahead requires us to focus on the recommendations of the Government’s periodic review alongside delivering our statutory functions whilst continuously looking for efficiency and improvement opportunities. We will also provide the government with information and expertise on regulatory matters, in relation to the UK’s departure from the EU. During this time we remain committed to delivering our statutory remit, protecting the public and supporting the profession, through the maintenance of standards.

Karen Holmes, the Registrar and Chief Executive said, ‘The 2016 Annual Report provides our stakeholders with a detailed account of our work during 2016, outlining how we met our objectives to deliver on our regulatory role.  It is clear from the data that architects value their status as regulated professionals which is reflected by the growing number of admissions to the Register. We remain committed to further developing our relationships with consumer and client stakeholders, informing them about the Register and the role of the regulator to support informed decision making.’

Ends.

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Notes

The Annual Report 2016 can be found at 2016.arb.org.uk

A selection of the key numbers are set out below:

The year in numbers

  • 38,511 – At the end of December 2015 the Register stood at 38,511, the highest year end number to date.
  • 2,507 – There were 2,507 new admissions to the Register, which represents the largest number of new admissions in a single year since the present Act came into force.
  • 44 – Once again, the number of new female registrants was up on the previous year with women making up 44% of new admissions. 39% of admissions via the UK route were women and 49% of admissions via the EU route were women.
  • 1,232 – European admissions increased to 1,232; applicants from the EU represented 49% of all new admissions.
  • 22,018 – The staff team answered 22,018 telephone calls.
  • 53 – We gave 53 presentations to students in 2016.  21 were for Part 1 groups, 13 were for Part 2 groups and 19 were for Part 3 groups.  This is a key part of our work to inform students about the regulation of the profession.
  • 21 – We renewed prescription of 21 qualifications from nine institutions. Additionally, we granted prescription for the first time of four qualifications from four institutions.
  • 73 – The Investigations Committee issued 73 decisions and the Professional Conduct Committee issued 33 decisions.
  • 276 – There were 276 investigations into misuse of the title ‘architect’ under Section 20 of the Architects Act.
  • 5 – There were 5 successful prosecutions for misuse of the title ‘architect’.
  • 300,000 – We logged 300,000 sessions on the ARB website and 285,000 sessions on the online Register of Architects.

For further information please contact, Sandra Ison, Communications Lead on +44 (0) 20 7580 5861.

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