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We have put together some information to help give students or anyone who is newly-qualified an idea of some of the benefits available to them as a registered architect.

Using the title “architect”

When you have successfully completed Parts 1, 2 and 3, or equivalent European qualifications, you can apply to join the Register of Architects. Being registered with ARB means that you can legally call yourself an architect.  It tells your clients and members of the public that you are a fully trained and qualified professional.

  • Once your registration has been completed, we will send you a letter and a pdf certificate confirming your registration. These will demonstrate to clients and others that they can have confidence in your status.
  • Your name, address and registration number will also automatically be added to our online register.  The register is available to the public through our website and allows members of the public to search for an architect in their area or check an architect’s registration.  Every architect has their own personal webpage, which you can enhance by adding your telephone and fax numbers and your email and website addresses making it easy for potential clients to contact you.  You can add these to your register webpage by clicking here or by emailing us at info@arb.org.uk

More than just a number…

As a registered architect you can apply for a Professionally Qualified Person card. This card is now available to architects through the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). This scheme was set up to help the construction industry to improve quality and reduce accidents.  CSCS cards are increasingly being asked for as proof of occupational competence by contractors, public and private clients and others.  As an architect registered with ARB, you can now apply for a white/yellow Professionally Qualified Person (PQP) card as evidence of your skills. For more information and details of how to apply, please visit the CSCS website at  www.cscs.uk.com

Your registration also entitles you to exemption from certain units of the energy assessor scheme. To be an energy assessor and produce energy certificates, you need to belong to an accreditation scheme, as well as having the appropriate qualifications or experience and learning. We have been liaising with two organisations working in this field: Building Research Establishment (BRE), which offers an accreditation scheme, and the Awarding Body for the Built Environment (ABBE), which offers qualifications.

We gave each organisation a summary of the skills contained in our criteria for architectural education and training, and evaluated these against the National Occupational Standard (NOS) used to define the skills for these roles. Having considered the information that we sent them, both organisations agreed to our request that they should recognise the relevant skills of architects. We are pleased to let you know that UK architects who wish to qualify either through BRE or ABBE are exempt from the following units of the NOS requirements.

CSR – ARB registration is an accepted route to an Architects card from the Construction Skills Register (CSR) of Northern Ireland.  Please see www.cefni.co.uk for more information.

BRE – Exemption from the NOS Unit 1 of the BRE Global Scheme for non-domestic energy assessor qualifications – please see www.bre.co.uk for more information

ABBE – Exemptions from the following units of ABBE qualifications:

  • Domestic Energy Awards – Units 1 and 2 of ABBE Dip HI and Dip DEA
  • Non-domestic Energy Awards – Unit 1 of Dip PCEA;  Dip NDEA L3; Dip NDE L4;  Dip DEC

Please see www.abbeqa.co.uk for more information

Professional obligations

Registration brings with it a number of professional obligations.  Foremost among these is that as an architect, you are expected to be guided by the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice. The Code contains 12 standards, ranging from honesty and integrity through to having respect for others.  It is a blueprint for good practice and a yardstick against which complaints about an architect’s conduct or competence are assessed.

You are also expected to have adequate and appropriate insurance cover, although if you are an employed architect this may be provided by your employer.  You should always check to see if this is the case.  Professional indemnity insurance is a very necessary part of a practice’s overheads because anyone who is carrying out professional work could potentially face a professional negligence claim.  We have issued some guidance on PII, and have put together some frequently asked questions. There is also a list of PII brokers/insurers on our website, although you should note that this is not an official approved list;  rather it is a list of companies who we know are active in the market.

Working in Europe and overseas

Registration also makes it easier for you to register as an architect in a different EEA country.  The Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) was drawn up to help professionals move easily between European member states.

However, this Directive does only apply to European member states.  If you want to work outside the UK and the EEA, the architects’ professional bodies in each country should be able to advise you of the requirements for that country, or where you can find further information.  Some countries require registration on a state-by-state basis, so you may need to be very precise about where you intend to practise.

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