Our core objectives are to protect the users and potential users of architects’ services, and to support architects through regulation. To achieve these objectives the public must have confidence that the regulatory system in place ensures UK architects are competent to provide architectural services.
UK architects are in the unique position of being the only statutorily regulated profession in the built environment, a rapidly changing sector. It is vital the regulatory system aids, not hampers, the profession’s ability to meet the demands of the 21st century marketplace. To do this we must prepare architects for the challenge of producing safe, sustainable architecture in a way that maintains public confidence in the profession, while maintaining a proportionate system that doesn’t restrict fair access to the profession.
To ensure our regulatory system protects the public and supports the profession, we will carry out a review of architects’ competence. The review will use research and widespread engagement with stakeholders to consider what the standard of entry to the Architects Register should be, and what skills and knowledge are required to remain on the Register. As well as defining these competences, the review will support the development of the regulatory processes needed to ensure they are met.
The review will be carried out through two discrete but linked activities.
We will conduct research into methods of registration and regulation that could be applied to architects in the future. The research will look at how architects are registered in other countries, and the standards required of other UK professionals to join and remain on their respective registers. It will also seek evidence of any flaws there may be within our current regulatory model and consider how they may be addressed.
At the same time we will engage with stakeholders, acting as a catalyst for a conversation about the modern role of the profession and the competences required by the next generation of architects. We will seek a wide range of views on the standards architects should meet and maintain, how this could be regulated and how to maintain public trust in architects’ competence over their working lives.
At the conclusion of these two activities, we will consider how best to reform the standards for entry to the Register and for maintaining registration. We will identify and scrutinise the most appropriate model of regulation to ensure it is robust, fair and proportionate.
We envisage that the review will take three years to complete and will be followed by an implementation period.
Year One (2020) will be entirely committed to acquiring sufficient information to allow evidence based decisions to be made on the standards of entry to the Register, the maintenance of competence and the processes that assure this.
Years Two (2021) and Three (2022) will be spent formalising the competences required for entering and remaining on the Register, determining how evidence of those competences should be sought and demonstrated, and developing regulatory systems to facilitate this.
Research company appointed
Research company SQW was appointed to seek evidence from key stakeholders on the competence of architects and potential new regulatory models.