Following the Professional Standards team’s preliminary work on a complaint, it is referred to an Investigations Panel to consider. The role of the Investigations Panel is to look at whether there are issues of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence that are sufficiently serious for the architect to have a case to answer at a Professional Conduct Committee (PCC)hearing.
We have put together the following Guidance Notes setting out how the Investigations Panel considers complaints.
The Investigations Panel is drawn from an Investigations Pool made up of seven people, a mix of architects and members of the public. A Panel of three people from the Investigations Pool will be selected to consider the complaint. Of the three people that consider a complaint, one is an architect and the remaining two are members of the public. Where necessary, for example if a case is complex or technical, the Panel can ask one of the Board’s solicitors or architect Inquirers to assist them with their investigation.
After considering the complaint, the Investigations Panel will either:
- dismiss the complaint; or
- give the architect advice about their future conduct; or
- refer the complaint to the PCC.
The Investigations and Professional Conduct Committee Rules set out the Investigations Pool’s terms of reference and procedures.
Current membership of the Investigations Pool is:
- Patrick Bligh-Cheesman (lay member)
- Yvonne Brown (lay member)
- Sarah Cawley-Wilkinson (lay member)
- Karol Sanderson (lay member)
- Gillian Seager (lay member)
- Gordon Gibb (architect member)
- Robert Tinsley (architect member)
- Julian Owen (architect member)
Third Party Review
Third party review is available for certain of ARB’s proceses, including Investigations Committee decisions. The review looks at whether the Board’s procedures were followed properly and fairly, and whether they were efficient and appropriate. Third party review cannot overturn a decision – only the courts can do that – but it can be used to assess whether a decision was properly reached.