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Consultation on IC and PCC Rules

Consultation paper 2010/02

Proposed amendments to the Investigations Rules and Professional Conduct Committee Rules

Open date:  Wednesday 1 September 2010

Closing date:  Wednesday 1 December 2010

Introduction

The Architects Registration Board was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK.  We are an independent public interest body, and our work in regulating architects ensures that good standards within the profession are consistently maintained for the benefit of the public and architects alike.

Background to consultation

The Architects Registration Board has agreed to hold a consultation exercise following its decision to make amendments to the Investigations Rules and Professional Conduct Committee Rules.  The consultation will comply with ARB’s code of practice for consultation exercises.

Purpose of consultation

Before formalising this, it is important that we have as wide a range of views as possible.  This input will assist the Board in its final consideration of the revised Rules before they are implemented. We would therefore appreciate any views or comments you might have on the proposed changes.

The Architects Act 1997 (the Act) places a duty on the Board to investigate allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence and the Investigations Rules and Professional Conduct Committee Rules are created under Schedule 1 Part III and Section 14 (6) of the Act.

The Rules set out the procedure by which complaints about architects are investigated by the Board, to ensure that a robust and fair disciplinary procedure is followed and that consumers have confidence in the Board’s investigation of complaints.  The current version of the Rules was last updated in March 2004 and has now been reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose and compatible with current regulatory law. The Board agreed to issue the amended Rules for consultation at its Board meeting on 22 July 2010.

The main proposed change is an increase in the membership of the Investigations Committee. The aim of this proposed change is for the Investigations Committee to be able to efficiently deal with absences and conflicts of interest and to assist with the division of a substantial workload.

The remaining amendments largely relate to streamlining the disciplinary process and to take into account legal advice on best practice and current regulatory law.

A table containing the proposed amendments, with space for your comments where relevant is available to view in the Consultation Response form listed below.  Whilst this does not show every individual amendment, the substantive changes have been included.  The amended Rules in their entirety can be found attached at appendix A and the existing version at appendix B.

We would appreciate any views or comments you might have on the proposed changes. Please let us have these by no later than 5pm on 1 December 2010.  If you have any queries about any aspect of this consultation exercise, please contact simonh@arb.org.uk, or call us on 020 7580 5861.  We will publish a summary of all responses on our website once the Board has considered them.

Consultation documents

Please use the links below to access the consultation papers.  You can either complete them online, or you can download a copy in Word or pdf format.

Contact details

Responses can be sent to us by email, fax or post, and should be addressed to:

Simon Howard
Professional Standards Manager
simonh@arb.org.uk
ARB
8 Weymouth Street
London W1W 5BU

t. 020 7580 5861
f. 020 7436 5269

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