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Consultation on proposed changes to the Board’s General Rules


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.
The Act requires ARB (among other things) to:

  • Maintain the Register of Architects (Section 3)
  • Prescribe qualifications for entry to the Register of Architects (Section 4)
  • Deal with competence to practise (Section 9)
  • Issue a Code which lays down standards of professional conduct and practice (Section 13)
  • Regulate use of the title “architect” and prosecute those who use it unlawfully (Section 20)
  • Act as the UK Competent Authority for architects in Europe (Section 1A(1) ) 

Background to consultation

The Architects Registration Board has agreed to consult on revisions to a number of its General Rules following meetings on 7 April and 21 July 2011. To simplify the consultation process, they are being issued collectively, rather than separately after each Board meeting. The consultation will comply with ARB’s code of practice for consultation exercises.Purpose of consultation

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

Consultation documents

Please use the links below to access the consultation papers.  You can download a copy in Word or pdf format.

Consultation 2011/02:  Changes to General Rule 4

General Rule 4 covers meetings and proceedings of the Board. The proposed amendments re-order some of the provisions, update the terminology generally and provide for specific changes in four main areas.

  • Those who may call a special meeting of the Board and the notice required
  • Preparation, circulation and publication of the Agenda and open papers
  • Conduct and running of meetings including right of audience of the Registrar
  • Publication of Board members’ allowances and expenses

Consultation 2011/03:  Changes to General Rule 6

General Rule 6 covers the Election of Chair and Vice Chair to the Board. Much of this section remains unchanged apart from minor updates in terminology. One significant proposal is a change to the date of the election of the Chair and Vice Chair to avoid the situation where a member is elected as Chair but who is not then re-elected to the Board or ceases to hold office as an appointed member of the Board.

Consultation 2011/04:  Changes to General Rules 7 and 8

General Rules 7 and 8 set out procedures for the removal of members from the Board. The amendments include minor updates in terminology and the incorporation of Rule 8 within Rule 7 at 7ii. and 7v

Consultation 2011/05:  Changes to General Rule 10

General Rule 10 relates to Committees, their membership and procedures. The proposed amendments provide greater clarity in relation to the Board’s role in the appointment of committee members and provide an update to reflect changes made to the Board Handbook.

Consultation 2011/06:  Changes to General Rules 11

General Rule 11 refers to the documents which must be submitted in order to apply for registration. The proposed changes ensure that the Rule applies to both first time registration and subsequent rejoining or readmission to the Register.

Consultation 2011/07:  Changes to General Rule 13(a) and Schedule 2

General Rule 13(a) defines the qualifications prescribed by the Board under section 4 (1)(a) of the Act which relates to Registration. Schedule 2 lists the qualifications prescribed by the Board at any one time. Minor amendments are proposed to reflect current practice and in the case of Schedule 2, to provide further clarity.

Consultation 2011/08:  Changes to General Rule 15

General Rule 15 refers to fees which may be payable under section 6 of the Act which covers registration, examination and European certificates. Minor changes are proposed to modernise the language.

Consultation 2011/09:  Changes to General Rules 16, 17 and 18

General Rules 16, 17 and 18 cover retention fees. Some minor changes are proposed to reflect current practice and to update the language used. In addition, under Rule 17, it is proposed that architects pay their retention fees before the start of the calendar year for which the fee is due, and that the timescale within which payment must be made is reduced from 90 days to 60 days. These proposals will:

  • clarify the registered status of architects on the Register at any point in the year;
  • eliminate the unfair advantage enjoyed by some architects effectively to benefit from a free, three-month period of registration, before resigning or being removed for non-payment; and
  • continue with the streamlining process, which saves costs and helps to keep the retention fee at a low level.

In addition to the proposed changes to the Rules, the Board is seeking feedback on its plans to amend the fee collection timetable.  The Board is particularly interested in your views on whether the prescribed period of 60 days is the right model, or whether the more familiar 30-day payment terms should apply.  Full information on the changes can be found below.

Consultation 2011/10:  Changes to General Rule 19

General Rule 19 sets out what is required from those applying to be removed from the Register. The proposed changes make it clear that refunds will not be provided for those who request their removal from the Register.

Consultation 2011/11:  Changes to General Rules 22, 24 and 24A

General Rules 22, 24 and 24A cover re-entry to the Register.

  • The proposed change to Rule 22 permits the Board to vary the prescribed period permitted under section 18(3) of the Act which relates to re-entry following erasure.
  • The proposed changes to Rule 24 reflect proposed changes to Rule 11.
  • It is proposed that Rule 24A be removed. This Rule provided for a third party review where an application which is not subject to an appeal through the Courts, is rejected by the Board. All routes to registration are now subject to appeal through the Courts.

Consultation 2011/12:  Changes to General Rule 25

General Rule 25 sets out the information required by the Board under section 20(3) of the Act which covers use of the title ‘architect’ by bodies corporate, firms or partnerships. The proposed amendments reflect the current position and update the terminology.

Contact details

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

Elaine Stowell
Qualifications Executive
8 Weymouth Street
London W1W 5BU

t. 020 7580 5861
f. 020 7436 5269

Please let us have these by no later than 5 pm on Friday 21 October 2011.  Any that are received once this deadline has passed will not be included in the consultation response.

Please direct any queries to:

Elaine Stowell –
Emma Matthews –

Alternatively, you can telephone the office on 020 7580 5861.

We will publish the results of the consultations on our website, along with any responses that we might make once the Board has given its final approval to the changes.

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