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Proposed amendments to the Architects Registration Board’s (ARB’s) Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice

You are invited to comment on ARB’s proposed amendments to the Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice (the Code).

The Architects Act 1997 requires the Board to issue a Code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects. Section 13(2) provides that the Board ‘shall keep the Code under review and to vary its provisions whenever it considers it appropriate to do so’. The last review of the Code took place in November 2002 and the Board agreed that another review should now be undertaken.

The Code serves a dual purpose. It provides architects with a sound indicator of the principles of good practice and offers protection for the consumer by highlighting the standards that they can expect from the profession.
The Code functions as a source of guidance and as such, it does not seek to cover every possible situation that may arise. The proposed amendments are intended to be improvements to the current Code and consider what is thought to be good practice elsewhere. The proposals also reflect the overarching principles of some European wide codes that may be relevant, in particular the European Council of the Liberal Professions (CEPLIS) and the Architects Council of Europe (ACE) Deontological Code.

The proposed amendments to the Code were approved for consultation by the Board at its meeting on 18 September 2008. You are invited to comment on all the proposals, the key changes of which relate to the following:

  • The addition of an ‘at-a-glance’ guide detailing each of the twelve standards
  • The endorsement of recent changes to the Board’s guidance and FAQ’s concerning professional indemnity insurance
  • The inclusion of an additional standard making clear the need for equal and fair treatment of others
  • The strengthening and clarification of certain standards indicative of concerns expressed by both architects and consumers

The amended Code is set out in the response document provided. The document does not highlight every proposed alteration as there have been numerous changes in style, content and layout however, notes are included where relevant to identify reasons for any significant changes. The Guidance section that follows the Code can be found at Annex A, and a copy of the current Code is available on the ARB’s website should you wish to refer to the present version. We have also identified some key questions which we would welcome your responses on. The papers are also available to download from our website, www.arb.org.uk.  Details of how to respond to the Consultation are included within the Consultation Paper.

You are invited to submit your response no later than 5pm on Friday, 16 January 2009.

Yours Sincerely,

Tanya Grundy

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