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Consultation on proposed changes to the Investigation and Professional Conduct Committee Rules

Consultation paper 2018/01

Open date:  10 September 2018

Closing date:  26 October 2018

The Architects Registration Board (“ARB”) 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 ARB has agreed to hold a consultation exercise following its proposals to amend the Investigation and Professional Conduct Committee Rules (“the Rules”).  The consultation will comply with ARB’s Consultations Code of Practice(5)

Purpose of consultation
The Architects Act 1997 (“the Act”) requires ARB to investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence made against architects on the Register of Architects. Where those investigations conclude that the architect has a case to answer to the allegation(s), they must be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee (“PCC”) for it to decide whether they are guilty, and if so whether they should have a disciplinary sanction imposed against them. Aside from the Act, the framework for how ARB investigates complaints is set out in the Rules.

In 2017 ARB ran a pre-consultation seeking feedback on its existing Rules, the responses from which were shared with the Board. Following that process the Board has proposed a number of changes to the way in which investigations are undertaken and the way in which the PCC operates. These are reflected in proposed changes to the Rules, a copy of which is attached to this consultation pack.

The key changes to the Rules are summarised as follows:

  • Allow for expert advisors to assist with the investigation of complaints about architects at all stages of the investigation process.
  • Allow the Investigations Panel the discretion to issue a preliminary or final decision in accordance with developed guidance.
  • Allow ARB staff to prepare reports for the PCC in suitable cases.
  • Remove the requirement for a Clerk to the PCC, and transfer the necessary powers to the legally qualified PCC Chair.
  • Extend the period of notice given to architects before a PCC hearing from 42 to 49 days.
  • Extend the period for receiving the respondent’s defence from 14 to 21 days prior to the hearing.
  • Allow for the PCC Chair to require the parties to engage in a pre-hearing, case-management meeting.
  • Allow both the ARB and the architect the opportunity to make closing submissions at the conclusion of the evidence at a PCC hearing.

Before deciding on any course of action in relation to the above proposed changes, it is important that we have as wide a range of views as possible.

Consultation documents

Please use the links below to access the consultation documents

Consultation response form

Download Microsoft Word version

Download PDF version

Proposed Investigation and Professional Conduct Committee Rules

Download PDF version with tracked changes

Download PDF final version

Equality Monitoring form

Download PDF version

Download Microsoft Word version

 Contact details

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

Helen Ransome

Investigations Manager


8 Weymouth Street

London W1W 5BU

  1. 020 7580 5861
  2. 020 7436 5269


We would appreciate any views or comments you might have on the proposed changes. Please let us have these by no later than 26 October 2018. If you have any queries about any aspect of this consultation exercise, please contact or call us on 020 7580 5861. We will publish a summary of all responses on our website once the Board has considered them.

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