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On 16 November 2015, Mr Neil Geddes of Ventnor, Isle of Wight was ordered to pay over £2,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to misusing the title ‘architect’, in breach of the Architects Act 1997.

The Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Geddes continued to use the title on a planning application form and in the title block of the planning drawing despite no longer being registered.

After taking into account his guilty plea, the Court fined Mr Geddes £440, and ordered him to pay a further £1,594 to ARB in costs, a victim surcharge of £44, and a criminal court’s charge of £150.

A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said:

‘For an individual to continue to use the title whilst not on the Register undermines the regulatory purpose of the Architects Act. Mr Geddes chose to ignore the legal restrictions surrounding the use of the title and the Court demonstrated a willingness to protect the public from those illegally calling themselves an architect. Anyone wishing to use the services of an architect should check the Register of Architects at www.architects-register.org.uk ‘

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Notes for Editors

ARB is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. The Act requires ARB, among other things, to regulate use of the title “architect” and to take action when it is being used unlawfully (Section 20).

ARB has a Board of 15 members, seven of whom are architects elected by the profession. The remaining eight are members of the public appointed by the Privy Council to represent the interests of consumers and users of architectural services.

The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine (and related costs) after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.

For further information, please contact Simon Howard, Professional Standards Manager, on 020 7580 5861, or by email on simonh@arb.org.uk.

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