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The retention fee funds the delivery of our statutory functions.  At September’s Board meeting, the Board decided the retention fee for 2019 should be increased from £107 to £111.  This is the first fee increase since 2015.

The fee is set by our Board who take into consideration our statutory responsibilities, 3 Year Strategic Plan and Business Plan as well as ARB’s other financial commitments when making their decision.  The level of the fee is considered very carefully and every effort is made to balance the impact on the profession and our requirement to deliver our statutory responsibilities under the Architects Act.

The fee is the main source of income for funding our regulatory activities.  We are able to charge for a small number of other activities, including the Prescribed Examination and applications to join and re-join the Register, which we currently do on a cost recovery basis only.  Money raised from misuse of title and architect disciplinary fines are paid to the HM Treasury, not ARB.  In the area of title regulation we can only attempt to recover legal costs, a small fraction of the total expenditure of action, which is not always possible to recover from the defendant.

The retention fee has been increased for 2019 as a result of two factors.  A portion will cover part of the costs of developing our work regulating the use of the title and raising awareness of the Register.  Another portion covers the additional funds required in 2018 for unanticipated work demands including responding to Hackitt Review recommendations, planning and preparation for our exit from the EU and high level explorations of Mutual Recognition Agreements.  It will help ensure we have sufficient funds to operate and financial security as we respond to work demands.

Architects are the only regulated profession in the built environment.  By paying the fee to remain on the Register an architect is able to use the title ‘architect’ and provide reassurance to their clients by highlighting their registered, and regulated, status.  The fee also enables us to maintain standards, and therefore trust, in the profession through our work prescribing qualifications as well as issuing and enforcing the Architects Code.  In addition it funds our work to raise awareness of the Register, a valuable tool the public can use to check that an individual is a genuine professional.

—ENDS—

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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:

  • 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)

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.

Further information about the retention fee can be found in our dedicated FAQs here.

For further information, please contact Kate Howlett, Communications Lead on 020 7580 5861 or by email at KateH@arb.org.uk.

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