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Last year was the first year that gender parity was achieved among architects under 30, according to new statistics published by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) today in its 2019 Annual Report and Accounts.

While overall 71% of those on the Architects Register at the end of 2019 were male and 29% female, the gender split for architects under 30 was exactly 50/50.

ARB started collecting equality and diversity information for UK architects in 2012 and, as of 2019, held data for approximately 62% of the Register. Despite the gender parity among young architects, the overall figures for 2019 confirm continued serious diversity issues in the profession, including an indication that just 1% of architects are Black.

Other key statistics from the ARB Annual Report and Accounts include:

  • There were 42,547 architects on the Architects Register at the end of 2019, up from 41,170 the year before, an increase of just over 3%.
  • There were 2,368 new admissions to the Register in 2019
  • Removals from the Register were also up slightly on the year before, mostly linked to non-payment of the annual fee.
  • ARB issued 220% more proof of qualification/registration certificates than in 2018.
  • ARB handled 224 formalised complaints on architect conduct and competence, up from 174 the year before.
  • There were 741 complaints received about misuse of the title architect, 733 of those were resolved without the need for formal action and 8 led to prosecutions, including one which resulted in penalties totalling £24,318.

Alongside key facts and figures for the Architects Register and ARB’s regulatory activities, the report provides more information on ARB’s purpose and structure, regulatory impact, environmental impact and financial performance.

Key highlights included the approval of the first six qualifications for the delivery of architectural apprenticeships. ARB also carried out manual monitoring of 85 different qualifications, the prescription of 29 new qualifications, and gave 62 presentations to schools of architecture, more than one a week.

Another major initiative was ARB’s involvement in working group 7 of the Competency Steering Group and contribution to the Raising the Bar report on the competencies required by architects and building designers in relation to the fire safety of High Risk Residential Buildings. Work in this area is continuing in 2020.

Marc Stoner, acting Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“As well as the continued growth of the Architects Register, we experienced increased demand for our services in 2019, particularly in relation to the prescription of qualifications and requests for proof of registration and qualification certificates. I am grateful for the ARB team’s professionalism and hard work over the past year. At an organisational level, I’m also proud of our progress in becoming a Living Wage employer and making important improvements in our environmental sustainability.”

Alan Kershaw, temporary Chair of ARB said:

“Last year saw the arrival of a new, wholly appointed Board who oversaw early changes to ARB’s governance and committees in order to better align with current best practice. ARB maintained the smooth running of its operations throughout all this change, thanks to the excellent executive team and the support of its stakeholders. I know the team will show the same dedication to protecting the public and supporting the profession through the many challenges ahead, including the current issues posed by the pandemic, EU exit, the Grenfell tragedy, the climate emergency and ongoing efforts to increase diversity in architecture.”

—ENDS—

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Notes for Editors

o The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:

– Maintain the Architects Register
– Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
– Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
– Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
– Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
– Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects

o ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

o Prior to 2019, ARB’s Board was made up of 15 members. Seven architect members elected by their peers, eight lay members appointed by the Privy Council.

o ARB has an Information Pack detailing its key messaging intended for use by the press and other stakeholders.

For further information please contact Kate Howlett (ARB Communications Manager) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at media@arb.org.uk.

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