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Please abolish the Architect’s Registration Board

Comment 1st July 2010

The Architects Registration Board (Arb) only recognises EU architectural qualifications and does not recognise the foreign (mostly Commonwealth) Royal Insitute of British Architects (RIBA) validated schools degrees.

This means that Commonwealth RIBA validated degrees have to sit the very expensive (£3000) exams, which are imposed by the Architects Act 1997, in order for their degrees to be recognised in the UK.

Added to this, UK and Commonwealth graduates are required to sit the Part 3 examination, whereas our EU counterparts are exempt, making it very easy for EU graduates to register as "architects" but very difficult for Commonwealth graduates, even if RIBA validated.

To further inflame the situation, most of the Arb examiners are indeed RIBA members, which means that Commonwealth RIBA validated degrees have to be examined by RIBA members, within the Arb, when these examiners are morally and ethically obliged to recognise these degrees, due to their RIBA membership and RIBA degree validation.

This mess was created by the Labour Government's poorly written and implimented "Architects Registration Act of 1997" and has caused considerable discomfort within an already impoverished profession. Believe it or not, but architects suffer from very low pay and long hours.

Please repeal this law and hand any consumer issues over to the RIBA so as to not duplicate functions and domains within the architectural profession. 

Why does this matter?

Money and unrequired duplication of control could be saved as the RIBA has the interests of Architects and Architecture at heart, trying to raise the awareness of this essential socially based, place making skill.

Architects are already very poorly paid, due to the profession having to "bid" for work, quite unlike any of the other professions.

The Arb has cost the tax payer money whle has done very little to protect "title" or the consumer, imposes harsh regimes onto the profession, is "Police, Judge and Jury" of the Register, and interprets the Architects Act 1997 in a manner to validate its own interests.

The Arb board seem to be a law unto themselves, due to the nature of the legislation that created it. It is profoundly undemocratic, unaccountable and unrepresentative.   

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