Changes to the Architects Act

PDP_Architects Act

A new recognition system to acknowledge architecture qualifications from around the world will be implemented as part of the Professional Qualifications Bill.

The Architects Act 1997 is the legislation under which the Architects Registration Board (ARB) regulates architects in the UK. In 2020 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consulted on changes to that legislation. MHCLG has now published the Government’s response to that consultation.

The response states the Government’s intention to introduce new roles for ARB through the Building Safety Bill, which is soon to be introduced in Parliament to take forward important changes across the built environment sector to improve public safety. The new Professional Qualifications Bill introduced on 12 May 2021 also introduces changes to ARB’s role that were consulted on by MHCLG. The Professional Qualifications Bill takes forward changes to the way in which international qualifications are recognised, following the UK’s Exit from the European Union.

Siegfried Doering, a Senior Architect at Planning & Design Practice Ltd, who began his career in architecture in Germany commented on the new system:

“This new approach will hand over architects’ quality and skill check back to the UK professional bodies and will improve equality amongst the profession and customer protection.”

MHCLG’s response to the consultation has confirmed the following changes to the way architects are regulated:

  • ARB will have the power to monitor the way architects manage their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • ARB will be able to publicly list disciplinary orders against an architect on the register, to help increase public confidence.
  • Architects will have an option to appeal certain disciplinary decisions made by ARB.
  • ARB will be able to introduce new charges to cover the cost of specific new responsibilities determined by the Government in future regulations.
  • ARB will be able to decide whether certain international qualifications can offer an equivalent level of architectural skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours necessary for practice in the UK, so that architects with those qualifications can join the UK register.

This forms part of ongoing reforms to improve the competence of professionals across the built environment sector, who have a responsibility for designing, constructing and managing homes and buildings.

These reforms also build on major legislative improvements being made by government in relation to fire and building safety.

The new legal powers should be in place for the whole profession before 2023.

At Planning & Design Practice we believe that good design is a crucial part of the planning process. Getting the design of a project right is critical to gaining a successful planning consent and avoiding unnecessary delay and costs.

Our team of RIBA Chartered Architects and Architectural Assistants have a wealth of experience working with homeowners, developers and the public sector, both here in the UK, across Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

We can help you to establish your brief and work through your design ideas, whilst bringing solutions to make your building a successful place to live or work in.

Our architectural team are based across Derby, Matlock, Macclesfield and Sheffield. For more information, or to discuss your dream project please get in touch.

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