About ARB

Chair's foreword

2011 has been a year where it was very much "business as usual" for the Board and its committees as we continued to deliver our statutory responsibilities under the Architects Act 1997.

The economic climate is still very much to the forefront of our minds when we make decisions, particularly where those decisions directly affect architects. Many practices - from small to large - are having to weather the additional pressures brought about by the downturn in the economy. It is therefore important for us as their regulator to maintain a dialogue with RIBA and other professional bodies to ensure that we keep abreast of the difficulties that the profession is facing. As Chair, I find it particularly helpful to meet a wide range of representatives from our stakeholder bodies. This gives me a valuable understanding and insight into current and potential issues, which I am then able to share with the Board.

As mindful as we are of the needs of architects, as a public body we must also balance these with the needs of the public. It is a key tenet for any regulator to act in the public interest if public confidence in the profession it is regulating is to be maintained. I believe we have achieved this balance through our work in setting and maintaining standards both for entry to the Register and remaining on the Register. This work will stand us in good stead for the Government's triennial review of ARB in 2013.

Also placing us in a strong position is our expertise in all things European. As you will read further on in this report, we have made amazing progress in advancing the UK's interests against some fairly strong opposition at times. Our robust approach ensures that UK architects will continue to benefit from the opportunities that Europe has to offer, and that their ARB-prescribed qualifications ensure that they receive automatic recognition in any of the European member states.

In my Foreword last year, I reported on the efficiency measures that we had implemented. There has been no let-up in our drive to secure even more efficiencies, and I was very pleased that we were able to keep the retention fee at £80 for the second year running. Much of the success for this initiative is due to ARB's loyal and committed staff, all of whom work tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of our operations. My thanks go to them and to our Registrar, Alison Carr, for keeping all the plates spinning.

Finally, I must take this opportunity to thank the Board for their hard work during 2011. I was immensely proud to be re-elected as Chair, and I am grateful to them for their support throughout the year. They are all busy people but they give generously of their time and expertise, and I thank them for their unfailing enthusiasm and dedication to ARB.
Alison Carr
Beatrice Fraenkel
Chair, ARB
divide Beatrice Fraenkel

"Our robust approach ensures that UK architects will continue to benefit from the opportunities that Europe has to offer"

Registrar's report

2011 has been a year of bringing projects and improvements to the way we work to fruition. We have made a number of changes to our Rules and processes, aimed at improving what we do. Keeping our Rules under regular review and consulting on any changes with a wide range of stakeholders - including architects - reflects the importance of continuously looking at the way we work to deliver the Act, to make sure we are following good practice and working in the most efficient way.

We agreed changes to the annual retention fee collection period after consulting widely on the proposals. Currently, architects can remain on the Register effectively for free for the first three months of the year. Their name is removed from the Register if they then choose to resign or if they fail to pay the fee, but they will have enjoyed free use of the title "architect" for three months. This is potentially misleading for members of the public, and unfair on those architects who pay their fee on time. We believe that the shorter collection period will encourage architects to pay promptly, and reduce the significant number of architects who forget to pay, given the four-month period between issuing the fee invoice and the final payment date. The Board also agreed to a new cut-off date for paying the fee, which will be introduced over a two-year transition period. We will issue details about these changes nearer the time.

In readiness for the 2012 election of architects to the Board, we began the long build up to the start of the election by reviewing and updating the electoral scheme that governs the election. The review was largely informed by the 2009 election, and created a fairer system for those architects who declared themselves as candidates. The revised scheme was approved by the Privy Council in good time to circulate the formal notice of election to the profession.

One of our notable successes in 2011 was to gain approval for ARB-prescribed qualifications to be listed or updated for automatic recognition under the Qualifications Directive. This followed the introduction of a new system for notifying qualifications at European level, and it was important to secure approval for the first batch of qualifications not only for the schools and institutions of architecture and their students, but also for generating confidence in the UK system across other EU member states. Currently, our policy is for all ARB-prescribed qualifications to be successfully listed at European level. Students holding prescribed qualifications entitling them to register with ARB will therefore have automatic recognition across the European Economic area, helping to facilitate the free movement of UK-qualified architects throughout Europe.

We devoted a considerable amount of time to developing our systems to make things easier for anyone using our services. In 2011, we began a project to raise the profile of the Register, which is continuing into 2012. Our online forms have been improved, and we have strongly encouraged architects to use the online facilities to update their details and pay the retention fee. The online systems are safe, convenient and easy to use, and allow architects to keep their entry in the Register up to date much more quickly than through the more traditional methods of email and letter.

Of course, none of this would be possible if it weren't for our team of hard working and dedicated staff. They continue to approach their task with enthusiasm, and demonstrate a level of commitment that would be hard to match. Both the Board and I thank them for once again delivering an excellent service to our stakeholders throughout 2011.
Alison Carr
Alison Carr
Registrar and Chief Executive
divide Beatrice Fraenkel

"2011 has been a year of bringing projects and improvements to the way we work to fruition."

Who we are and what we do: our people
*Member of the Operational Management Group (OMG)

Alison Carr*
Registrar & Chief Executive
Management of ARB’s IT system; development and maintenance of the website; general office management; maintaining building services; dealing with requests under the Freedom of Information Act; Data Protection; Health & Safety; governance matters; running the business of the Audit Committee; running the business of the Remuneration Committee; budget management and financial information; annual budgets and cash flows; monitoring investment portfolio; banking administration; managing the direct debit system; production of ARB’s literature, including the Annual Report and eBulletins; stakeholder communications; human resources ; Business Plan and strategic plan; risk management; support services: secretarial, front of house, administrative support
Karen Holmes*
Deputy Registrar & Head of Registration
Marc Stoner*
Financial Controller
Sue Young*
HR & Communications Coordinator
Vicky Kelly
Team Secretary

Emma Matthews*
Head of Qualifications
Developing and implementing policies relating to the Board's prescription of architectural qualifications; European legislative process and European/ overseas affairs; liaison with government departments/RIBA/other external bodies in relation to educational issues/Architects Council of Europe; managing the process for prescription of qualifications; liaison with the UK Schools/Institutions of Architecture; presentations to architectural students
Ed Crowe
Qualifications Executive (Prescription)
Grant Dyble
Qualifications Executive (Prescription)
Elaine Stowell
Qualifications Executive (University Liaison)
Samira Gazzane
Qualifications Executive (Europe)

Teresa Graham
Registration Executive
Production and maintenance of the Register; maintaining and updating ARB's database; dealing with applications for registration; issuing certificates of registration; overseeing and administering the prescribed examination process; implementing the Architects Act and European Directive; retention and other fee collection; readmissions and reinstatements to the Register; removals from the Register due to death, resignation and non-payment of the retention fee; managing the process of competency standards where a person has been off the Register for more than two years
Rob Wilson
Registration Executive
Joseph Shaw
Registration Team Leader
Jamie Bloxam
Registration Administrator
Michaela Hunt
Registration Administrator
Holly Lloyd
Registration Administrator
Mike Saunders
Registration Administrator

   Professional Standards
Simon Howard*
Professional Standards Manager
Managing complaints processes; running the business of the Investigations and Professional Conduct Committees; monitoring the development of regulation in society generally; liaison with stakeholders in the regulation process; keeping the Code of Conduct under review; monitoring and evaluating costs of investigation process and PCC hearings; prosecuting cases of misuse of title in the courts and securing undertakings over misuse of the title; monitoring progress of disciplinary cases sent to the Board's solicitors for reports; dealing with post-PCC hearing correspondence and queries; managing and maintaining the regulation database; dealing with issues relating to Professional Indemnity Insurance
Tanya Davies
Professional Standards Officer
Kristen Hewett
Professional Standards Officer
Sarah Loukes
Professional Standards Officer