Joint message from the Chair and the Registrar and Chief Executive
2016 saw more demand from people wishing to join the Register with our numbers reaching over 38,500 by the end of the year.
There were also changes in terms of Board elections and appointments, as well as an increase in the work of the Professional Conduct Committee caseload.
Board level change
In 2016 we saw change in both the membership and leadership of the ARB Board. Beatrice Fraenkel completed her eight-year tenure as a Board Member, stepping down from the position of Chair, a role in which she was held in high regard by both her Board colleagues and the staff team.
Following an election, Beatrice was succeeded by Peter Coe, a longstanding Board Member with substantial experience in the sector. Architect Richard Parnaby, was re-elected as Vice-Chair, providing the organisation with support during the transition period.
Additionally, we said farewell to John Assael, Ruth Brennan, Andrew Mortimer and Myra Kinghorn, whose terms came to an end in March 2016. We thank them again for their hard work and assistance during their time on the Board. Their commitment and support led to notable improvements in the way we operate as an organisation.
At the same time we welcomed new members – architects Jason Bill, Guy Maxwell, Sue Roaf and Danna Walker were all elected for the first time by the profession, and lay members Carol Bernstein, Suzanne McCarthy and Jagtar Singh were appointed by the Privy Council. The new members have already made a significant contribution to the Board’s work, bringing fresh perspectives and experience that have informed our discussions and decision-making. You can read more about our Board membership in the governance section of this report.
A growing Register
By the end of 2016 the Register stood at 38,511, up 4% from the 2015 (36,932), a similar increase to the previous year’s growth.
There were 2,507 new admissions to the Register, an increase of 10% from 2015. Of these, 1,249 (almost 50%) were admitted through the UK route and 1,232 (49%) were admitted through all EU routes. The remaining 26 people, 1% of new admissions, were admitted through the prescribed exam route.
Our work in relation to the prescription of qualifications was broadly comparable with 2015. During 2016, the Board renewed the prescription of 21 qualifications offered by nine institutions, a similar number of existing and new courses were awarded prescription as in the previous year.
New Admissions to the Architect Register
Professional Conduct trends
Our professional standards function saw a slight increase in the number of complaints received, up from 157 in 2015 to 166 in 2016. The number of Professional Conduct Case (PCC) hearings increased from 24 in 2015 to 31 in 2016. A notable change in 2016 was seen in the increased number of days taken up in hearings, up from 42 days in 2015 to 77 in 2016, an 83% increase.
This can be attributed in part to architects being far more involved in the regulatory process and robustly defending cases, including an increase in the use of legal representation. There were also a number of complex cases during the year. You can read more about the cases in the Annual Report from the Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee.
Throughout 2016 we continued to fulfil our statutory remit effectively and efficiently. This report provides full details of how we delivered on the objectives we set in our business plan over the 12-month period.
Whilst the periodic review continued throughout 2016, our mandate remained in force and we continued to deliver our statutory functions, as laid down in the Architects Act 1997. The Board had hoped to commence its review of routes to registration but decided to postpone this until the outcome of the government’s review was known, recognising that the periodic review would have a bearing on this and other factors.
The outcome of the EU referendum has had a significant impact on the questions we receive from stakeholders. This is reflected in the visitor data for webpages related to registrants and applicants with EU (and non-UK) nationality. We produced a set of FAQs, which received over 1,700 visitors.
Visits to Brexit Faqs
We want to finish by saying a sincere thank you to all the Board members, staff team and all those who work to enable ARB to deliver its role, supporting both consumers and the architects by ensuring that high standards are maintained in the profession. We are committed to openness and accountability and the information included here will provide you with an insight into our work and regulatory role. We hope you find the report useful and welcome any feedback on it.
Registrar and Chief Executive