Last edited 09 Dec 2014

Architects Registration Council of the United Kingdom ARCUK

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) was established in 1834. Architects subsequently campaigned for the protection of the title ‘architect’ and the creation of an architects' registration body to regulate the profession and protect the title. In 1931, the Architects (Registration) Act created the Architects Registration Council of the United Kingdom (ARCUK).

In 1993, the Warne Report, prepared by senior civil servant John Warne, recommended that both ARCUK and protection of the title should be abolished, or failing this, that ARCUK’s functions should be transferred to the RIBA. However, under pressure from architects themselves, a compromise position was reached. In 1996, Part III of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act reconstituted ARCUK as the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and in 1997, the previous 1931 and 1938 acts were consolidated in the Architects Act of 1997 and the slimmed down regulatory body, the Architects Registration Board (ARB) created. See Architects Registration Board for more information.

However, this remains a confusing situation that the RIBA finds unsatisfactory. Many members of the public assume that the profession is regulated by the RIBA, when in fact, membership of the RIBA is entirely voluntary. The RIBA does validate programmes at UK schools of architecture, but the validation criteria are jointly held by the RIBA and the ARB, and Section 4 of the Architects Act gives the ARB the statutory responsibility to prescribe the qualifications that are needed to become an architect. The RIBA maintains its own Code of conduct for its members, as does the ARB.

On Monday 31 March 2014, Stephen Williams, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government announced a Periodic Review of the Architects Registration Board (ref DCLG Periodic Review of the Architects Registration Board). The Review will consider whether there is a continuing need for the ARB or for its function.

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