A new recognition system to acknowledge architecture qualifications from around the world will be implemented as part of the Professional Qualifications Bill, ensuring the UK remains a leading, global destination to practise architecture.

The government has responded to a consultation on proposed amendments to the Architects Act, which will ensure professional standards within the sector are maintained and enable international architects to practise in the UK.

To support this, the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – the profession’s regulator – will allow architects with certain international qualifications to join their UK Register.

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Wider proposals to drive up professional competence in the sector will be implemented via the Building Safety Bill.

Under these new measures, the ARB will be given new powers to monitor the way architects manage their Continuing Professional Development (CPD), in line with other regulated professions – encouraging architects to develop their competence to practise.

Housing Minister Chris Pincher MP said:

“Following an overwhelmingly positive response to our consultation from the architecture profession, we are delighted to be moving forward with firm proposals that will make a real difference to the lives of architects around the world.”

“This fundamental realignment of the profession will reassert the United Kingdom’s reputation as a global leader in architecture, ensuring we continue to attract the best architects from around the world to build back better on the homes and infrastructure in this country.”

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

Minister for Investment Lord Gerry Grimstone said:

“Britain has a global reputation for professionalism and excellence in services like architecture, and this important change will ensure that UK architecture qualifications remain the gold standard around the world.”

“Our new laws will enable world-class architects to continue working in the UK and can make it possible for the Architects Registration Board to open up opportunities for British architects working with our global partners.”

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said:

“Today the government has confirmed its intention to create new powers for the ARB, which we will use to introduce a scheme to monitor the Continuing Professional Development of architects.”

“This is an opportunity to recognise formally the considerable amount of development activity that most architects already do. We will develop our approach in collaboration with architects and use our regulatory powers to promote consistency across the profession.”

“ARB’s new role in recognising international qualifications is another positive step. We are going to ensure all individuals registering under this new process are held to equivalent standards, to maintain excellence across the architectural profession, whilst also ensuring the United Kingdom continues to benefit from the varied skills and experience international architects bring with them.”

The government’s response to a consultation on proposed amendments to the Architects Act 1997 include:

  • strengthening the Architect Registration Board’s role in monitoring and maintaining the competence of architects on their register
  • increasing public confidence by listing disciplinary orders against an architect on the register
  • allowing the Architect Registration Board to expand its list of chargeable services to cover the full range of services by the Architect Registration Board
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