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The importance of being ARB registered

The ARB (Architects Registration Board) is an organisation set up to support all things Architecture, this includes promoting Architectural training, supporting in all Architectural matters, amongst many other things.

This also includes, upholding the protection status of the job title ‘Architect’. In the UK, it is illegal to call yourself an Architect when you are not registered with the ARB and fully qualified.

Therefore, if you wanted to use the word ‘Architect’ in your job title, you need to first register with the ARB and this needs to be updated every year. If your membership lapses you will not be able to use the title, but if you continue to use the title of Architect after your membership has lapses, you could be liable for considerable fines- but more on that later.

To register, you will need to contact the ARB directly and be able to demonstrate that you have the necessary experience and qualifications. To become qualified, this usually takes around seven years and includes completing a mixture of University attended learning and work experience to obtain Parts 1,2, and 3. Additionally, the ARB recognises equivalent European qualifications which will also qualify you to call yourself an Architect.

There are a number of reasons why it is important to be ARB registered, this includes but is not limited to;

  • Providing assurance to clients and customers in the quality of your work, as you are now a fully qualified professional
  • The ARB upholds professional conduct in Architecture under the ‘Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice’ which you will now have to follow, ensuring you meet professional obligations
  • Some contracts/employers may require you to be registered before you can be hired or engaged in work
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance – protection for yourself and your company; although if employed through a practice you are usually covered under their insurance, but need to have it for yourself if a sole-practitioner
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – to be a registered Architect, you need to complete a minimum of 16 hours of development by keeping your professional competence up to date. This means you will always be up to date with current affairs in architecture, and your skills and knowledge will always be informed.

Along with the perks of being a fully qualified Architect, with a legally protected job title. The ARB also investigates the misuse of the title, to stop anyone who is not registered from using it illegally.

If you are caught by the ARB calling yourself an Architect when you are not currently registered as one, even if you were registered before and it has lapsed, or using the acronym RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), you could receive;

  • a warning
  • a fine – currently up to a maximum of £5000;
  • suspension from the register for two years (meaning you cannot call yourself an Architect during this period)
  • Permanent removal from the register (so you will never be able to use the title of Architect again)

As specialist recruiters in the property industry, including Architecture and Interior Design. At Hunter Dunning we want to ensure we represent our candidates in the best possible light. This is why we thoroughly register, reference check and support our candidates through job applications, in order to protect our clients and ensure we are truly and accurately representing our candidates at all times.

We feel it is important to upkeep your ARB membership, especially when applying for Architect roles, and we know it is timely to complete the administration, however it is beneficial in the long run. Otherwise, it’s like going to the airport without your passport – you miss your flight and the opportunity for a new adventure soars away!

If you require any further information, or have some questions please contact us at Hunter Dunning. We can also advise on many other topics and are dedicated to supporting our candidates and clients at all times.


Gov.co.uk – Register as an Architect

http://www.arbuganda.org/page/index/11/41 – Architects registration board

https://www.architectenregister.nl/en/the-law/the-importance-of-registration/ – Architecten Register


Written by Miranda Butler