Government announces new proposals to further the UK’s reputation as a global destination for architects

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A consultation to maintain the UK’s position as a leading global destination to practice architecture and promote and monitor professional competence has been announced today (4 November 2020) by the Housing Minister, Rt Hon Christopher Pincher.

It also proposes new systems for recognising international qualifications, following the UK’s exit from the EU. The proposed changes will be to the Architects Act 1997.

Currently, there is no legal requirement for UK architects to have their competence re-assessed, or to complete any Continuing Professional Development (CPD) after initial entry on the Architect Registration Board’s Register.

Measures announced in the draft Building Safety Bill set out how to improve competence levels among all architects registered in the UK, bringing requirements for evidence of competence in line with other regulated professions.

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The consultation is part of ongoing industry reforms to improve the competence of professionals across the built environment, who have a responsibility for designing, constructing and managing buildings. This includes the government’s work with industry through the British Standards Institute on a new overarching competence framework that will apply across the built environment.

The changes also form part of wider work to improve the regulatory systems for fire and building safety. These include the government’s draft Building Safety Bill published in July, which brings forward ambitious and thorough reform of the building safety system and is currently undergoing pre legislative scrutiny.

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They are part of a comprehensive government programme of building and fire safety reform that are making homes safer.

Housing Minister, Rt Hon Christopher Pincher said:

These necessary changes will have a two-fold effect. First, they will ensure we continue to attract the best architects from around the world, further consolidating the UK’s status as a global leader in the profession.

Second, and more importantly, they will make sure the people who design the homes we live in and buildings we work in are always guided by the highest safety standards. I encourage all architects, as well as those involved in the wider built environment, to submit their views and feedback on our proposals.

The government is seeking views on the proposed amendments to the Architects Act 1997 as well as the proposed new measures for the recognition of international architects’ qualifications and experience. Responses to the consultation will be used to inform policy development and secondary legislation.

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The consultation will run until 22 January 2021.

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