Architects urged to shape continuing professional development scheme

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continuing professional development, CPD, architects,

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has launched a major public engagement exercise inviting architects to help shape the regulator’s approach to continuing professional development (CPD)

The Building Safety Bill, introduced in Parliament in July 2021, will give ARB new powers to monitor the training and development architects carry out throughout their careers.

ARB will introduce a scheme for monitoring CPD that will encourage architects to maintain and develop their competence to practice.

Architects are encouraged to read ARB’s policy paper setting out the principles, and complete a short survey to share their views. The survey will close at midday on 29 November.

ARB’s new legal powers are dependent on the Building Safety Bill becoming law. That is unlikely to be this year and, given ARB’s ambitious engagement exercises, the scheme is unlikely to be in place for the whole profession before 2023.

The new law will provide for the formalities of dealing with those architects who are unable or unwilling to meet the requirements of the new scheme.

ARB is inviting architects to share their views on the principles before they are used to develop the scheme.

The principles are:

  • Improve the overall competence of the profession: The scheme will aim for an overall positive shift in the collective competence of the profession by promoting a culture of continuing professional development. It will not be about catching out individuals.
  • Tailored by architects to their own practice and needs: The scheme will encourage architects to reflect, plan, act and evaluate on their learning activities in a way that is relevant to their practice and development needs. The approach will not be ‘one-size-fits-all’.
  • Proportionate and deliverable: ARB’s research shows the majority (70%) of architects are already committed to carrying out dedicated CPD annually, so the scheme will aim to formalise and shape that learning. It should, as far as possible, avoid additional costs for architects.
  • Avoid duplication where possible: ARB intends to design a model that is suitable for all architects, and will be considering how best it can work alongside other schemes – both in terms of subject matter and logistical compatibility.

 The first step in creating the scheme

Alan Kershaw, chair of the Architects Registration Board, said: “We’re focussed on introducing an effective new scheme as soon as that is viable, but we’re equally determined to get it right.

“We have lots of ideas but this isn’t something that can, or should, be designed in an ivory tower. If it’s going to improve standards of practice across the profession, architects need to help us design something they will use and find useful.

“I’m asking all architects – and anyone else working in the built environment sector – to read about our principles for the scheme and complete our survey. This is the first step in creating the scheme.

“We will listen to what is said, develop our proposals and share them for discussion next year.”

Dame Judith Hackitt, who chaired the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, added: “The work of the Architects Registration Board is vital in ensuring that architects practising in the UK design buildings that are safe for all residents.

“I welcome this engagement exercise and encourage architects to contribute to help shape how the scheme will work.”

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