More than 1,800 booted off

The Arb has booted off more than 1,800 architects from its register for failing to pay their fees on time.

Individuals had until the end of last year to pay the £107 retention fee – or face being removed from the register.

This year the registration body has removed 1,824 architects from the register – around 5% of those on it – down from the 2,043 it culled at the beginning of last year. This was significantly up on the 1,300 kicked off in 2013 which itself was double the number removed in 2012.

The cost of rejoining this month is £162, which is made up of the £107 fee, a £35 administration charge and a £20 fee. If everyone who had been removed paid up in January, the Arb would collect more than £100,000 in admin charges and rejoining fees.

In the past, the Arb has faced criticism that the cost of rejoining the register is a money-making exercise but its chair Beatrice Fraenkel said: “The Board’s policy on collection of the retention fee is driven by the principles of fairness to architects and clarity for consumers.

“The fee is used to fund the regulation of architects to maintain standards in the profession for the benefit of architects and the public alike.”

According to its last set of results, income at the Arb went up 22% in the 12 months to December 2013 with revenue standing at just under £3.7 million.

The bulk of this – £3.5 million – comes from registration and retention fees. Penalties accounted for just over £37,500. Group expenditure went up to £3.3 million from £3.2 million. Nearly £950,000 of this was on legal fees – a 10% rise.