System will be replaced by two phases of accreditation consisting of training and practice, regulator says

Parts I, II and III will be abolished and replaced with a new two-part system under proposals by Arb for the biggest shake up in architectural education in half a century.

The regulator is today launching the last major public consultation on the plans, which aim to widen access into the profession by reducing the time and cost it takes to become a qualified architect.

It follows two years of detailed policy development including focus groups, surveys, events and consultations with architects and representative groups.

The new education and training framework would come into force from September 2027 if adopted and would cut down the current three accredited qualifications to two, which would no longer be known as ‘parts’.

Arb logo black square

The first phase will be based on academic outcomes and could consist of an undergraduate degree, an apprenticeship or other routes which could emerge in the future.

The second is geared around practice outcomes and consists of putting knowledge learned in the first phase into practice.

The reforms aim to enable learning providers to innovate and maintain their global reputation, Arb said.

Competencies will also be reformed, with qualifications to be focused on outcomes “based on what architects can do, not what they are taught”, while a new accreditation committee would oversee the quality assurance of qualifications. 

The regulator’s chief executive Hugh Simpson said the proposals represent a “landmark for the future of the profession”.

“Our new regulatory framework will enable new pathways to registration, offering a variety of flexible routes to anyone who wishes to bring their skills and talent to this respected profession. 

“We urge architects, academics, students and anyone with an interest in architecture to respond to this consultation. Your input is a valuable contribution to creating a new high-quality educational model for the 21st century,” he said.

The three month consultation consists of an online survey which is available to complete until 10 May. Once it has closed, Arb said it will analyse the responses and consider changes to the scheme based on the points raised.

WIthin the next few weeks Arb is also due to announce the first of a series of mutual recognition agreements with regulators in other countries for architectural qualifications.

The post-Brexit agreements, which Arb has been negotiating for the past year, will make it easier for architects to work in other countries.

In July last year, the council of state architects’ regulators in the US, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, ratified an agreement with arb which would make it easier for registered UK architects to seek registration in the States.

Mutual recognition agreements are also being developed with regulators in Australia, New Zealand and the EU.

Arb’s consultation on education and training can be found here: Tomorrow’s Architects