The Architects Act 1997 regulates the use of architect as a professional title, making it an offence to operate as and use the title of an architect unless registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). It also issues a code of conduct and deals with any complaints relating to an architect's professional competence.
On 31 March 2017 the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that it intended to carry out a two stage review to (a) evaluate the continuing need for the regulation of architects and (b) evaluate the nature of this regulation.
The review found the current arrangement of the Board was out of line with other regulators, such as the General Medical Council, who all operate with appointed Boards and reported improved functionality as a result. It found that the current arrangements, whereby the Board is comprised of 7 elected architect members and 8 appointed lay members, hinder Board cohesiveness as the elected members have two sets of obligations; to the Board and to their electorate.
As a result of the review, the Architects Act 1997 (Amendments etc.) Order 2018 was made on 28 August 2018 and will come into force on 7 January 2019. The key changes will be in relation to the structure of the Board, which will now be wholly appointed by the Privy Council and amends the constitution and quorum of the Professional Conduct Committee.