The Architects Registration Board is the independent UK regulator for architects. They keep the official register of UK architects and deal with complaints and any misuse of the term ‘Architect’
Architect is a protected title and thus only those on the register can use the term. Architectural designers, technicians etc are parallel positions, but have not completed the same training or have the same code of conduct to abide by. The ARB pursue individuals or firms using the title that are not on the register, but they rely on members of the public notifying them on this.
The public should be able to rely that someone using the title Architect will have completed a minimum level of training and experience and have been signed off by the ARB or RIBA as fit to practice before they are able to do so. Training is divided up into Parts 1,2 & 3. Parts 1&2 are usually carried out at a University or school of Architecture as full-time courses. (Some institutions compress the part 2 stage with some distance learning while employed at an architects practice). Part 3 can only be completed following a minimum level and duration of experience under the tuition of a university and working professional. This Part 3 course is then a learnt course on the professional practice and management with final exams, coursework and an oral exam by representatives of the ARB/RIBA and working professional.
You may meet and find working designers using the terms Part 1 or Part 2 as a benchmark of how far into their training they are/got. A Part 1/2 student can work as an Architectural designer, Architectural assistant, but not an ‘Architect’. This is not to say you won’t find good service, or great design, by going down this route but the level of peer-reviewed scrutiny and professional qualifications is less. Some of the most talented designers I have met have not completed their training to Part 3 level.
Tom completed the following formal training in order to be entered onto the ARB register of Architects:
- Bsc in Architectural Studies, Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University 2004 (Part 1)
- Bachelor of Architecture, Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University 2006 (Part 2)
- Post-Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice at The University of Bath 2013 (Part 3)
You can search the register here: http://architects-register.org.uk/
Their website has useful information on what to expect from an architect, guides and also the roles that they undertake.
Should you have an issue with an Architect you can take this up with the ARB who will look into it, and if necessary take punitive action, or suspension from the register.