here I am. I’m on the ARB too, here. Not sure what this is? The title “architect” is protected, so only people who have the degree, the postgraduate diploma and the professional practice diploma and the required professional experience under the guidance of an architect and agree to comply with the professional code can use the title. Hmm. Medical school might be cheaper, kids. The ARB – Architects Registration Board – keeps the register of architects. Since 1997, if you are not on this list, you’re not an architect. The ARB also gives accreditation to training courses and qualifications, keeps the architect’s code up to date and investigates complaints at the professional conduct committee.
So what’s this other thing? The RIBA – the Royal Institute of British Architects – has been around since 1837 when it got the royal charter from those nice people at the Privy Council. Since the ARB now does what the RIBA used to do, the RIBA now concentrates on other stuff that the ARB doesn’t, as well as “helping” the ARB do it’s job with regard to qualifications and title. So, for example, when I was registered with the ARB, I was an architect. Now I’m registered with both I’m a chartered architect. Super. The RIBA also has a nice building in west London town with a gallery, cafe and big bookshop, it gives out prizes (like the Sterling Prize), it has a two year presidency, it has strategic priorities and it tries to influence policy and advance the profession.
That’s great. No minimum fees though, these went in 1997, with the passing of the Architects Act, which also created the ARB. And no special minimum wage for the skinny kids or tired dads behind the computers either (which could be a requirement of the chartered practice status, just saying). Oh and it is nearly all boys for some reason, even though the women I have worked with have been generally excellent: Heike, Svetlana, Borghildur – they generally don’t come through the UK route for some reason. But RIBA does organise conferences and they approve industry led training seminars.
So there you have it. For me, I get the letters which people in the industry recognise, I get to use the logo on my card and sign board. Who knows maybe one day they give me a prize. For a lot of architects though, the RIBA is an annual fee and a quarterly magazine.