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Architects Act 1997

The Architects Act 1997
Long title An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to architects.
Citation 1997 c. 22
Introduced by Lord Mackay of Clashfern
(Lord Chancellor)
Territorial extent England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Royal assent 19 March 1997
Commencement 21 July 1997
Other legislation
Amended by

(1) The Architects' Qualifications (EC Recognition) Order 2002, Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 2842;

(2) The Architects (Professional Conduct Committee) Amendment Order 2004, Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 655; (3) The Architects (Recognition of European Qualifications etc and Saving and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2008, Statutory Instrument 2008 No. 1331
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Text of the Architects Act 1997 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

(1) The Architects' Qualifications (EC Recognition) Order 2002, Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 2842;

The Architects Act 1997 (c. 22) is the consolidating Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the keeping and publishing of the statutory Register of Architects by the Architects Registration Board. It has the long title: An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to architects. It consolidated two Acts of the 1930s as later amended both by primary legislation and by Orders in Council implementing the EC directive on architects providing for the recognition of architects qualified in other EC states, and the changes which had been made by Part III of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

The Architects Act 1997 consolidated the originating and amending Acts relating to the registration of architects, namely the Architects Acts 1931-1996 (section 125 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996).

The Bill was introduced to the House of Lords on 17 December 1996 by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, and given its first reading. It received its second reading without call for a debate on 20 January 1997 and was passed to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills. On 3 March 1997 it was read for a third time without debate and passed to the House of Commons. The Bill was given Royal Assent on 19 March 1997 and came into force on 21 July 1997.

"the Council" means the Architects' Registration Council of the United Kingdom established under the 1931 Act, which was renamed as the Board by section 118(1) of the 1996 Act.
The independent statutory regulator of all UK registered architects which has a dual mandate to protect the consumer and to safeguard the reputation of architects.
...after consultation with the Secretary of State and such other persons or bodies as the Privy Council thinks fit, to represent the interests of users of architectural services and the general public,
  • that the reformed Board would be given statutory authority to make regulations consistent with the provisions of the legislation governing architects registration;
  • that the reformed Board would publicise a statement of the criteria for disciplinary offences; and
  • that in disciplinary cases, there would be a range of non-monetary penalties, and hearings would be before a small statutory committee composed of both architects and non-architects, with a right to appeal to the full Board.
  • that ARCUK would remain as a legal entity, but, with no impact on its role or status, the name would be changed to "Architects Registration Board" (ARB);
  • that there should be an office of Registrar whose functions would be to maintain the Register and carry out the instructions of the Board;
  • that the Board would be made up of 8 lay members appointed by the Government, and 7 architects elected by registered architects; and
  • that the Board of Architectural Education would be abolished, by reason of it being an unwieldy body which would be unnecessary for fulfilling the functions of the reformed Registration Board.
  • stating that ARB "succeeded" ARCUK, when the legislation had expressly stated that it was the same body but with another name as from July 1997 (See above: Continuity of Legislation);
  • stating that it was established to guarantee the professional competence of architects to consumers, when there is nothing in the legislation or otherwise giving ARB either the legal powers or the funds to honour any such guarantee; and
  • that all architects must be registered by ARB in order to practise legally in the United Kingdom, when under the legislation (see related articles cited below) an architect, or any other person, is free to perform or supply the services of an architect subject only to the restrictions on the use of the vernacular word "architect" contained in the legislation first enacted by Parliament in the 1938 Act.


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