ARB has a responsibility to members of the public, architects and Parliament to be transparent and accountable in its business operations.
We have robust and effective reporting mechanisms in place to ensure accountability at all levels of our organisation.
The Board set the strategy for the organisation and agree a detailed business plan. The public can attend open sessions of Board meetings; these meetings are advertised on our website and via social media. Board members’ discussions and decisions are minuted and available to be viewed online along with Board papers for each meeting.
Executive and staff team accountability
The executive and staff team are held to account by the Board which monitors delivery against the objectives set in the business plan. The Registrar and Chief Executive, and the Executive team attend Board meetings. The Board meet five times a year and at these meetings members receive written reports detailing progress on the different work areas; they question and discuss the programme of work with staff representatives.
We are committed to providing reporting information which is accessible, appropriate and provided in a timely manner so that the Board can discharge its oversight responsibilities and hold us to account effectively. Regular reports are received by the Board at each meeting and other updates are received annually or biannually. The Board can and does ask for new reports and verbal updates on ad hoc issues as it requires them, in order to effectively hold the organisation to account.
As a public body we are committed to being accountable to our stakeholders. Transparency is key to delivering on this commitment.
Current and historic Board papers including reporting information are published online. To view these click here.
The Board wishes to encourage openness in its proceedings. Nonetheless, there are occasions when the Board may be obliged to discuss matters in private. The Board’s policy for open and confidential sessions of Board meetings sets out its approach. The policy can be read here.
Freedom of Information and access to data
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we have made many of our documents publicly available. Please see our Publication Scheme for more information. We continue to ensure documents etc. are published where appropriate.
ARB has a comprehensive whistleblowing policy designed to encourage employees, and others working for ARB and on ARB’s premises who have serious concerns about any aspect of ARB’s work, to come forward and voice those concerns. The policy document makes it clear that this can be done without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage. The procedures in the whistleblowing policy are additional to ARB’s grievance procedures. The whistleblowing policy can be viewed on the website.
Complaints, feedback and consultations
We are committed to consulting with our stakeholders when we are planning changes to any of our rules, policies or procedures. We value the views of others, they inform us and help us do our work. We advertise our consultations via our website, social media and our eBulletin. In 2014, we undertook a consultation on the proposed introduction of consent orders. The views we received helped inform our implementation of these orders, which were approved by the Board at its meeting on 20 November 2014. There was also a consultation on a small change to the general rules to bring them into line with an amendment to the Architects Act regarding the tenure of Board Members.
Further information about how we respond to complaints and feedback is available in the communications section of this Annual Review.
The Financial Statements section of this report, which has been signed off by our auditors, contains a governance statement from Karen Holmes, the Accounting Officer. You can read this here.