Maintaining standards - facts and figures

Maintaining standardsMisuse of title

In 2014 there were 331 investigations into misuse of the title ‘architect’. While this represents a small decrease from the 381 investigated in 2013, the number of investigations undertaken into the misuse of the title architect has increased by almost 130% since 2010.

In 2014 two misuse of title cases were successfully prosecuted. ARB will try to resolve any instances of misuse of title without the need for court action where possible, and will only resort to criminal prosecutions where it is in the public interest to do so.

To act contrary to section 20 of the Architects Act 1997 is a criminal offence. The Act sets out the maximum fine for each breach which is currently £2,500. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine (and related costs) after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation or guilty plea put forward by the defendant.


  • In 2014, 157 formal complaints were considered by the ARB. The number of complaints about architects has remained relatively steady over the last five years. Much work is undertaken to assist parties in resolving disputes by directing them towards alternative more appropriate avenues, without the need to undertake formal disciplinary investigations.

Investigations Panels

  • In 2014 the Investigations Panels issued 84 decisions.
  • In 2013 it was 60. While this number has risen, the number of architects on the Register being made subject to investigations remains low compared to other professions, with annually just over two in every thousand architects on the Register being referred to ARB’s Investigations Panels.

Professional Conduct Committee

  • In 2014 the Professional Conduct Committee held 31 hearings.

The number of PCC cases continues to steadily increase (23 in 2013 and 27 in 2014). This is why it is important that all architects are aware of the provisions of the Code of Conduct and pay heed to it in their professional lives.

Complaints 2014 – facts and figures

yellowNo Further Action
18 (13)

30 (25)

navyRefer To Professional Conduct Committee
36 (22)

whiteTotal number of decisions:
84 (60)

8 (10)

light greyPenalty Order
6 (7)

light blueSuspension
5 (3)

5 (3)

dark greyNot Guilty
7 (3)

whiteNo Sanction
0 (1)

whiteTotal number of decisions:
31 (27)