Governance: Complaints, Consultations & Feedback
ARB is committed to providing a high-quality, professional service to everyone we engage with.
As well as being able to raise a complaint about the competence or conduct of an architect, or misuse of the title, our stakeholders are also able to raise complaints about the service they have received from ARB.
During 2017, five formal complaints were referred to our Customer Service Manager for independent investigation resolution. Several architects also sent in feedback or made general comments about our Board policy or procedures. In line with previous years, the majority of general comments related to some aspect of the retention fee collection and subsequent removal of those who had not paid the fee in time. The formal complaints we received also raised concerns about the retention fee collection as well as aspects of the disciplinary process.
We are committed to seeking continuous improvement and a routine part of our retention fee process is to conduct an annual review of what went well and what could be improved. While a very small proportion of those involved in the process expressed dissatisfaction with the level of service they received from us we remain dedicated to reviewing and learning from each complaint or comment.
We have a range of stakeholders who inform and support our role including architects, members of the public, client buyers, architecture schools, professional bodies and Government. We value the knowledge and expertise of our stakeholders and regularly consult with them on matters related to new or existing policies. Input from our stakeholders through consultation ensures our decisions are informed and robust. Where appropriate, we also reply to consultations run by other regulators and other organisations.
In 2017 we ran an extensive pre-consultation exercise to gather information and feedback from a range of stakeholders from across the UK to inform the regular cyclical review of our Criteria and Procedures for the Prescription of Qualifications, the means by which we set the standards in UK education and practice. We held five round-table events in Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff, Nottingham and London to hear stakeholders’ views first hand and we also received over 100 responses to our online pre-consultation survey. The Criteria and Procedures review will continue into 2018.
As an organisation we value being open minded and recognise the benefits of asking for feedback in improving our services and performance. We regularly collect feedback via various channels from a wide range of service users including new registrants who have used the online application facility, candidates who have sat the Prescribed Examination, institutions which had sought recognition of their qualifications, those who have used the complaints process up until the Investigation Panel stage, and those who have made formal complaints about our services via the Board’s complaints procedure. Examples of feedback we have received and the resulting action we took can be found in the Our Role sections of this report.