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Establishment and role

Established in 1923 the ARBV is a self-funded Victorian public sector entity.

The Architects Act 1991 (Vic) (the Act) establishes the framework for the regulation of architects in Victoria and has as its purposes:

  • to provide for the registration of architects
  • to provide for the approval of partnerships and companies providing architectural services
  • to regulate the professional conduct of architects
  • to provide a procedure for handling complaints against architects
  • to regulate the use of the terms “architect”, “architectural services”, “architectural design services” and “architectural design”
  • to establish the Architects Registration Board of Victoria.

Accountability

The ARBV is accountable to the Minister for Planning, who is accountable to Parliament and the community for the performance of the ARBV. The Minister for Planning also establishes key governance and performance priorities for the ARBV through a Statement of Expectations. In overseeing the performance of the ARBV, the Minister for Planning is supported by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Functions

The ARBV’s statutory functions include:

  • assessing and determining applications for registration
  • from individuals and applications for approval from partnerships and companies
  • suspending and cancelling registrations or approvals and revoking suspensions where required
  • regulating the professional conduct of architects, approved partnerships and approved companies
  • preparing guidelines on professional conduct and practice for architects, approved partnerships and approved companies
  • publishing information relating to the operation of the ARBV and the Act
  • together with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA), administering the Architectural Practice Examination, the most common pathway to registration
  • accrediting architectural programs of study within Victoria, in accordance with the established Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand administered by the AACA and in doing so, determining qualifications required for registration under the Act
  • investigating and bringing proceedings for offences against the Act
  • carrying out any other powers and functions which are given to it by the Act or which are necessary to implement the Act.

Our purpose

To protect the community interest and instil confidence in the regulation, integrity and delivery of architectural services in Victoria.

Our values

The ARBV operates in accordance with the Victorian Public Sector Values of:

  • Responsiveness
  • Integrity
  • Impartiality
  • Accountability
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Human Rights

Our success measures

  • A capable, compliant and informed profession
  • A community that understands the role of architects and the ARBV
  • A modern, trusted and connected regulator
  • A regulatory framework that drives strong outcomes

  • Over the past 2 years, the ARBV has made significant changes to its regulatory strategy, policies, procedures and organisational structure to ensure it meets its obligations as a contemporary regulator. The ARBV began laying the groundwork for a best-practice approach to regulation in 2018 when its Regulatory Strategy was first developed. The Regulatory Strategy embeds a risk-based approach to regulation and enables the ARBV to target its resources at the compliance areas and issues that pose the greatest risk to the public, while minimising undue regulatory intrusion and burden. In 2020-21, the ARBV continued to build on and enhance its regulatory approach to keep pace with sectoral changes, including the emergence of systemic risks. Central to this development was the revision and refinement of the Regulatory Strategy, including the establishment of a proactive strategic plan, a performance monitoring framework and risk profiling criteria for regulated entities.

    Regulatory objectives

    In overseeing the regulatory framework, the ARBV aims to:

    • promote and maintain high standards of professional conduct and practice
    • restrict who can represent themselves as architects
    • ensure only suitably qualified entities are registered and approved
    • ensure compliance with insurance requirements
    • maintain professional accountability of architects
    • support architects to fulfil their duties and to engender confidence in and respect for the profession
    • encourage and support voluntary compliance.

    The ARBV conducts proactive and reactive regulatory activity.

    Proactive regulatory activity

    Proactive regulatory activity is undertaken on the ARBV’s own initiative to encourage compliance and detect and/or deter non-compliance.

    The ARBV’s proactive strategic plan was developed in 2020-21 as part of the revision and refinement of its Regulatory Strategy. It will be launched in 2021-22 and refreshed on an annual basis. The proactive strategic plan assists with early identification of emerging compliance issues and challenges that regulated entities may face in complying with the regulatory framework.

    Proactive activities include:

    • educating regulated entities by providing educational materials to assist them to understand and meet their obligations without coercion or sanction by the ARBV
    • engaging with regulated entities including at industry meetings, stakeholder events and in
    • one-on-one discussions with groups of regulated entities or individual regulated entities to discuss compliance issues and encourage voluntary compliance
    • monitoring of a compliance issue, regulated entity or group of regulated entities based on information received or on its own compliance intelligence
    • carrying out audits of regulated entities, including through surveys and questionnaires to, for example, seek information about their compliance with certain obligations
    • investigating matters identified through analysis of data and through liaison with relevant stakeholders to determine whether or not non-compliance has occurred.

    Reactive regulatory activity

    The ARBV undertakes reactive regulatory activity to respond to instances of actual or possible non-compliance. It can result from:

    • complaints made to the ARBV by another regulator, client or user of architectural services, or other member of the public
    • detection of non-compliance through other activities undertaken by the ARBV, including proactive regulatory activity.

    The ARBV’s risk-based approach is used to determine the appropriate response to instances of non-compliance.

    The ARBV’s reactive regulatory activity may include:

    • education and engagement
    • informal advice or warning
    • formal warning
    • referral to the Architects Tribunal where it has concerns about an architect’s fitness to practise and/ or professional conduct
    • other regulatory action to mitigate risk, such as suspending or cancelling registration or approval
    • institution of prosecution proceedings.
  • Board

    The ARBV Board is responsible for statutory decision-making under powers conferred by the Architects Act 1991 (Vic) (the Act) and the Architects Regulations 2015. The ARBV Board also provides leadership, strategic guidance and policy direction in addition to overseeing implementation of policies and initiatives.

    In accordance with section 47 of the Act, the Board comprises up to ten members appointed on a representative basis with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson elected by the members.

    The Board is assisted by committees and working groups. It is also responsible for constituting the independent Architects Tribunal to conduct inquiries concerning architects and their fitness to practise or professional conduct. The Act prohibits a person being concurrently a member of the ARBV Board and the Architects Tribunal.

    The Board membership of the ARBV at 30 June 2021 was as follows:

    • Karen Alcock FRAIA (B.Arch, UMelb) (Chairperson until 25 May 2021). Representative of architects by election in accordance with the procedures set out in the Architect Regulations 2015. Term of appointment: 26 November 2019 to 30 June 2021.
    • Dr Giorgio Marfella, PhD, M.Arch, RAIA (Chairperson from 25 May 2021). Representative of architects nominated by Councils of approved schools of architecture. Term of appointment: 26 November 2019 to 30 June 2021.
    • Richard Salter, B.Eng. (Hons), B.Sc. (Deputy Chairperson). Representative of Professional Building Industry Organisations nominated by the Housing Industry Association (Vic). Terms of appointment: 25 September 2018 to 24 September 2020 and 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2023.
    • Bruce Allen, B.Arch., M.Arch., M.B.A., LFRAIA. Representative of architects by election in accordance with the procedures set out in the Architect Regulations 2015. Term of appointment: 26 November 2019 to 30 June 2021.
    • Catherine Duggan, B.Arch (Hons), B.EnvDes, RAIA. Representative of architects nominated by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Term of appointment: 26 November 2019 to 30 June 2021.
    • Jenny Gretgrix, B.Eng (Hons). Representative of professional building industry organisations nominated by the Housing Industry Association (Victoria). Term of appointment: 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2023.

    Directors whose term expired before 30 June 2021 or who resigned during 2020-21 were:

    • David Islip, B.Arch (Hons) B.P.D. Urban Design (Hons) FRAIA GAICD. Practising Senior Government Architect nominated by the Office of Victorian Government Architect (Vic). Terms of appointment: several terms from 16 July 2013 until 21 July 2020 (date of resignation).
    • Stuart Brown, B. Tech (Building Surveying). Representative of the Institute of Engineers, Institute of Surveyors, Institute of Quantity Surveyors and Royal Australian Planning Institute. Term of appointment: commenced on 18 June 2019 and expired on 17 June 2021.

    CEO/Registrar

    The Board appoints a Registrar to deliver the operations of the organisation in accordance with the agreed strategy. Allan Bawden was appointed as the Interim Registrar in June 2020 and continued in the role until February 2021. Dr Glenice Fox, SJD, LLB, BA, Grad Cert in Dispute Resolution was appointed CEO/Registrar on an interim basis in February 2021 and was formally appointed to the role in March 2021.

  • Organisational structure as of 30 June 2021

    View the structure as a separate document here:

  • Finance and corporate services

    Finance

    Includes ensuring accurate, transparent and timely management of financial information including management of revenue from applications, registration and examination fees together with strong financial management of budgeted expenditure.

    Risk management, auditing and legal compliance

    Responsible for establishing effective systems and controls for financial management and performance and sustainability of the ARBV, including internal control, risk management, auditing and meeting legal compliance requirements.

    Business services

    Encompasses building and facilities management, sustainable procurement, information services, and office administration.

    Human resources

    Includes payroll services, compliance with key governance obligations, industrial and employee relations, workforce planning, capability development, organisational culture and occupational health and safety and employee wellbeing.

    In April 2021, a Human Resources professional was engaged on a part-time basis by the ARBV, and Human Resources became a discrete function separate from Finance and Corporate Services.

    Registration

    Responsible for registration-related activities including assessing and determining applications for registration. Such applications may include applicants seeking registration for the first time, architects seeking to change their class of registration, architects seeking registration with the ARBV via mutual recognition, and architects seeking to renew their registration. The function oversees suspensions and cancellations of registration and revocations of suspension. The function is also responsible for maintaining the Register of Architects, supporting the AACA in its administration of the Architectural Practice Examination (APE) and other pre-registration pathways, and assisting the administration of accreditation. It also provides secretariat support to the National Registrars Forum.

    This function has been significantly involved in the implementation of the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) and will be responsible for the CRM once it is fully implemented.

    Compliance

    The Compliance function is responsible for administering compliance obligations set out in the Architects Act 1991 (Vic). The ARBV receives complaints and identifies instances of non-compliance based on intelligence and information sharing. The Compliance team maintains collaborative relationships with other regulators and stakeholders. The ARBV seeks to identify and act upon possible non-compliance as early as possible and provide preventative guidance to architects.

    Provides legal, regulatory and policy services and advises on legal matters and may represent the ARBV in proceedings. The function coordinates administrative support for the Architects Tribunal in relation to disciplinary proceedings. It also manages freedom of information (FOI) and privacy matters, including the assessment of FOI requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) and guidelines issued by the FOI Commissioner. The function also supports implementation of Victorian Government policy and assists other divisions to bring into operation the various regulatory requirements.

    Governance

    Ensures the necessary mechanisms, frameworks, processes, policies and procedures are in place to meet the organisational, statutory and whole of government compliance and accountability requirements and facilitates the effective and efficient operation of the Board and its committees.

    Communications and engagement

    Responsible for communications and engagement including, public relations, issues management, stakeholder relations, corporate communications (publications and external messaging) and digital presence.

    ARBV relationship with Architects Accreditation Council of Australia

    The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) is a not-for-profit, incorporated company limited by guarantee which establishes national standards in the practice of architecture and provides services to the state and territory architect registration boards.

    Its membership comprises persons nominated by the architects registration boards in each state or territory, including the ARBV.

    The AACA’s role is to:

    • consult with key organisations to develop, maintain and
    • promote the National Standard of Competency for Architects, which sets the benchmark competency against which an applicant for registration as an architect in Australia is measured
    • develop and provide competency-based assessment programs to determine eligibility for registration as an architect in Australia
    • administer the Architectural Practice Examination (APE) on behalf of the architect registration boards
    • administer the Architecture Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of the architect registration boards
    • facilitate international mutual recognition agreements regarding architectural education and registration as an architect in Australia
    • assess overseas qualifications for architects seeking to register as an architect in Australia.

    Funding for the AACA is derived from a general levy paid by each of the states based on the number of practising architects in their respective registers together with a share of costs for the AACA managed Architecture Program Accreditation Procedures.

Reviewed 01 February 2022

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