Date:
1 Dec 2023

Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer or Registrar report

Report by Dr Giorgio Marfella, the Chairperson of the ARBV and Dr Glenice Fox, CEO/Registrar of the ARBV.

The beginning of 2023 marked the ARBVs centenary, our 100th year ensuring architectural services in Victoria are delivered according to high professional standards and contribute to improved building outcomes for the benefit of the community. To mark this significant milestone our board and staff have reflected on the history of the ARBV and how the architectural landscape has changed in Victoria over the past 100 years.

We have formed a partnership with Open House Melbourne (OHM) and will be hosting events in conjunction with OHM to celebrate our centenary. We will be hosting a commemorative walking tour as part of the OHM “Collective City” weekend in July 2023, and will be holding a celebration event later in 2023 which will include a panel discussion focusing on the ARBV’s vision of a well-designed, liveable and safe built environment in the context of the past, present and future of the architecture profession regulated in Victoria.

The most significant initiatives that have commenced or were completed in the last 12 months, and the steps taken to meet our overarching strategic goals are outlined in this annual report. In the 2022-23 financial year the ARBV settled into the new hybrid working model, with staff working a combination of remotely and on-site each week.

Business as usual saw regulatory oversight of more than 6,500 practising architects and approved companies and partnerships, over 300 Architectural Practice Examinations held, and approximately 8,000 enquiries received and responded to. Several matters were referred to the Architects Tribunal and the ARBV prosecuted a person in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria for offences against the Architects Act 1991.

The ARBV continued to work closely with other regulators and both State and Commonwealth Government agencies, including through chairing the National Registrars Forum for regulators of the architecture profession throughout Australia and collaboration with other regulators such as the Victorian Building Authority in improving standards of practice e.g., as part of the Design Standards Working Group.

We also continued to work closely with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia on matters concerning the standard of architecture education and the practice of architecture in Australia, which supports ARBV’s vital role in monitoring and providing accreditation for Schools of Architecture in Victorian universities.

In the second half of 2022 the ARBV and the New South Wales Architects Registration Board (NSWARB) completed a research project to identify current, emerging, and future systemic compliance issues and associated risks affecting the regulation of architects in Victoria and New South Wales.

Findings from the research project are now being used to inform the proactive regulatory strategies employed by the ARBV, and NSW ARB respectively, in order to mitigate harm caused by systemic risks. Plans are in place to conduct focus groups with a range of relevant stakeholders across the building and construction sectors in the second half of 2023 to further unpack the key themes identified in the context of the research project.

In November 2022 we launched a new webinar series providing free continuing professional development for architects, aimed at addressing emerging trends and issues arising for both architects and consumers of architectural services in Victoria. Three webinars were held in the financial year, covering a range of issues including how to manage client budgets and project costs, client architect agreements and partial services, as well as a detailed overview of the report produced from the research project into systemic risks in the Australian architecture sector.

In February 2023 amendments were made to the Architects Act 1991, primarily to make changes to provide for the application of the Architects Act1991 to interstate architects practising in Victoria under the Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR)scheme and to facilitate AMR.

The legislative changes include definitions relevant to this scheme and a requirement that architects under the scheme provide proof of insurance in line with the requirements of architects registered in Victoria. The amendments also include provisions on publishing disciplinary actions and removing individuals from the Register of Architects.

Further amendments to the Architects Act 1991 received royal assent in June 2023 and will come into operation as provided for in the Building Legislation Amendment Act 2023. These changes, when they come into operation, will strengthen and improve governance arrangements of the ARBV.

In May 2023, the Lieutenant-Governor made regulations to change architects’ registration fees. Significant work was undertaken in collaboration with the former Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) to progress the review of fees. The objective of resetting registration fees was to ensure that the ARBV can deliver its regulatory services to meet government, industry and community expectations effectively, while maintaining an independent and sound financial position.

Key industry stakeholders including the Australian Institute of Architects, Association of Consulting Architects and ArchiTeam were closely consulted and provided input into the new fee structure proposed by the ARBV. Income from the fees will enable us to continue to regulate, educate and engage to ensure architectural services are delivered according to high professional standards and contribute to improved building outcomes for the benefit of industry and the community.

In the last quarter of the financial year, the ARBV worked with DTP to provide input on the development of the Minister’s Statement of Expectations (SoE) for the ARBV effective from July 2023. Priority elements identified to be addressed in the SoE will assist the ARBV to foster better practice in regulation and achieve improvements in regulatory efficiency and effectiveness, demonstrating the ARBV’s value as a trusted regulator supporting the delivery of a high-quality built environment.

In providing input in the development of the new SoE the ARBV is mindful of the Building System Review’s Expert Panel Stage 1 Report, particularly recommendation 12: Modernise legislative schemes and regulate governance and operations for architects and design practitioners to ensure alignment with best practice and that qualification requirements include a focus on compliance with current regulatory settings.

The ARBV has also worked with the former DELWP and DTP during the year to consider and progress a range of legislative reform proposals to strengthen and optimise the ARBV’s powers under the Architects Act 1991.

Our dedicated staff have worked hard to progress initiatives that support our strategic priorities as set out in the Strategic Plan 2022-26, including the delivery of new projects that benefit the profession and the broader sector. We thank our small team of staff for their steadfast contributions over the last year.

We also thank the members of the ARBV Board, Bruce Allen, Sophie Cleland, Mark Curry, Richard Drew, Stefan Preuss, Sally Wills, Danielle Roche (resigned in March 2023) and Richard Salter, for their ongoing support and strategic advice, as well as their commitment to promoting higher standards of professional conduct among architects in the public interest. A special thanks is due to our Deputy Chairperson Richard Salter, who completed his term in June 2023 after serving the ARBV for 2 terms of appointment.

Lastly, thank you to our duty holders, the Victorian architects, for their ongoing support to the ARBV through registration and the valuable services they continue to provide to their clients and the Victorian community.

Brief history of the registration of architects in Victoria

A brief history of the registration of architects in Victoria, prepared by Professor Julie Willis of the University of Melbourne.

The registration of architects in the state of Victoria celebrates its centenary in 2023, marking 100 years since the first statutory registration of professional architects in June 1923.

The first formal consideration of registration for architects in Australia was in 1887, when both the Victorian Institute of Architects and the South Australian Institute of Architects began to discuss the matter in their respective jurisdictions. The VIA’s concerns were to lift the standards expected of architects, including the formalisation of architectural education and the requirement of a competence standard to use the title ‘architect’, that would lead to public good (consumer protections), particularly related to health and eradication of disease, through good design.

From 1890, when the first bill was drafted, there were multiple attempts to see registration for architects achieved in Victoria, including a failed reading of the bill in Parliament (1892) and several approaches to the Minister of Public Works. In 1918, a private member’s bill for the registration of architects was introduced in Victoria by AA Billson, whose son, EF Billson, was the first graduate of the Diploma of Architecture at the University of Melbourne in 1915. Billson senior would introduce his bill a further two times (1919 and 1920), without success.

World War I had significantly disrupted the pipeline of articled pupils in architecture, prompting the establishment or revival of formal qualifications in architecture in universities and technical colleges across Australia. In parallel, there was renewed momentum for architectural registration. Despite Billson senior’s lack of success, the Minister for Public Works, the Hon Frank Clarke, introduced a second architects’ registration bill in 1920 (known as Bill No.2) to the Legislative Council, and the 2 bills were considered concurrently in 1920 and 1921, with Bill No.2 finally passed into law in 1922.

The complications of 2 concurrent bills with the same premise meant the debate in Victoria was particularly protracted: in shorter timeframes, firstly NSW (November 1921) and then Western Australia (December 1921), passed legislation giving statutory regulation of architects. Victoria had only managed to protect the title of ‘registered architect’, putting it out of step with NSW, WA, Qld (1928) and then Tasmania (1930). It took until 1939 for the Act in Victoria to be amended to protect the term ‘architect’, and until 1940 for South Australia to finally pass its own registration Act.

The requirements outlined in the 1922 Act were agnostic as to any allegiances or professional memberships and encompassed a wide range of possible education and qualification. Rather like the move from private forms of architectural education (articles) to institutionally-based certification, the set of rules and requirements for registration as set out in the Act allowed practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds to become registered architects. While the registration of architects was often criticised for the protections it gave the profession, paradoxically its independence from the profession’s direct control meant it opened architecture up to those who may have otherwise been excluded by non-government bodies.

In the first tranche of registered architects in Victoria (GG 27 June 1923), of the 33 registered, just 12 were members of the RVIA. Registrants included a significant number of regional architects, from Mildura to Bairnsdale, and a woman architect, Vera Lane (#14), the second female graduate of the University of Melbourne’s Diploma of Architecture. Within the first year of the Architects’ Registration Board of Victoria, nearly 500 architects were registered in Victoria.

Registration numbers of architects remained nearly static for the next 2 decades, dipping to near 400 as the Great Depression took its toll. With the 1939 amendment to the Act, numbers rose in the early 1940s, corresponding with a tightening of the expected qualifications in architecture.

The numbers of registered architects rose steadily over the ensuing decades, softening at time of economic stress and uncertainty, but recovering soon afterwards. From its inception, architectural registration set the standards for qualification and competence of an architect, and considered a valuable distinction by practitioners and the profession as a whole to inspire public trust in professional architects and the services they offer.

Vision, mission and values

The ARBVs vision, mission and values.

Our vision

A well designed, liveable and safe built environment for Victorians.

Our mission

We will engage, educate and regulate to ensure architectural services in Victoria are delivered according to high professional standards and contribute to improved building outcomes for the benefit of the community.

Our values

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

  • responsiveness
  • integrity
  • impartiality
  • accountability
  • respect
  • leadership
  • human rights.

Strategic directions

The ARBV Strategic Plan 2022-26 guides our activities and how we prioritise our resources to achieve the ARBV's mission.

The ARBV Strategic Plan 2022-26 guides our activities and how we prioritise our resources to achieve the ARBV's mission. We are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity in the professional practice of architecture and engaging with architects, consumers and government to enhance the quality and safety of the built environment for all Victorians.

Knowledge, capability and excellence

To support architects in the delivery of professional services for the benefit of the community and advancement of the industry.

Community understanding

To build community understanding of the role of architects and the ARBV.

Trusted regulator

To demonstrate ARBVs value as a trusted regulator, supporting the delivery of a high-quality built environment.

Culture and outcomes

To drive positive outcomes for consumers by promoting a professional culture of accountability among architects.

About the ARBV

Information about the ARBV's role and functions, as well as our purpose, values and success measures.

The Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) is part of Victoria’s transport and planning portfolio, led by the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP).

DTP delivers an integrated approach to Victoria’s transport and planning system to support inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable community outcomes. DTP enables more liveable communities across Victoria through the realisation of local economic and community opportunities.

DTP serves 5 Ministers and a Parliamentary Secretary and unites transport, planning, precincts, land use, property, building and heritage to support our vision of thriving places, connected communities for all Victorians.

ARBV and its initiatives are key contributors to the transport and planning portfolio.

Establishment and role

Established in 1923 the ARBV is a self-funded Victorian public sector entity. The Architects Act 1991 (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.

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.

Nature and range of functional areas

Registration

The registration function is responsible for pre-registration and registration-related activities, including assessing applications for registration from 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.

Registration oversees suspensions and cancellations of registration and revocations of suspension. It also ensures registrants comply with their compliance obligations (i.e. Continuing Professional Development and Professional Indemnity Insurance).

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.

Complaints and Investigation

The Complaints and Investigation function is responsible for administering compliance obligations set out in the Architects Act 1991. As part of this function, Complaints and Investigation assesses complaints received about architects' professional conduct and may undertake investigations. Complaints and Investigation may also investigate in circumstances where an unregistered person is alleged to be representing themselves as an architect which is prohibited conduct under the legislation.

Complaints and Investigation support the ARBV’s proactive regulatory activities by identifying complaint trends and emerging issues which help to inform parallel educative initiatives. Established collaborative relationships with other regulators and stakeholders including information sharing arrangements also help to inform regulatory activities and outcomes.

This function provides legal, regulatory and policy advice. It also coordinates administrative support for the Architects Tribunal in relation to disciplinary proceedings.

This function also oversees management of freedom of information (FOI) and privacy matters, including the assessment of FOI requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and guidelines issued by the FOI Commissioner.

Governance

The governance function 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. The function supports implementation of Victorian Government policy and assists other divisions to bring into operation the various regulatory requirements.

Finance and Corporate Services

Finance

Finance ensures 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 Compliance

This function is 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 government compliance requirements.

Business Services

This function encompasses building and facilities management, sustainable procurement, information services, and office administration.

Human Resources

The human resources function 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.

Communications and Engagement

This function is responsible for public relations, issues management, stakeholder relations, corporate communications (publications and external messaging) and ARBV's digital presence.

Our regulatory approach

Our Regulatory Strategy (Strategy) is intended to help architects, approved partnerships and companies regulated by the ARBV develop a strong and effective compliance culture.

The ARBV strives to ensure the delivery of quality architectural services in Victoria, the protection of consumers of architectural services as well as the broader community, and to instill public confidence in the regulation of the architecture sector by the ARBV. To this end, the ARBV is committed to ensuring that outcomes are at the heart of its regulatory approach and activities.

Regulatory objectives

In overseeing the regulatory framework, the ARBV specifically aims to:

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

The ARBV uses all its available regulatory tools to pursue these objectives.

Regulatory strategy

The Regulatory Strategy sets out the ARBV’s risk-based approach. It explains how the ARBV regulates the architecture profession in Victoria using the risks associated with non-compliance that could compromise achievement of regulatory objectives as a guide for its regulatory activities. In turn, this approach helps to ensure that the ARBV regulates in a manner that is effective, fair, efficient and consistent.

The Statement of Regulatory Approach published on the ARBV website provides an overview of the Regulatory Strategy. It enables regulated entities (architects, approved companies and partnerships) to understand the ARBV’s regulatory approach and supports them to develop a positive and effective compliance culture.

Regulatory activities

The ARBV uses its registration and approval function to ensure that only those that are eligible under the regulatory framework are authorised to provide architectural services. In addition, the ARBV undertakes proactive and reactive regulatory activity to respectively mitigate the risk of non-compliance with the regulatory framework and address that risk in cases when non-compliance occurs.

Proactive regulatory activity

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

Proactive activities include:

  • developing educational materials, including factsheets, updates and webinars, to assist architects to understand and meet their obligations and to help clients to understand their rights
  • engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, including architects, clients and industry bodies, to discuss compliance issues, encourage voluntary compliance, and gain insights about areas of concern
  • carrying out research and analysis to help the ARBV better understand sector-wide issues and concerns
  • monitoring regulated entities, gathering intelligence from various sources about compliance risks and analysing information to detect compliance trends and issues.

Each year, the ARBV develops a new proactive strategic plan that helps to ensure that the ARBV’s proactive regulatory activities dynamically keep pace with a changing context.

Reactive regulatory activity

The ARBV undertakes reactive regulatory activity to respond to instances of actual or possible non-compliance.

The ARBV’s reactive regulatory activity may include:

  • education and engagement
  • informal advice about compliance or warning
  • referral to the Architects Tribunal where there are concerns about an architect’s fitness to practise and/or professional conduct
  • suspending or cancelling registration or approval
  • institution of prosecution proceedings.

Proactive highlights

Important proactive activities undertaken by the ARBV in 2022-23 include the joint research partnership with the New South Wales Architects Registration Board into systemic risks in the architecture sector and the launch of the ARBV’s new webinar series providing continuing professional development for architects, aimed at addressing emerging trends and issues arising for both architects and consumers of architectural services.

Reactive highlights

In 2022-23 the ARBV carried out several complex investigations as part of its reactive enforcement regime (pp 23-24). This included a successful prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria against a former architect and the company through which the former architect carried on his business for numerous offences against the Architects Act 1991.

Performance report (non-financial) 2022-23

ARBVs Performance report (non-financial) 2022-23.

Registration

Registration is an important regulatory function that controls entry to the profession and provides assurance to consumers that architects possess ahigh standard of education and experience, adhere to prescribed standards of professional practice and hold Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII).

Qualifications for registration

Persons seeking registration as an architect in Victoria must have been engaged for not less than two years in practical architectural work and attained a standard of professional practice satisfactory to the ARBV.

The Architects Act 1991 (the Act) makes provision for the main pre-registration pathway being the Architectural Practice Examination (APE) for this purpose, as it allows candidates to be tested on their practical knowledge. The APE has been adopted by all Australian state and territory architect registration boards, providing national consistency in pre-registration examinations.

The APE is the most common pathway to registration and is held twice in each calendar year. The other pathways to registration are administered by the AACA and include the Experienced Practitioner Assessment (EPA) – for both overseas experienced and locally experienced individuals and overseas mutual recognition (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation and US architects). During the reporting period the UK mutual recognition pathway was introduced.

The fit and proper person (FPP) requirements for registration requires registrants to answer questions related to their fitness to practise. FPP is determined during the registration assessment and can help to provide initial insights into the risk profiling of a regulated entity. This initial understanding of risk profiles provides useful information to inform education and monitoring of newly regulated entities.

ARBV also administers an enduring declaration at renewal for registrants to provide details of changes in their registration related to the FPP requirements contained in section 10A of the Act.

Enhancements to the registration function continue to be delivered, including:

  • Working to increase registrations, particularly among persons who meet registration requirements but are not registered as architects
  • Embed the National Standard of Competency for Architects into pre-registration programs
  • Communicate the importance of fulfilling Continuing Professional Development obligations
  • Continue to deliver proactive activities in registration to encourage voluntary compliance e.g., monitoring of compliance with CPD requirements
  • Deliver training to ARBV’s refreshed Panel of APE Examiners
  • Collaborate with the AACA and other architect registration boards to implement improvements to relevant registration and examination procedures and processes
  • Overseeing the accreditation processes administered by the AACA
  • Implement an audit process for companies and partnerships to ensure compliance with the Act
  • Improve communications regarding the registration processes and ensuring that all relevant details are available on the website
  • Contribute content for the ARBV Update provided quarterly to registrants.

Compliance with professional indemnity insurance requirements

Section 8B and 8C of the Act require practising architects to be covered by professional indemnity insurance that complies with requirements set out in the Architects Insurance Ministerial Order of February 2020. The Board audits compliance with this requirement and suspends the registration of architects who fail to comply. The CRM now enables more efficient auditing of compliance with insurance obligations.

The Registration team conduct routine audits to ensure compliance with professional indemnity insurance requirements and to ensure that architects meet statutory requirements. Most incidences of non-compliance detected in 2022-23 related to a failure by the registrant to provide a copy of their up-to-date PII certificate of currency to the ARBV.

Registration renewal

The ARBV has continued to improve communications about the renewal process to promote compliance by registrants with the 1 July date for payment of prescribed annual fees. The introduction of the CRM system has improved the overall renewal process and allowed registrants to be more actively engaged with their compliance obligations for renewal and more widely their registration obligations for professional indemnity insurance.

Where the prescribed fee is not paid by the due date (which may be extended in agreed circumstances, e.g. through the Financial Hardship Policy) the ARBV may initiate steps to suspend the registration of the regulated entity. If a regulated entity fails to pay their registration renewal, the ARBV may suspend their registration.

Numbers of suspensions relating to non-payment of annual fees since 2018-19 are as follows:

Number of Suspensions

% of Total

Registrants

Suspensions relating to non-payment of 2018-19 annual fees

332

6.3%
Suspensions relating to non-payment of 2019-20 annual fees

78

1.4%
Suspensions relating to non-payment of 2020-21 annual fees

45

0.93%
Suspensions relating to non-payment of 2021-22 annual fees

37

0.58%
Suspensions relating to non-payment of 2022-23 annual fees

37

0.54%

Notes:

1. Registrants required to pay annual fees: architects (practising), approved companies and approved partnerships.

Registration and architectural practice examination statistics

New registrants

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Architect registrations

403

347

315

336

338

Company approvals

75

102

87

119

120

Partnership approvals

0

3

0

1

3

Changing of registration class

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Practising to non-practising

50

135

121

226

237

Non-practising to practising

55

82

72

105

76

Total architects on Register at 30 June

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Practising

4633

4822

5025

5276

5423

Non-practising

1868

2005

3083

1779

1975

Total

6501

6827

8108

7055

7398

Notes:

1. Due to changes in recent years in how we record Non-Practising registrants on the Register of Architects, the total in 2020-21 appears greater. This primarily relates to the treatment of Non-Practising registrants holding inactive status.

Total companies and partnerships on register

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

As of 30 June 2023

Companies

1046

1112

1176

1274

1362

Partnerships

26

27

27

28

28

Architectural practice examination

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Number of candidates

351

430

418

348

329

Successful candidates

222

183

373

310

280

Unsuccessful candidates

129

24

45

38

49

Notes:

1. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), only one APE session was completed in the financial year 2019-20 leading to the postponement of 223 candidate examinations.

Complaints and investigation

The ARBV Complaints and Investigation function exercises the regulatory powers of the Architects Act 1991 (the Act) to maintain the standards and integrity of the profession of architecture, to protect consumer interests and to underline the importance of registration. The Act enables the ARBV to investigate matters on its own initiative or on the complaint of any person.

In line with the Regulatory Strategy, the ARBV continues to strengthen its focus on the delivery of proactive regulatory activities and increasing awareness and understanding of compliance obligations by architects through education and assistance.

Voluntary compliance by architects supports high standards of professional conduct and practice being maintained and helps to instil confidence in the profession among relevant stakeholders, including the public.

Consumers are able to engage architects with the knowledge that registration requires them to be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance. Restricting who can represent themselves to be an architect also protects consumers by allowing them to source competent and qualified architects over unregistered persons, who may lack the qualifications or competencies to deliver safe and compliant building work.

The ARBV increased its proactive regulatory activities in 2022-23 particularly in the areas of research and education and engagement and plans to further upscale the delivery of proactive activities in the coming year with additional revenue and resourcing available through the increase in 2023-24 registration fees.

The ARBV’s reactive regulatory activities ensure that architects are being held accountable for their professional conduct and practice thereby protecting consumers and upholding the high standards of integrity in the professional practice of architecture. The ARBV undertook important reactive regulatory activities in 2022-23 including a number of complex investigations.

During 2022-23the ARBV commissioned a review to assess the manner in which complaints and investigations are managed. The review involves an assessment of the extent to which ARBV’s reactive regulatory activities are aligned with the Regulatory Strategy. The review will support the enhancement of regulatory documents, tools and guidance materials and help to ensure that good regulatory practice is maintained.

Professional conduct of architects

Architects must demonstrate professional standards and conduct that are competent and professional. This includes but is not limited to fulfilling the obligations detailed in the ‘Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct’ (the Code) contained within the Architects Regulations 2015.

The Code sets out requirements architects must comply with relating to:

  • standards of conduct skills and knowledge approval of documents
  • contracts and agreements with clients administering a building contract for a client professional fees and costs
  • provision of information to clients retaining documents and record keeping
  • maintaining confidentiality of client information disclosing conflicts of interest, referrals, and endorsements
  • engendering confidence in and respect for the profession
  • maintaining standards and integrity of the profession.

Following an investigation, the ARBV may determine that an Architects Tribunal inquiry should or should not be held into an architect’s professional conduct and/or fitness to practise.

A person whose interests are affected by an ARBV determination not to refer an architect’s conductor fitness to practise for inquiry may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review of that determination. In the reporting period the ARBV responded to one application for review that was made to VCAT.

In 2022-23, the ARBV’s complaint data indicates that the highest incidence of complaints about professional conduct related to the following complaint issues:

  • inappropriate billing practice
  • unreasonable delays in the provision of architectural services
  • incompetent design or specifications
  • failure to provide services with due skill, care and diligence.

The complaints data from 2022-23 helped to inform the research project undertaken jointly with the NSW ARB on systemic risks in the architecture sector. The data was also used to inform ARBV’s proactive regulatory activities including the delivery of the ARBV’s webinar program and will inform the development of the next Proactive Strategic Plan and delivery of proactive regulatory activities in the coming year.

Prohibited conduct

To represent themselves as an architect in Victoria, a person must be registered with the ARBV. The education and experience required for registration, coupled with the professional conduct obligations and continuing professional development and Professional Indemnity Insurance requirements, contribute towards maintaining the integrity of the profession and providing consumer protection.

If a person or body is not registered with the ARBV, they are not an architect in Victoria. If a person or body represents themselves or allows themselves to be represented as an architect, they are in breach of the Act’s prohibited conduct provisions.

Breaches of the Act’s prohibited conduct provisions may be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court of Victoria by the ARBV.

Complex investigations 2022-23

Over the past year, ARBV has been carrying out a number of complex investigations as part of its reactive enforcement regime. Those investigations have taken significant time, due to the number of issues raised, the complexity of the issues under consideration and the need to ensure that the persons involved are given appropriate time to provide documents and information in relation to the issues raised regarding their conduct.

Some examples of the complex investigative work undertaken by ARBV over the past year include:

  • Investigation of multiple complaints regarding a former architect who is no longer registered under the Architects Act but who was continuing to hold himself out to consumers as a registered architect. The investigation by ARBV required detailed review of significant amounts of evidence, given the numerous occasions on which the architect had misrepresented himself. The investigation led to a successful prosecution of the former architect and the company through which the former architect carried on his business for numerous offences against the Act. The former architect and the company pleaded guilty to the charges and was ordered to pay a fine and costs.
  • Investigation of a person who allowed himself to be represented to be a registered architect on multiple occasions in published articles and interviews, in circumstances where he had never been registered. That investigation concluded that this conduct had occurred more than 14 times. The person involved took steps to ensure that the offending representations were removed from publicly available records and to avoid any future representations of that type.
  • Investigations regarding a building that was designed with external aluminium cladding, which did not comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code and at which a fire subsequently occurred, causing significant damage to the building. Given the complex factual matrix and the involvement of numerous regulators, including Fire Rescue Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority, ARBV has been liaising with those regulators to understand the circumstances leading to the approval of the non-compliant building design and the conduct of the architects involved.
  • ARBV closely monitored an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into the conduct of a Melbourne architectural company and a registered director of that company in relation to a tender for a development that was federally funded. The ACCC concluded that the architectural company and director in question had engaged in cartel conduct, by seeking to prevent other architectural firms from submitting a tender for that work. The ACCC brought civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, as a result of which the Court imposed significant fines. Now that the court proceedings are concluded, ARBV is conducting its own investigation, focusing on whether any professional conduct obligations set out in the Architects Act or the Regulations have been contravened by any of the parties involved.

Complaints and investigation statistics

Professional conduct of architects

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Assessments and investigations initiated

30

77

67

33

26

Reactive (complaints)

27

63

63

33

24

Proactive (initiated by ARBV)

3

14

4

0

2

Investigations completed – not referred for inquiry

6

33

63

20

16

Investigations completed – not referred for inquiry, but written advice provided to architect (per Regulation 8)

14

2

5

Notes:

1. Where no values are shown this indicates the category was not previously reported.

Professional conduct of architects

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Matters referred to Architects Tribunal

6

4

2

1

8

Architects Tribunal Inquiries Completed

6

6

1

5

0

Prohibited conduct

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Assessments and investigations initiated

79

73

64

44

32

Investigations in which prohibited conduct was not identified

29

7

20

Investigations in which prohibited conduct was identified, compliance achieved without escalation

32

15

19

Investigations referred for prosecution advice

4

4

0

8

Prosecutions initiated

1

0

0

0

1

Completed prosecutions

1

0

0

2

1

Notes:

1. Where no values are shown this indicates the category was not previously reported.

Architects Tribunal

Professional conduct and/or fitness to practise inquiries are conducted by the Architects Tribunal which is independent of the Board. A Tribunal is constituted, as required, from a panel of suitably qualified people appointed by the Minister.

An Architects Tribunal is constituted as follows:

  • one panel member who is a practising architect
  • one panel member who is not an architect
  • one panel member who is a representative of consumer interests.

At least one member of a Tribunal is to be a person with legal experience and knowledge.

Conduct considered by the Tribunal in 2022-2023 includes:

  • Entering into a client architect agreement that did not comply with the requirements in the Code of Conduct for architects
  • Careless or incompetent conduct by providing estimates for build cost that were significantly inaccurate
  • Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure information provided to a client was accurate and unambiguous
  • Failing to engender confidence in and respect for the profession of architecture with respect to communications with the client
  • Failing to disclose a conflict of interest
  • Careless or incompetent conduct by providing drawings for which a building permit could not be issued
  • Failing to act honestly and with reasonable care in the provision of services, by failing to comply with a planning permit.

If the Tribunal finds allegations against an architect proven, it makes determinations regarding penalties and costs. The Tribunal may make determinations against the architect that include cautions, reprimands, mandatory further education, registration conditions, and suspension or cancellation of registration.

The ARBV is required to enforce the determinations made by the Tribunal.

An architect may apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a review of an Architects Tribunal determination concerning them.

ARBV Service Charter

The ARBV Service Charter was first published in July 2022. The charter sets out the standard of service people can expect to receive from the ARBV, including:

  • how to contact us
  • what you should do if you wish to make a complaint or provide feedback about your dealings with us
  • how you can help us to help you
  • our expected time frames for services provided.

Our service commitments

Responsiveness

  • We will respond promptly to your enquiries through our phone and email service.
  • We aim to respond to phone enquiries and emails within 3 business days and written correspondence within 10 working days.
  • We will provide accurate and up to date information in response to enquiries.
  • We will manage all registration applications efficiently and finalise complete and routine applications for registration within 6 weeks.
  • We will keep complainants informed about the progress of their complaint and the expected timeframe for finalisation. We will acknowledge complaints about the ARBV within 3 days and respond to those complaints within 4 weeks.

Transparency

  • We will be open and transparent about our processes.
  • We will provide consistent and clear information across our communication channels.
  • Our staff and Board will disclose conflicts of interest, and comply with the VPS code of conduct.
  • We will give you access to your personal information if you request it.
  • We will publish clear and current information on our website.

Quality service

  • We will give you clear and straightforward information about the ARBV, including information on how to register as an architect in Victoria, make an enquiry or complaint, or respond to a complaint.
  • We will keep an up-to-date Register of Architects in Victoria.
  • We will handle all complaints about the conduct of architects fairly and efficiently. We will keep you informed about the progress of your enquiry, application, or complaint.
  • We will tailor our response to your accessibility needs where possible.
  • We will provide linkages and referral to other government information relevant to your needs where reasonably practicable.

Confidentiality

  • We will have systems in place to protect your confidential information.
  • We will treat all information received in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Professionalism and respect

  • Our dealings with you will be conducted with integrity, honesty and respect.
  • Our staff will be informative and helpful and responsive to feedback you may wish to provide.
  • When you contact us, the person who responds to your enquiry will give you their name.
  • We will be inclusive and treat every member of the public equally.
  • We will endeavour to ensure we are accessible for those with disabilities and culturally diverse backgrounds.

ARBV feedback and enquiries

At the ARBV we collect a range of information and feedback from architects and consumers of architectural services throughout the year. Each email, portal enquiry or phone call is categorised, and surveys are conducted.

Data gathered provides valuable insights, and helps us to identify key trends and issues. This data is used to inform and guide the delivery of the ARBV's regulatory strategy.

Approximately 8000 enquires were received and responded to in the 2022-23 financial year. Most enquiries were responded to in accordance with the timelines set out in the ARBV Service Charter.

EmailsPortal enquiriesCalls
Registration1813332533
Continuing Professional Development851625
Architectural Practice Examination1212133276
Professional Indemnity Insurance34339101
Portal help233NA204
General advice 42NA24
Renewal 291NA262
Other1046197242
Complaints and Investigation321NA230
Total53867171897

Sponsorships, grants and awards

In 2022-23, the ARBV entered into a sponsorship partnership program with Open House Melbourne (OHM). The partnership program will deliver a number of events in 2023-24 to celebrate ARBV’s centenary and recognise and promote the contribution the ARBV makes to Victoria's well- designed, liveable and safe built environment in its role as a regulator of the architectural profession.

The ARBV is delighted to be working with OHM on a range of partnership activities, including hosting a commemorative walking tour as part of the OHM “Collective City” weekend in July 2023. The generous support provided by Jill Garner AM, Victorian Government Architect, in hosting the walking tour alongside ARBV Chairperson, Dr Giorgio Marfella is deeply appreciated. This support includes the identification of buildings for the walking tour that depict the evolution of architecture and the growing needs of Victorians and showcase how the architecture profession that is regulated by the ARBV has contributed to our built environment over the last 100 years.

Grants and sponsorships by ARBV must be linked to the objective of the advancement of architectural education as set out Section 59(1) of the Architects Act 1991 and cognisant of ARBV’s principal role as a regulator.

From time to time the ARBV supports programs or activities that advance continuing education and learning for practising architects, as a collective group, and which aim to address one or more of the following:

  • encourage continuous improvement in professional competency, conduct and integrity
  • drive awareness of risk associated with the provision of architectural services and/or promote risk mitigation
  • deliver improved compliance with the regulatory regime for architects leading to strengthened consumer experience and confidence in the Victorian architectural regulatory framework.

Grants and sponsorships by ARBV also consider whether proposals:

  • raise awareness of and increase positive regard and understanding for ARBV’s role as a regulator
  • build stronger relationships with and encourage participation by stakeholders.

Sponsorship of OHM fulfils these objectives.

Architectural Student Professional Practice Awards

The Architectural Student Professional Practice Awards are in recognition of the importance of education linked to the professional practice of architecture.

Recognising ARBV’s important consumer protection role, awards are provided each year to the top 4th or 5th year student in a professional practice subject demonstrating the highest level of performance in this field and are available at the 5 Victorian schools of architecture.

Recipients receive a grant of $1,000 as a contribution towards the student’s further studies or professional development. Two students received awards in the reporting period.

Statement of Expectations

The revised Statement of Expectations (SOE) framework, issued by the Minister for Planning in July 2021 for the period to June 2023, included the following performance improvements and targeted outcomes on which an update on progress is provided.

SOE Performance, improvements and targeted outcomesSOE targetARBV progress

Improved timeliness

Development and implementation of a Service Charter - setting out ARBV's service commitment and defining the response times to improve quality of service.

By 30 June 2023:

Undertake development and implementation of ARBV Service Charter - setting out ARBV's service commitment and defining the response times to improve quality of service for:

  • enquiries about Registration
  • managing applications for registration
  • keeping the Register of Architects up to date
  • providing updates
  • about progress of enquiries, applications, or complaints about professional conduct
  • acknowledging and responding to complaints about the ARBV.

Establishment of Service Charter completed. Adhering to commitments is ongoing.

Risk-based strategies

Make greater use of data to refine risk-based strategy and report on how outcomes from regulatory activity under the Strategy align with ARBV's strategic priorities.

By June 2023:

Further develop initial risk profiles based on areas of concern for possible harm to help predict the likelihood of non-compliance. This should be further developed and refined as the CRM is embedded by enabling increased capacity for data collection and analysis and information sharing arrangements.

Develop focused strategies that address the most significant existing and emerging compliance issues in tandem with developing improved data analytics to better identify emerging trends and targeting of non-compliance of most need and impact. The strategies will ensure:

  • ARBV has a Regulatory Strategy which it uses to develop an annual proactive strategic plan - a proactive strategic plan to be launched in July 2021 with a new plan every year.
  • Signal any trends that identify a risk/problem with industry.
  • Report on how outcomes from regulatory activity under the Regulatory Strategy align with the ARBV's strategic priorities in the ARBV annual report and website.

By July 2021:

  • ARBV to complete development of the Performance Monitoring Framework and bring to operation and among other things to assess the outcomes from regulatory activities and how they align with strategic priorities.

Risk-profiling is an ongoing activity.

Proactive Strategic Plan is developed annually, and targeted regulatory activities informed by research and data analytics are delivered on an ongoing basis to address existing and emerging compliance issues.

Outcomes from regulatory activity undertaken are reported in the Annual Report, on the website and in quarterly newsletters

Performance Monitoring Framework has been developed and ARBV regularly assesses the outcomes from regulatory activities and their alignment with strategic priorities.

Accountability and transparency

Coordinate feedback from regulated entities and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve regulatory design and interaction with stakeholders.

Publish the ways in which information gathered will be used.

Consider digital mechanisms for interactions and feedback where possible.

By December 2021:

Publish a public-facing Regulatory Strategy with a clear definition of how ARBV administers regulation and, where appropriate, how regulation is enforced - e.g., transparent complaints mechanisms and transparency about the reasons for enforcement decisions).

By June 2022:

Establish digital mechanisms for consumers and architects to provide feedback- e.g., when completing forms and making suggestions for improvement in accordance with the Service Charter.

Define a clear purpose for all information that is collected to ensure it supports regulatory requirements.

By June 2023:

Report and publish key regulatory trends identified and insights emerging from data collected and information and feedback received. Any reporting or publication should explain how that information has been used to inform and prioritise regulatory activities and guide the delivery of the regulatory strategy.

Undertake surveys and other targeted activities to understand regulatory issues that will inform future regulatory activities - with surveys administered on an annual basis to provide currency and an opportunity to compare results over time.

The public-facing Statement of Regulatory Approach is published on the website.

Digital mechanisms for consumers and architects to provide feedback have been established.

A clear purpose is defined for all information that is collected to ensure it supports regulatory requirements

Trends and insights have been published together with information about how they have been used to inform and prioritise regulatory activities and guide the delivery of the regulatory strategy.

Targeted activities have been undertaken to understand regulatory issues and inform future regulatory activities. This included the joint research project with the NSW ARB on systemic risks in the architecture sector.

Cooperation among regulators

Cooperate with regulators in Victoria and nationally - through internal seminar sessions and other measures to identify good practice and share lessons; actively collaborate with other regulators where needed to support regulatory outcomes.

Information to be made publicly available in relation to the work that the ARBV undertakes with other regulators.

By December 2022:

Prepare instruments to clarify regulator roles where there are shared accountabilities and promote coordination between regulators (for example, memorandums of understanding, formal agreements or contracts for service provision).

Collaboration with co- regulators and related stakeholders to establish/renew information sharing agreements, memorandums of understanding or service level agreements is ongoing.

Stakeholder consultation and engagement

Review stakeholder engagement forms, data requests and compliance processes to consider the extent to which they can be digitised to ensure relevancy and efficiency in future.

By June 2022:

Review all forms, data requests and other registration and compliance processes with a view to digitising to ensure relevancy and efficiency in a COVID/post-COVID environment.

All forms, data requests and other registration and compliance processes have been digitised.

Role clarity

Provide more information to clarify the roles of the ARBV and other regulators or statutory bodies, where there are shared accountabilities.

By December 2021:

  • Provide information for consumers in plain English explanations of the difference between the role of architects and other related design professionals.
  • Ensure adequate information is available to consumers to understand the design process easily.

Information for consumers is available on the website explaining the difference between the role of architects and other related design professionals.

Information for consumers about the design process is available on the website.

Performance report (financial) 2022-23

In 2022-23, the ARBV recorded a net surplus of $46,496 which was an increase of $8,087 as compared to the 2021-22 net surplus of $38,409.

2022-23 year in review

Operating result

In 2022-23, the ARBV recorded a net surplus of $46,496 which was an increase of $8,087 as compared to the 2021-22 net surplus of $38,409.

Revenue increased by $233,363, including an additional $124,242 of annual registration fee income due to an increase in the number of registered architects, and approved companies and partnerships.

Expenditure increased by $227,082. This was mainly driven by increases in the following expense categories:

  1. Information Technology expenses- $117,751 – including CRM software support, purchase of laptops and other equipment.

  2. Occupancy expenses - $38,508 – including repairs and maintenance costs.

  3. Employee expenses - $37,502 – including revaluation of long service leave liability for prior year.

  4. Examination expenses - $31,190 – including increase in amount payable to the AACA.

The net result variance includes a minor adjustment flowing from the disposal of non- financial assets in the prior year.

Financial position

Equity

Equity increased by $114,947 to $1,502,007. This was the result of the net surplus of $46,496 and a prior year adjustment of $68,451 to reflect a reduction in the Right-Of-Use (ROU) Assets and Liabilities as per the lease schedule.

Total Assets and Liabilities

Total assets increased by $377,284 due to higher cash collection of registration fees ($676,157) partially offset by a reduction in non-financial assets ($288,253). This reduction was mainly due to adjustment to ROU Assets and depreciation for the year.

Total liabilities increased by $262,337 due to a higher volume of fees collected in advance. Registration and examination fees paid in advance increased by $418,944 which includes the increase in 2023-24 registration fees introduced in May 2023.

ARBV 5-year financial summary

20232022202120202019
$$$$$
Total income from transactions 2,869,5602,636,1972,501,1322,184,5552,447,596
Total expenses from transactions2,823,7702,596,6872,433,2812,355,2662,379,098
Sponsorships and awards* 13,091 4,0005,00025,78261,000
Net result for the period 46,49638,409 67,851 (170,711)98,498
Net cash flows from operations802,650479,330(40,329)426,231144,208
Total assets4,324,384 3,947,1003,915,468 3,369,7362,934,365
Total liabilities 2,822,3772,560,0402,566,8172,088,8871,482,805

* Sponsorships and awards are included in the net result for the period.

Significant changes or factors affecting performance

There were no significant changes or factors affecting ARBV’s performance during the reporting period. The hybrid working model for staff continued throughout the year without any impact on performance.

Subsequent events

As at the date of signing the annual financial statements there were no subsequent events requiring disclosure.

Governance and organisation structure

The ARBV organisational structure and governance for 2022-23.

ARBV organisation structure as at 30 June 2023

  • Download' ARBV organisation structure as at 30 June 2023'

Governance

ARBV Board

The ARBV Board is responsible for performing statutory decision-making functions and powers conferred by the Architects Act 1991 (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 steering 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 2023 was as follows:

  • Dr Giorgio Marfella, PhD, M.Arch,RAIA (Chairperson)

Representative of architects nominated by Councils of approved schools of architecture

  • Richard Salter, B.Eng. (Hons), B.Sc.(Deputy Chairperson)

Representative of Professional Building Industry Organisations nominated by the Housing Industry Association (Vic).

  • Bruce Allen, B.Arch, M.Arch, M.B.A. Elected representative of architects Sophie Cleland, B.Arch (Hons)

Architect nominated from panel submitted by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)

  • Mark Curry, B.AppSc, BSW

Consumer representative nominated by the Minister for Consumer Affairs (Victoria)

  • Richard Drew, B.Eng (Hons),M.DesS, GradCertEng

Representative of the Institution of Engineers, Institute of Surveyors, Institute of Quantity Surveyors and Royal Australian Planning Institute

  • Stefan Preuss,Dipl. Ing Arch, MSc.Arch, GAICD

Practising senior government architect nominated by the Office of Victorian Government Architect

  • Sally Wills, Adv. Dip. Building Design (Architectural) Representative of professional building industry organisations (Joined 13 September 2022)

Directors whose term expired or who resigned during 2022-23 were:

  • Danielle Roche, B.Eng (Hons), MWRMgt Consumer representative nominated by the Minister for Consumer Affairs (Victoria) resigned with effect from 13 March 2023
  • Richard Salter’s term expired on 30 June 2023.

CEO/Registrar

The Board appoints a Registrar to deliver the operations of the organisation in accordance with the agreed strategy. Dr Glenice Fox, SJD, LLB, BA, Grad Cert in Dispute Resolution has occupied the role of CEO/Registrar since February 2021.

Board committees

The ARBV Board is supported by 2 committees and one steering group:

Audit and Risk Committee

The purpose of the Audit and Risk Committee is to assist the Board to fulfil its statutory oversight responsibilities relating to the Financial Management Act 1994 (FMA) and associated Standing Directions 2018 issued by the Assistant Treasurer under Section 8 of the FMA. Members of the Audit and Risk Committee are appointed by the Board in accordance with the Committee’s Charter.

Meetings are held at least 3 times a year, and at other times on request of a committee member or the internal or external auditor. The Committee’s key responsibilities are to:

  • assist the Board in reviewing the effectiveness of the ARBV’s internal control environment, covering effectiveness and efficiency of operations, reliability of financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • review the annual financial statements and make a recommendation to the Board as to whether to adopt the statements
  • review information in the report of operations on financial management, performance and sustainability
  • determine the scope of the internal audit function and ensure its resources are adequate and used effectively, including co-ordination with external auditors
  • maintain effective communication with external auditors, consider recommendations made by internal and external auditors, and review the implementation of actions to resolve issues raised
  • oversee the effective operation of the risk management framework.

Members of the Audit and Risk Committee during the year were Mark Anderson (Independent Chair), Bruce Allen (Independent Member),Mark Curry (Independent Member) and Dr Giorgio Marfella (Independent Member). The CEO/Registrar and Chief Finance Officer also attend.

Remuneration and Organisation Development Committee

The purpose of the Remuneration and Organisation Development Committee is to assist the Board to fulfil its obligations relating to remuneration, organisation development and human resource policy and related matters, including the management of the Registrar’s contract and performance review.

Members of the Remuneration and Organisation Development Committee during the year were Giorgio Marfella (Chair), Richard Salter and Danielle Roche.

Proactive Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Group

The steering group provides strategic guidance to the CEO/Registrar and the internal Project Team to ensure delivery of the Proactive Strategic Plan and the achievement of agreed outcomes. This includes monitoring implementation of the Proactive Strategic Plan to ensure effective, on-time and on-budget delivery.

Members of the Proactive Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Group during the year were board members; Dr Giorgio Marfella, Sophie Cleland, Mark Curry and Richard Drew, and relevant staff members.

Board and committee meeting attendances

Number of meetings attended/eligible to attend in 2022-23

Name

Board

Audit & Risk Committee

Remuneration & Organisation Development Committee

Notes and overall meeting attendance

Dr Giorgio Marfella (Board Chairperson)10/10

3/3

2/2

15/15

Richard Salter (Board Deputy Chairperson)8/10

2/2

10/12

Mark Anderson

(Audit & Risk Committee Chairperson)

N/A

3/3

3/3

Bruce Allen10/10

2/3

12/13

Sophie Cleland9/10

9/10

Mark Curry10/10

3/3

13/13

Richard Drew10/10

10/10

Stefan Preuss8/10

8/10

Danielle Roche5/7 0/1

5/8

Resigned 13 March 2023

Sally Wills6/8

6/8

Joined 13 September 2022

ARBV Chairpersons and Registrars since 1923

ChairpersonsDate
Edward Bates

1923 - 1931

William Godfrey

Plus, a period 1924-1925 as acting chair.

1931 - 1934

Kingsley Henderson

1934 - 1939

John Gawler

1939 - 1946

Stanley Parkes

1946 - 1966

Harry Winbush

1966 - 1971

Ronald Lyon

1971 - 1975

R.J. Gibson

1975 - 1983

J.F. Swan

1983 - 1985

Allan Rodger

1985 - 1988

Peter Williams

1988 - 1997

Robert McGauran

1997 - 2000

Andrew Hutson

2000 - 2012

David Sainsbery

2012 - Dec 2017

David Islip

Dec 2017 - May 2020

Karen Alcock

May 2020 - May 2021

Dr Giorgio MarfellaMay 2021 -
RegistrarsDate
William Campbell

1923 - 1929

John Islip

Charles Serpell was acting registrar 1942-1946 while John Islip was on leave having enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force.

1929 - 1970
John Janicke1970 - 1971
Tom Cranston1971 - 1972
Raymond Wilson1972 - 1972
Noel Bewley1972 - 1986
Mary Mauthoor1986 - 1992
Jeffrey Keddie1992 - 1998
Michael Kimberley1998 - 2008
Alison Ivey2008 - 2018
Adam Toma

September 2018 – July 2020

Allan Bawden

Interim Registrar

July 2020 - February 2021

Dr Glenice FoxFebruary 2021 -

Workforce data

Public sector values and employment principles.

Workforce data

Public sector values and employment principles

The ARBV has embedded the employment principles as set out in section 8 of the Public Administration Act 2004 into its Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual.

The manual’s employment policies and practices are consistent with the principles e.g., merit and equity with regard to selection processes to ensure that applicants are assessed and evaluated fairly and equitably based on key selection criteria and other accountabilities without discrimination.

Occupational health & safety

The goal of the ARBV’s Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Policy is to ensure all staff (and others) accessing the ARBV’s premises remain safe and healthy with a continued commitment to OH&S compliance, active risks and hazards assessment and control.

The ARBV’s target for 2022-2023 was for zero OH&S incidents leading to claims which was achieved. No incidents, hazards or near misses or lost time were reported during the 2022-2023 year.

The ARBV’s Workcover premium rate at the completion of 2022-2023 is 0.6115%. This is below the applicable State Government Administration industry classification rate of 0.6360%. ARBV’s performance rating of 0.961508 is 3.84% better than the industry average.

Workforce inclusion policy

The ARBV strives to provide an inclusive working environment where equal opportunity and diversity are valued, and that reflects the communities we serve. The ARBV ’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected in our policies and practices of valuing and supporting employees regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Due to the ARBV’s size (under 15 employees) the ARBV does not have formal plans or strategies in place, for example Disability Employment Plan, Gender Equality Action Plan for 2022–25 and Aboriginal Employment Plan 2020–26or targets for gender diverse staff, as adopted by larger public sector organisations.

Workforce data

The Architects Registration Board of Victoria employed 14 staff (10.0 full time equivalent) on 30 June 2023, compared to 14 staff (10.1 full time equivalent) on 30 June 2022.

Employees have been correctly classified in workforce data collections.

All employees, except executive officers, are covered by the ARBV Enterprise Agreement.

2021-222022-23
ClassificationNumber (headcount)FTENumber (headcount)FTE
Executive Officer1111
VPS 71111
VPS 621.343.4
VPS 542.130.6
VPS 410.610.4
VPS 354.143.6
VPS 20000
Total1410.11410

Notes:

  • All figures reflect employment levels during the last full pay period in June of each year.
  • Excluded from workforce data; employees on leave without pay or absent on secondment, graduates, external contractors/consultants and temporary staff employed by employment agencies.
  • Ongoing employees includes people engaged on an open-ended contract of employment and executives engaged on a standard executive contract who were active in the last full pay period of June.
  • “FTE” stands for Full Time Equivalent.
  • The ARBV uses Victorian Public Sector (VPS) Salaries and Classification and Value Range Descriptors.

Other disclosures

This section includes disclosures required by the Financial Management Act 1994, the Architects Act 1991, the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012, Disability Act 2006 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982. It also includes voluntary disclosure of additional regulatory compliance information.

Other disclosures

This section includes disclosures required by the following acts:

It also includes voluntary disclosure of additional regulatory compliance information.

Local Jobs First Act 2003

The Local Jobs First Act 2003 introduced in August 2018 brings together the Victorian Industry Participation Policy (VIPP) and Major Project Skills Guarantee (MPSG) policy which were previously administered separately.

Departments and public sector bodies are required to apply the Local Job first policy in all projects valued at $3 million or more in Metropolitan Melbourne or for state-wide projects, or $1 million or more for projects in regional Victoria.

There were no procurements initiated by the ARBV in 2022-2023 falling within the provisions of the Local Jobs First Policy.

Social procurement

The ARBV is a very small agency and whilst it remains conscious of its obligations under the State Government’s Social Procurement Framework, it is difficult for the entity to generate meaningful social value given:

  1. the limited annual expenditure budget for goods and services, and
  2. the nature of goods and services acquired over the course of the year.

Management continues to explore opportunities for social procurement, however, there was no expenditure of this nature in 2022-2023.

Government advertising expenditure

There were no advertising campaigns in 2022-23 with a media spend of $100,000 or greater.

Consultancy expenditure

Details of consultancies $10,000 or greater

In 2022-23, there were 2 consultancy engagements for which services were provided during the reporting period that were individually valued at $10,000 or greater (excluding GST). The total expenditure incurred during 2022-23 in relation to these consultancies was $27,000 (excl. GST).

Consultant

Dart Legal Consulting Pty Ltd

Halliday’s Business Insights Pty Ltd

Purpose of consultancy

Research into systemic risks in the architecture sector

Independent workplace assessment

Start - End Date

July - October 2022

August - December 2022

Expenditure 2022-

23 (excl. GST)

$15,000

$12,000

Details of consultancies under $10,000

In 2022-23 there was one consultancy during the year, where the total fees payable to the individual consultancy was less than $10,000. The total expenditure incurred during 2022-23 in relation to these consultancies was $5,080 (excl. GST).

Declarations of private interests

All ARBV Board members have completed a declaration of private interests.

Disclosure of major contracts

The ARBV did not enter into any major contracts valued at $10 million or above during 2022-23.

ICT expenditure

Disclosure of ICT ExpenditureICT Expenditure relating to projects to create or enhance ICT capabilities in 202-23
Business as usual ICT expenditureNon-business as usual ICT expenditureOperational expenditureCapital expenditure

$293,445

$19,634

0

$19,634

Freedom of Information Act 1982

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act) allows the public a right of access to documents held by the ARBV. The purpose of the Act is to extend as far as possible the right of the community to access information held by government departments, local councils, Ministers, and other bodies subject to the Act.

An applicant has a right to apply for access to documents held by the ARBV. This comprises documents both created by the ARBV or supplied to the ARBV by an external organisation or individual. Information about the type of material produced by the ARBV is available on the ARBV’s website under its Part II Information Statement.

The Act allows the ARBV to refuse access, either fully or partially, to certain documents or information.

Examples of documents that may not be accessed include but not limited to cabinet documents; some internal working documents; law enforcement documents; documents covered by legal professional privilege, such as legal advice; personal information about other people; and information provided to the ARBV in-confidence.

From 1 September 2017, the Act has been amended to reduce the Freedom of Information (FOI) processing time for requests received from 45 to 30 days. However, when external consultation is required under subsections 29, 29A, 31, 31A. 33, 34 or 35, the processing time automatically reverts to 45 days. Processing time may also be extended by periods of 30 days, in consultation with the applicant. With the applicant’s agreement this may occur any number of times. However, obtaining an applicant’s agreement for an extension cannot occur after the expiry of the time frame for deciding a request.

If an applicant is not satisfied by a decision made by the ARBV, under section 49A of the Act, they have the right to seek a review by the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) within 28 days of receiving a decision letter.

Making a request

FOI requests can be lodged writing to the ARBV via email or post. An application fee of $30.60 applies. Access charges may also be payable if the document pool is large, and the search for material, time consuming.

Access to documents can also be obtained through a written request to the ARBV as detailed in section 17 of the Act.

When making an FOI request, applicants should ensure requests are in writing, and clearly identify what types of material/documents are being sought.

Requests for documents in the possession of the ARBV should be addressed to:

Registrar, ARBV

Level 10, 533 Little Lonsdale Street

Melbourne 3000

Email: registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au

FOI statistics/timeliness

During 2022-23, the ARBV received one FOI application, which was still being finalised after 1 July 2023.

Further information

Further information regarding the operation and scope of FOI can be obtained from the Act; regulations made under the Act; and ovic.vic.gov.au. The ARBV’s Part II statement can be found on our website.

Building Act 1993

The ARBV does not own or control any government buildings and consequently is exempt from notifying its compliance with the building and maintenance provisions of the Building Act 1993.

Competitive Neutrality Policy

Competitive neutrality requires government businesses to ensure where services compete, or potentially compete with the private sector, any advantage arising solely from their government ownership be removed if it is not in the public interest. Government businesses are required to cost and price these services as if they were privately owned. Competitive neutrality policy supports fair competition between public and private businesses and provides government businesses with a tool to enhance decisions on resource allocation. This policy does not override other policy objectives of government and focuses on efficiency in the provision of service.

The ARBV continues to comply with the requirements on competitive neutrality reporting as required under the Competition Principles Agreement and Competition and Infrastructure Reform Agreement.

Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2012 encourages and assists people in making disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies. The Act provides protection to people who make disclosures in accordance with the Act and establishes a system for the matters disclosed to be investigated and rectifying action to be taken.

The ARBV does not tolerate improper conduct by employees, nor the taking of reprisals against those who come forward to disclose such conduct.

It is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in its administrative and management practices and supports the making of disclosures that reveal corrupt conduct, conduct involving a substantial mismanagement of public resources, or conduct involving a substantial risk to public health and safety or the environment.

The ARBV will take all reasonable steps to protect people who make such disclosures from any detrimental action in reprisal for making the disclosure. It will also afford natural justice to the person who is the subject of the disclosure to the extent it is legally possible.

Reporting procedures

You can make a public interest disclosure about the ARBV or its board members, officers or employees by contacting IBAC (details below).

The ARBV is not able to receive public interest disclosures.

The ARBV has established procedures for the protection of persons from detrimental action in reprisal for making a public interest disclosure about the ARBV, its board members, officers or employees. You can access the ARBV’s procedures on its website at: www.arbv.vic.gov.au

Alternatively, disclosures may also be made directly to the Independent Broad-based Anti- Corruption Commission.

Level 1, North Tower, 459 Collins Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

Mail: IBAC, GPO Box 24234, Melbourne Victoria 3001

Phone: 1300 735 135

Internet: www.ibac.vic.gov.au

Email: See the website above for the secure email disclosure process, which also provides for anonymous disclosures.

Disability Act 2006

The Disability Act 2006 reaffirms and strengthens the rights of people with a disability and recognises this requires support across the government sector and within the community.

Absolutely everyone is the Victorian Government’s framework for enabling people with disability to participate and contribute to the social, economic and civic life of their community. Over time the government will consider ways to align disability action plans to the state plan.

The ARBV has a Disability Action Plan in place approved by the Board. Consistent with the plan the ARBV’s Human Resources policies e.g. Workplace Health and Safety and Equal Opportunity recognise and seek to address the rights and needs of people with disabilities.

This is exampled by an organisational disability employment strategy where the ARBV will make reasonable adjustments for a person with a disability to ensure an inclusive and disability equitable workplace. Those adjustments include where:

  • a person with a disability who applies for a job, is offered employment, or is an employee, and requires the adjustments in order to participate in the recruitment process or perform the genuine and reasonable requirements of the job
  • it is necessary to ensure employees with a disability can work safely and productively
  • flexibility in the working arrangements is required for example where employee is the carer of a child under 18 with a disability.

Compliance with establishing Act

The ARBV is established under the Architects Act 1991. Pursuant to section 46 of the Architects Act 1991, the ARBV is required to exercise its powers and perform its duties under the Act.

The ARBV is accountable to the Minister for Planning, who is accountable to Parliament and the community for the performance of the ARBV. The responsible Minister for the period from 1 July 2022 to 4 December 2022 was the Hon Lizzie Blandthorn MP, Minister for Planning. The responsible Minister for the period from 5 December 2022 to 30 June 2023 was the Hon Sonya Kilkenny MP, Minister for Planning. The Minister for Planning also establishes key governance and performance priorities for the ARBV by issuing a Statement of Expectations. In overseeing the performance of the ARBV, the Minister for Planning is supported by the Department of Transport and Planning.

Additionally, the ARBV is required to advise the Minister on the carrying out of its functions under the Act and on any other matter referred to it by the Minister and is subject to any specific written directions given by the Minister.

The ARBV is required under the Public Administration Act 2004 to:

  • Inform the Responsible Minister and the portfolio Secretary (Department of Transport and Planning) of known major risks (significant or emerging) to the effective operation of the ARBV and of the risk management systems that it has in place to address those risks.
  • Provide the Responsible Minister, unless prohibited from doing so by or under any law, with any information relating to the ARBV or its operations as he or she requests.

Office-based Environmental impacts

The ARBV is committed to reducing its environmental footprint and promoting awareness and participation amongst its employees. The use of recycled paper together with the emphasis on electronic document management and a “paperlite” approach is reducing paper and storage. Wastepaper is binned for recycling and used printer cartridges are disposed of via Planet Ark.

Additional information available on request

In compliance with the requirements of the Standing Directions 2018 of the Minister for Finance, details in respect of the items listed below, where applicable to the ARBV, have been retained and are available on request, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982:

  1. details of publications produced by the ARBV about itself, and how these can be obtained
  2. details of major research undertaken by the ARBV
  3. details of major promotional, public relations and marketing activities undertaken by the ARBV to develop community awareness of the entity and its services
  4. details of changes in prices, fees, charges, rates and levies charged
  5. a statement on industrial relations within ARBV
  6. details of all consultancies and contractors, including consultants/contractors engaged, services provided, and expenditure committed for each engagement.

The information is available on request from:

Registrar, ARBV

Level 10, 533 Little Lonsdale Street

Melbourne 3000

or registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au

Statement of availability of other information available on request

Details of the following items have been included in the ARBV’s annual report, on the pages indicated below:

  1. a list of the ARBV’s major committees, the purposes of each committee, and the extent to which the purposes have been achieved (on page 39)
  2. assessments and measures undertaken to improve the occupational health and safety of employees (on page 41).

Information that is not applicable to the ARBV

The following information is not relevant to the ARBV for the reasons set out below:

  1. declaration of shares held by senior officers (no shares have ever been issued in the ARBV)
  2. details of overseas visits undertaken (no ARBV members or senior executives took overseas work-related trips)
  3. details of any major external reviews carried out on the ARBV (no major external reviews undertaken)
  4. details of major development activities undertaken by the ARBV (no major development activities undertaken).

DataVIC Access Policy

The ARBV discloses information online and via printed publications. It also provides information services in person and/or by phone, annual report and website.

Appendices

Appendix 1: disclosure index of the 2022-23 annual report.

The annual report of the ARBV is prepared in accordance with all relevant Victorian legislations and pronouncements. This index has been prepared to facilitate identification of ARBV's compliance with statutory disclosure requirements.

LegislationRequirementPage Reference
Year in review
FRD 22Manner of establishment and responsible Minister13
FRD 22Nature and range of services provided13
FRD 22Objectives, functions, powers and duties12-14
FRD 22Performance Reporting (non-financial) - Achievements6-8
FRD 22Performance Reporting (non-financial) - Operational Performance17-33
FRD 22Performance Reporting (non-financial) - Key Initiative6-8
FRD 22Summary of the financial results for the year35-36
FRD 22Significant changes in financial position during the year36
FRD 22Major changes or factors affecting performance36
FRD 22Subsequent Events36
Governance and organisational structure
FRD 22Organisational structure and corporate governance37
FRD 22Board's role and membership38
FRD 22Audit & Risk Committee membership39
FRD 22Board Committees39
FRD 22Employment and conduct principles41
Workforce data
FRD 22Public sector values & employment principles41
FRD 22Occupational Health and Safety41
FRD 29 / FRD 22Workforce data disclosures42
FRD 10Disclosure index87
Financial and other information
FRD 10Disclosure index89
FRD 21Disclosure of Responsible Persons, Executive Officers and other personnel82
FRD 22Subsequent Events83
FRD 103Non-financial physical assets64
FRD 106Impairment of Assets75
FRD 110Cash flow statements58
Other disclosures as required by FRD's
FRD 25Local Jobs First44
FRD 22Government advertising expenditure44
FRD 22Details of consultancies over $10,00044
FRD 22Details of consultancies under $10,00044
FRD 22Disclosure of ICT expenditure44
FRD 12Disclosure of Major Contracts44
FRD 22Application and operation under the Freedom of Information Act 198245
FRD 22Compliance with Building Act 199346
FRD 22Statement on Competitive Neutrality Policy46
FRD 22Application of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 201246
FRD 24Reporting on office-based environmental impacts48
FRD 22Statement of availability of other information available on request48
Compliance attestation and declaration
SD 5.1.4Attestation for Compliance with Ministerial Standing Directions49
SD 5.2.3Declaration in the Report of Operations49
Financial statements
SD 5.2.2Declaration in financial statements52
SD5.2.1(a)Compliance with Australian accounting standards and other authoritative pronouncements52
SD5.2.1(a)Compliance with Standing Directions52
Legislation
Architects Act 199147
Freedom of Information Act 198245
Building Act 199346
Public Interest Disclosures Act 201246
Local Jobs First Act 200344
Financial Management Act 199447
Disability Act 200647
Public Administration Act 200447

Financial report

Financial statements for the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) 2022-23 financial year.

The attached financial statements for the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) have been prepared in accordance with Direction 5.2 of the Standing Directions of the Assistant Treasurer under the Financial Management Act 1994, applicable Financial Reporting Directions, Australian Accounting Standards including Interpretations, and other mandatory professional reporting requirements.

Financial management compliance attestation statement

ARBV Financial Management Attestation 22-23
PDF 77.26 KB
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Financial statement

ARBV Financial Report 22-23
PDF 1.36 MB
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