Professional architecture, building conservation and environmental design bodies

Professional architecture, building conservation and environmental design bodies

The two most important professional bodies in the architecture sector are RIBA and the ARB. Both of these play a part in defining the required qualifications of architects and the educational processes they need to go through. The IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservation) is the key body for building conservation, and the CIAT (Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists) provides support and information for architectural technologists.

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) was established in 1834 and gained royal charter three years later. It accredits courses throughout the UK and acts to train and support professionals and students in the industry. It also advises the government on the design of public buildings and housing. The Institute regularly holds exhibitions, events and talks, and owns the largest and most comprehensive resource in the United Kingdom for research and information on all aspects of architecture: the British Architectural Library.


The RIBA Education Fund offers grants to UK architecture students experiencing financial hardship. This is only open to students who have lived in the UK for at least three years before starting a course. They must also be enrolled in a RIBA-validated Part 1 or Part 2 course. Download an application form and a PDF outlining other funding resources for architecture students.

RIBA social network links

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) was established by parliament in 1997 to regulate the architecture profession and its members to ensure good practice and standards. It is responsible for recognising the qualifications needed to become an architect.

Student Handbook

The Board produces several publications, vital for those in the profession, including the Student Handbook, the Register of Architects and Information for Architects. All of these are available online at

Visit for a complete list of schools and institutions offering ARB-prescribed courses (Parts 1, 2 and 3 of required study).

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) offers continuing professional development and other training opportunities to help advance its members' expertise. It also publishes a list of recognised undergraduate and postgraduate building conservation courses, which can be found on its website. The institute presents a list of awards, training opportunities and bursaries, some of which may be appropriate for postgraduate students.

IHBC social network links

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Established in 1965 at the request of the RIBA for a body dedicated specifically to architectural technicians, the CIAT gained royal charter in 2005. The institute has over 9,000 members in the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong. Its chief purposes are to: promote the science and practice of architectural technology; develop and integrate technology into the profession (and the construction industry as a whole); and to uphold educational standards, competence and conduct of its members.


The institute accredits courses throughout the UK that have met its rigorous standards. For a list of accredited institutions visit:

CIAT funding

The John Newey Education Foundation is designed to benefit two student members a year who are enrolled on a CIAT-accredited course and facing financial hardship. To find out how to apply, click on the awards tab at the CIAT website:

CIAT's social network links