The directive to remove the legal obligation on architects trained in the EU to register with the Architects Registration Board, as long as they are working in the UK on a “temporary or occasional” basis, is due to be brought in by 20 October (31 August, page 12).

Although the move is likely to help reduce the shortage of trained architects in the UK, this directive has generated some consternation among insurers. Their main concern is that an increasingly “temporary” workforce is likely to reduce the ability of practices to fully integrate individuals into their risk management systems.

Their concern appears to be shared by UK practices, given some of the discussions we have had with clients over the past few days. Clients are anxious about the implications on the cover provided by their professional indemnity (PI) policies and their premiums.

There are two steps for firms to take if they are looking to take on “temporary or occasional” professionals. First, they must advise their brokers to include these workers on their policy. Second, firms must build in an effective integration procedure to demonstrate the risk mitigation steps they have taken to their insurer when their policy comes to renewal. If they have doubts, they should contact a PI broker for advice.

Ted Jones, head of architects PI team, Howden Insurance Brokers