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On 16 October 2019 Mr Clinton Gadd and the company ABM Building Services Ltd of Crawley, West Sussex were convicted of four counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘architect’ on the company’s website as well as its Twitter and Google profiles.

Crawley Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Gadd, the company director, was carrying out business using the word “architect” despite not being registered as an architect himself or employing someone appropriately registered as an architect.

The Court took into account that Mr Gadd had contacted web designers to remedy the breaches and made an early guilty plea.  It also noted that Mr Gadd had been contacted by ARB on several occasions, and that he could have done more to remedy the breaches.  The Court imposed a penalty of £6,369 (split between the two defendants) in addition to the criminal conviction.

It is hoped that criminal convictions, fines and the negative publicity associated with title misuse prosecutions will act as a deterrent for those who may otherwise have used the title illegally.

In regulating misuse of the title ‘architect’ ARB’s objective is to limit the harm as swiftly and effectively as possible.  Mr Gadd and ABM Building Services Ltd will have 28 days to make the necessary changes.  ARB will continue to monitor their trading style and take further appropriate action as necessary.

[Text amended 05.11.19 to reflect that the Court imposed a penalty, and not a fine, of £6,369]

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Notes for Editors

o ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

o The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:
– Maintain the Architects Register
– Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
– Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
– Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
– Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
– Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects

o The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2,500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine and related costs after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.

o ARB’s Misuse of Title Policy can be found on our website here.

For further information please contact Kate Howlett (ARB Communications Lead) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at kateh@arb.org.uk

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