On 21 December 2018 the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) reprimanded Mr Neil Perry, of Anderson Orr Architects Limited, Oxfordshire, after he admitted unacceptable professional conduct (UPC).
Mr Perry was engaged in connection with the renovation of a Grade 2 listed farm house and out buildings. Mr Perry accepted that he did not enter into a written agreement with his client as required by Standard 4.4 of the Architects Code, because the agreement he did enter into was incomplete. While Mr Perry did issue two letters relating to his engagement, they did not explain the fees that would be due for the later stages of the project, who was responsible for what, any provisions for suspension/termination of the agreement, confirmation that adequate insurance was in place, or that he had a complaints handling procedure. He did not address the issues about the later stages of work when they were reached.
Mr Perry admitted the allegation and agreed to accept the reprimand which was proposed by the ARB. Mr Perry waived his right to have the case heard at a public hearing, and agreed that the decision could be made by the PCC on the basis of the papers alone.
The PCC found this to be a breach of the Architects Code which warranted a reprimand, after having taken note of Mr Perry’s good disciplinary history, insight, apology and the low risk of repetition. The PCC approved the Consent Order.
A copy of the Consent Order can be found here.
Notes for Editors
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
- 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
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.
The PCC is established under Schedule 1, Part II of the Architects Act and is required to consider any report referred to it. The Committee determines whether an architect is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence. Where a guilty finding is made, the Committee will consider whether to make a disciplinary order, which means:
- a reprimand
- a penalty order
- a suspension order (to a maximum of 2 years); or
- an erasure order
Under ARB’s rules, where an architect admits all of the allegations and the sanction proposed by ARB, they can opt to have the case considered on the papers by the PCC, rather than at a hearing. The final decision on both guilt and sanction will always rest with the PCC, which is not bound by the proposals.
Money raised by fines imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee is paid to HM Treasury.
Where an architect admits unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence and the proposed disciplinary sanction, the PCC can impose that penalty by consent, and without the need for a hearing.
For further information, please contact Kate Howlett, Communications Lead on 020 7580 5861 or by email at KateH@arb.org.uk.