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On 7 July 2016, Mr Stephen Vaughan of Plan It Design, London was ordered to pay a total of £8,128 in fines and costs after he was convicted for misusing the title ‘architect’ in breach of the Architects Act 1997.

Highbury Magistrates Court heard that Mr Vaughan had failed to amend references to the title ‘architect’ in the content and meta-data of his practice website and on social media sites despite receiving warnings from the Architects Registration Board.

After taking into account his guilty plea, Mr Vaughan was fined £500 in relation to each of the three offences, totalling £1,500, and ordered him to pay a court charge of £50 and costs to the ARB of £6,578.

A spokesperson on behalf of ARB’s Professional Standards Department said:

‘Only practices with a registered architect in control and management of the architectural work are legally allowed to use the title ‘architect’. For an individual to continue to use the title whilst not on the Register misleads the public, and this prosecution demonstrates the serious consequences for anyone that persistently breaks the law. Anyone wishing to use the services of an architect should check the Register of Architects at 

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Notes for Editors

ARB is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. The Act requires ARB, among other things, to regulate use of the title “architect” and to take action when it is being used unlawfully (Section 20).

ARB has a Board of 15 members, seven of whom are architects elected by the profession. The remaining eight are members of the public appointed by the Privy Council to represent the interests of consumers and users of architectural services.

The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2500, 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.

For further information, please contact Simon Howard, Professional Standards Manager, on 020 7580 5861, or by email on

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