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Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice

Section 13 of the Architects Act 1997 (“the Act”) requires the Architects Registration Board (“the Board”) to issue a Code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of persons registered as architects under the Act.

This is that Code. Any failure to comply with the provisions of this Code is not of itself to be taken as constituting unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence, but it shall be taken into account in any disciplinary proceedings before the Board’s Professional Conduct Committee.

You are expected to be guided in your professional conduct and professional work by the spirit of the Code as well as by its express terms. The fact that a course of conduct is not specifically referred to in the Code does not mean that it cannot form the basis of disciplinary proceedings. Each case is judged on its facts, and there may be circumstances in which unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence is found even where there has been no clear breach of the express terms of the Code.

Not every shortcoming, or failure to meet the Standards expected by the Code, will necessarily give rise to disciplinary proceedings.

A disciplinary order may be made against you if you are convicted of a criminal offence other than where that offence has no material relevance to your fitness to practise as an architect.

FAQs

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What is the Code of Conduct?

Section 13 of the Architects Act 1997 requires the Board to issue a code laying down standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects. It is not a list of rules, but a guidance document.

Who should be aware of the Code?

The Code is provided to all architects on the Register, and it is their individual responsibility to be aware of its contents. If you have any queries regarding your obligations under the Code, you should contact ARB’s Professional Standards Department at professionalstandards@arb.org.uk.

What if I practise outside the United Kingdom?

The Code lays down the standards of conduct and practice expected of architects, wherever they may live or practise. However, it is a guidance document and those who practise outside the UK may be subject to different legislation, guidance or common practice which will influence their behaviour. For example, local legislation may be in conflict with the Code and may provide a sound reason for taking a decision not to follow the Code

What happens if I fall short of the Standards set down in the Code?

As the Code is not a set of rules, it will not automatically lead to disciplinary proceedings should you fall short of any of the standards. However, any failure to comply with the provisions of the Code will be taken into account in event of a complaint. Each case is judged on its own facts.

If someone complains about me, which Code will my conduct or competence be judged against?

ARB will consider a complaint against whichever Code was in place at the time of the alleged misconduct or incompetence.