Rest assured with a regulated architect
Trust is an important factor in a stress-free homebuilding project so find out why you can be confident engaging the only statutorily regulated profession in the built environment with the profession’s regulator, the Architects Registration Board.
What an architect can do
Architects are tailor-made to provide support for self/custom builds. While you’ll certainly need the specialised skills of other professions along the way, architects’ training in the UK gives them the holistic expertise to assist at every stage of a project, from conception right through to completion.
From the outset of your project, an architect can talk you through ideas that you may not have thought about before, as well as early-stage considerations like house types, plots, orientation and energy efficiency. When planning your project, they can prepare feasibility studies for you, assess your options and identify possible constraints.
Procurement is another area an architect can assist with, as well as identifying and evaluating the other contractors who’ll need to be engaged on the project. In addition to producing conceptual and technical designs, your architect can support you through building regulations by making planning permission and statutory approval applications. They can also administer the building contract once you reach the construction stage and provide you with the required certification when you reach completion.
How architects are regulated
The Architect’s Registration Board (ARB) is the independent regulator of the architects’ profession in the UK. We work in the public interest and are committed to protecting users and potential users of architects’ srvices as well as supporting architects through regulation.
The title ‘architect’ is protected in the UK which means only those with the right qualifications and skills can call themselves an architect. Other job titles like ‘architectural consultants’ or ‘architectural assistants’ are not regulated and can be used by anyone, regardless of experience or qualification.
Our duties include setting the qualifications and experience required to become an architect in the UK and maintaining the Architects Register - a searchable, online register of over 40,000 individuals who have demonstrated they have the appropriate qualifications and experience to use the title ‘architect’. We also issue a Code that sets out the professional standards expected of architects and we can investigate concerns about their conduct or competence. We can also investigate anyone who may be using the title illegally.
The benefits of regulation
The work we do means you can be confident you are dealing with a genuine and skilled professional who adheres to high standards of conduct and competence.
Genuine professionals – Searching the Architects Register is quick, easy and free. You can search for architects by name, address, company or registration number. If they’re not on the Register, they’re not an architect.
Highly qualified – For those qualifying in the UK, it takes a minimum of seven years of study to achieve the ARB recognised qualifications required to be able to use the title ‘architect’. The expectations are similarly stringent for architects from overseas working in the UK.
Standards - Architects must adhere to the standards laid down in the Architects Code, which includes acting with honesty and integrity, holding adequate insurance cover, and keeping the knowledge and skills relevant to their work up to date. We provide regular advice and guidance to architects to help them meet these expectations.
Guidance for you – We provide support to those thinking of or using an architect, including our FAQs and Meeting with your architect form which are both available on our website.
Complaints - Serious failings by architects are rare, with around only 160 out of 40,000 architects investigated each year. Nonetheless, it can be reassuring to know there is an independent regulator dedicated to investigating your concerns – even if you never need it. If necessary, we can take action where concerns are raised about the conduct or competence of an architect, including removing the individual from the Register. In addition, we work proactively to prevent people from misusing the title and can investigate concerns that an unregistered individual is claiming to be an architect. We work to end the misuse swiftly to limit the harm where possible and can prosecute if appropriate.
The Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice
In summary, architects are expected to:
- Be honest and act with integrity
- Be competent
- Promote their services honestly and responsibly
- Manage their business competently
- Consider the wider impact of their work
- Carry out their work faithfully and conscientiously
- Be trustworthy and look after their clients’ money properly
- Have appropriate insurance arrangements
- Maintain the reputation of architects
- Deal with disputes or complaints appropriately
- Co-operate with regulatory requirements and investigations
- Have respect for others
Karen Holmes, ARB Registrar and Chief Executive
For more information on the work we do and the regulation of architects visit: arb.org.uk