The Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice


As an architect I am expected to:


1. Be honest and act with integrity
2. Be competent
3. Promote my services honestly and responsibly
4. Manage my business competently
5. Consider the wider impact of my work
6. Carry out my work faithfully and conscientiously
7. Be trustworthy and look after my clients’ money properly
8. Have appropriate insurance arrangements
9. Maintain the reputation of architects
10. Deal with disputes or complaints appropriately
11. Co-operate with regulatory requirements and investigations
12. Have respect for others


Roles & Responsibilities

My responsibilities as an architect:

• To adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct laid out by the ARB -


• To provide sound clear advice at the outset of the project about: the design/development potential; approximate building costs; the need for various statutory consents; project programming and likely time scales; the need to engage the services of other professional consultants and specialists.


• To respond as accurately and appropriately as possible to the client’s brief and to advise generally on pertinent aspects of the client’s brief.


• To develop and to produce design schemes which I consider to be viable in terms of ‘build-ability’ and in terms of local authority guidelines, planning strictures, building legislation and budget.


• To develop the design to detail and to produce all necessary detailed construction drawings, diagrams, specifications and schedules etc to enable the building contractor to carry out the works to a satisfactory standard.


• To seek ‘Planning Consent’ and ‘Building Regulations Approval’ at the appropriate stages to the project.


• To pay attention to the health and safety matters and have sensible regard for the end users of schemes.


• To pay attention to the rights and amenities of adjoining owners.


• To advise the client on the ‘Party Wall’ matters and where necessary to work with party wall surveyors to reach the appropriate agreements with adjoining owners.


• To work closely with building contractors and do so in a spirit of helpfulness and co-operation. To assist the building contractor to achieve satisfactory results. To guide and advise building contractors and specialist sub-contractors as and when necessary.


• To advise the client on matters relating to building contracts and building procedures.


• To oversee the construction contract and to monitor the work in terms of quality, progress and costs as closely as is reasonably possible.


• To inform the client of any significant developments or variations as the building contract progresses, in order to alert the client to any aspects of the project, which may be at variance to the agreed scheme, and the agreed scope of work.


• To keep a watching brief over matters relating to costs and cost variations and to keep the client informed as much as it is reasonably possible during the course of the building contract.


• To inspect the building at the completion of the project and to draw up schedules of outstanding works, incomplete items and building defects; and to instruct the builders accordingly in order that all building work is satisfactorily completed.


• To monitor any latent defects for a period after completion of either three months, six months or one year period (depending on the nature, scale and complexity of the contract).


• To pay attention to environmental and sustainable issues and where possible to incorporate energy saving technologies into the design specification.


Your responsibilities as my client:

Architects often end up helping clients to clarify their own enjoyment of their homes or their own business goals. Nothing happens from a design perspective until there’s a thorough understanding of this. Getting to those answers requires intelligent questions that set the foundation for the design decisions. There is a lot of investigating, guiding, analysing, suggesting, giving options, solving, anticipating to be done so a client needs to be honest about their goals.


• To provide as clear a brief as possible to the architects.


• To set out clearly your objectives and aspirations, your budget and your contingency.


• To provide information that is relevant to the proposed building project and which may have a bearing on the project.


• To try and avoid, as much as is reasonably possible, any changes in the design brief or any late requests for additional work. If and when such changes and late requests are instructed, to understand that this will lead to additional costs (over and above the budgeted costs) in both the contract value, and in professional fees.


• To always give clear instructions to the architects and not to give instructions directly to builders; the chain of command is as follows: Client instructs the architect: Architect instructs the builder: Builder carries out the work


• To settle all invoices, payment certificates and fee accounts promptly and within the agreed time periods, and to have prearranged the financial resources so that the monies are in place to meet the contractual obligations.

For further information please go to the RIBA document Explaining an Architect's Services.