Consumer Guide

Your Building Project

Your Building Project

© ACA 2011

23 July 2012

If you are thinking of appointing someone to provide design and other services in connection with your building project it is important to make sure you appoint an appropriately qualified and insured professional, to add value to your project but also help protect you through the process.

Things to consider:

  • Architects, Chartered Architects and Chartered Architectural Technologists must all adhere to their regulatory or professional body's Code of Conduct. These require that they conduct their business and relationship with you in a proper and ethical way and each has disciplinary procedures for infringements of their Codes for your protection.
  • As part of these Codes they are all required to have professional indemnity insurance (PII) if offering their services to you. Ensure that there is adequate and appropriate insurance in place to cover your project when you appoint your professional. This insurance is separate to a building warranty, which is the insurance you should check that your contractor has to cover for building defects.
  • Speak to previous clients to find out their experience with the professional, ask to look at previous work they have carried out similar to your project and take up references should you wish to.
  • If your project is specialised in any way ask if they have specialist skills in that area.
  • Ensure that terms of appointment are provided in writing and that you fully understand these, i.e. which services your appointed professional will provide, over what time period, their costs including likely expenses and additional costs such as local authority application fees and whether additional specialists are required at an additional cost.
  • When you choose a professional from the bodies listed, check the relevant Register or contact the relevant professional body. Think carefully before using someone who is neither registered nor a member of one of the bodies but is offering architectural services.

Professional Bodies and Regulator:


Architects Registration Board
8 Weymouth Street, London W1W 5BU
Professional Standards Department
t: 020 7580 5861
f: 020 7436 5269


Association of Consultant Architects
60 Godwin Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 9LQ
Secretary General
t: 020 8466 9079


Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
397 City Road, London EC1V 1NH
Practice Department
t: 020 7278 2206
f: 020 7837 3194


The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
15 Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2BE
Neil Baxter, Secretary & Treasurer
t: 0131 229 7545
f: 0131 228 2188


The Royal Institute of British Architects
66 Portland Place, London W1B 4AD
RIBA Practice Department
t: 020 7307 3749
f: 020 7307 3767

(RSAW The Royal Society of Architects in Wales - see RIBA above)


Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities
Hillside, St Mary Church, Cambridge, Vale of Glamorgan CF71 7LT
SCALA Manager
t: 01446 771 209

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