Consumer Guide

Whom Should I Appoint?

Whom Should I Appoint?

© ACA 2011

23 July 2012

There are simple checks you can make to ensure you are working with someone who is competent. Professionals can be recognised by the following names and they may be able to help you get the best from your project; Architect, Chartered Architect and Chartered Architectural Technologist.


Architects are all shown on the public Register held by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and have met set standards of qualifications and experience. No one can use the title “architect” in connection with their business unless they are registered with ARB. You are advised to check the Register before making an appointment and to be aware that terms such as “Architecture” and “Architectural Consultant” and “Architectural Designer” do not necessarily mean that someone is registered.

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the UK’s statutory regulator of architects, established by Parliament under the Architects Act. It maintains the UK register of architects; prescribes the qualifications needed to become an architect; sets standards of conduct and competence to guide architects in their professional lives and regulates the use of the title “architect”. Using the title “architect” in business or practice while not on ARB’s register not only misleads consumers, but is also a criminal offence in the UK. For more information and to check the Register go to

Association of Consultant Architects (ACA) was founded to promote and support UK architectural practices. Through the support of practice methods it seeks to promote good practice of ACA members to the consumer.

The Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities (SCALA) is a collaborative organisation of public sector architects and related professionals committed to assisting its members in achieving the highest possible standards in the development, design, construction and management of the public sector estate for the mutual benefit of their employers.

The title Chartered Architect is used by architects who are members of the RIBA, RSAW, RIAS or RSUA. Check with the professional bodies listed to find a Chartered Architect.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) represents Chartered Architects throughout the UK and overseas. It champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and its members. The RIBA accredits architects practices through the RIBA Chartered Practice Scheme.

The Royal Society of Architects in Wales/Cymdeithas Frenhinol Penseiri yng Nghyrmu (RSAW) operates within the structural framework of the RIBA in Wales. Its mission is to promote architecture and the work of architects to potential clients, policy makers and the general public in Wales.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is the professional body for all chartered architects in Scotland and provides a wide range of products and services to help architects, students of architecture, construction industry professionals, architectural clients and all those with an interest in the built environment and the design process.

Chartered Architectural Technologist

  • Denotes membership of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • They apply the science of architecture and specialise in the technology of building design and construction
  • They can lead a building project from inception through to final certification including the co ordination of other professionals.

The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) represents the Architectural Technology discipline internationally.

As the lead body in the discipline, CIAT qualifies and represents all those studying and practising Architectural Technology, awarding the Chartered Architectural Technologist, MCIAT qualification to its full members.

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