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Read the latest news and updates from Architects Registration Board of Victoria and catch up on previous news releases.

 

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Use of the ARBV Logo Policy Change

The ARBV’s present policy on the use of its logo by architects and approved Victorian companies and partnerships within Victoria, is currently being reviewed.

As a result, the existing logo policy has been suspended and removed from the ARBV website pending Board consideration of the outcomes of the review. New requests will not be processed at this time.

Persons or entities who have already been granted permission to use the ARBV logo to show their registration with the ARBV may continue to do so in accordance with the conditions of their approval during this review period. Impacts to current approval holders will be considered as part of the review process.

The review and its recommendations are expected to be presented to the Board for its consideration in April 2019. Any resulting actions from that process would be implemented soon after.

APE Candidate Information Sessions

ARBV’s CEO and Registrar Adam Toma has been invited by the Australian Institute of Architects to present information sessions on the Architectural Practice Examination (APE).

Candidates wishing to attend these briefings can book tickets here:

https://www.trybooking.com/book/sessions?eid=455983

National Survey of Architectural Education and the Profession

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia recently launched the second phase of its major survey of architectural education and the profession in Australia and New Zealand, with the support of all architectural stakeholder organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

The national survey Architectural Education and the Profession in Australia is an important opportunity for all practitioners to share their experiences, opinions and aspirations for architectural education in Australia and New Zealand. The survey of practitioners forms one part of this comprehensive study which also gathers the views of architecture academics, practitioners, students, and professional stakeholders such as Registration Boards and representative bodies. It is a rare opportunity to contribute to future debates about architectural education and professional development, and we encourage you all to share and participate in the questionnaire.

All architectural practitioners are encouraged to take part in the survey which can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WPCKB9V. The survey is only open until 14 December 2018.

The questionnaire takes 10-15 minutes to complete, and is anonymous. It asks questions about your education and career and will seek your views on resourcing, teaching and learning practices, graduate pathways, and future directions in architectural education. Participation is completely voluntary.

Reminder – insurance requirements

Architects registered in the practising class must be covered by the required Professional Indemnity Insurance, often referred to as PI insurance or PII.

The ARBV requires proof that you have the required insurance before it can grant your application for registration in the practising class, and on renewal of the policy.

You may hold the required insurance in your own name or be covered by an employer’s policy.  A company approved by the ARBV must hold the required insurance in the company’s name.

Professional Indemnity Insurance covers you against liability resulting from any claim made during the period of insurance.  To learn more about the insurance policy that you need, refer to the Architects Insurance Ministerial Order (No. S90, Thursday 12 May 2005).

Managing Costs and a Client’s Budget – Determination of the Architects Tribunal

The Architects Tribunal has found that two architects were careless in their practice with respect to costs and their clients’ budget.

The two architects were directors of a company that provided architectural and other design services. The clients engaged the company to provide a design for a new residential dwelling and granny flat at their property in Belgrave. The project initially involved the potential use of shipping containers. The property was sloped and subject to a high Bushfire Attack Level. The clients’ budget was fixed, however the brief and instructions changed during the engagement.

Ultimately, the architects’ design exceeded the clients’ budget and the project did not proceed.

The two architects admitted that they had been careless or incompetent with respect to informing themselves and their clients about likely costs.

The Tribunal found that that the architects:

  • failed to inform themselves about the likely costs to construct a building at the site based on their design; and
  • failed to adequately inform the client about the likely costs and if they could design a building within the clients’ budget.

The architects were cautioned and ordered to pay the costs of the inquiry.

This matter illustrates that architects have an important role to play in managing costs and must have regard to a client’s budget. At times it may be necessary for an architect to advise a client (or prospective client) that the outcome they want simply cannot be achieved within their budget. This also forms part of an architect’s obligations to communicate with a client, including the obligation to provide relevant information and inform a client as set out in paragraph 7 of the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct (Code).

The determination of the Architects Tribunal can be found by clicking HERE

The Code can be found here. If you have any queries regarding compliance with the Code or other conduct issues relating to architects, please contact the Board’s Compliance Consultant at compliance@arbv.vic.gov.au or on 0437 912 922.

Client & Architect Agreements - they are a must! - 24 September 2018

Architects must enter into written agreements with their clients before they commence work.  Not only is this good practice, it is a legal requirement pursuant to the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct (Code). 

Item 4 of the Code prohibits architects providing architectural services for a client unless the architect (or the relevant approved company or partnership) has entered into a written agreement with the client for the provision of those services.  The agreement must address the matters listed in clause 4(2) of the Code, which include the scope and nature of the services, the time frames in which they will be provided and how the client may authorise changes or amendments to the services.  A failure to enter into a compliant written agreement is a breach of the Code, which constitutes unprofessional conduct.

Importantly, the obligation to enter into a written agreement applies whether or not the architect is actually charging the client for his or her services, given the way in which the Code defines “client”.  “Client” is defined as “an entity with whom an architect, an approved partnership or an approved company enters into an agreement (whether or not for payment) to provide architectural services” (regulation 5).  So, even if architects are providing architectural services to local clubs, organisations or even friends at no cost, a written agreement must be in place. 

A written agreement ensures that both the architect and client are clear about the services to be provided and the fees (if any) to be paid.  It can also assist to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes between the parties.

To view a copy of the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct, visit www.legislation.vic.gov.au. Click the ‘Victorian Law Today’ tab, select ‘Statutory Rules’ and click ‘A’ in the alpha list. The Code can be found by scrolling down to number #52.  If you have any queries regarding compliance with the Code or other conduct issues relating to architects, please contact the Board’s Compliance Consultant at compliance@arbv.vic.gov.au or on 0437 912 922.

Architects and Cladding Issues in Victoria

The use of non-compliant external cladding on buildings in Victoria is a significant safety issue and one which the ARBV takes very seriously.

Given an architect’s role can include specifying building materials or products for construction, the ARBV appreciates that you may have concerns about an architect’s conduct with respect to non-compliant cladding.

If you are considering making a complaint about an architect that relates to cladding, please read the information on the ‘Make a Complaint’ page before you commence your complaint. 

If you would like to discuss making a complaint about an architect, phone the ARBV and ask to speak to the Compliance Consultant so we can help you. 

Complaints are lodged using an Architectural Services Complaint Form, which the ARBV’s Compliance Consultant can send you.  Remember that complaints need to be substantiated: that is, there needs to be some evidence of the matters being complaints about.  If you need assistance with copying of material, e.g. plans or other documents, the Compliance Consultant can help.

The Complaints Process

Neither the ARBV nor the Architects Tribunal have power to require rectification work to be carried out or order compensation.

When a complaint is received by the ARBV, it notifies the architect and asks for a response.  Two ARBV members (an architect and non-architect) review and report on the matter.  The ARBV then decides whether or not an inquiry should be held into the architect’s fitness to practise or professional conduct.

If the Architects Tribunal conducts an inquiry into an architect’s conduct and finds an allegation(s) against the architect proven it will make a Determination regarding Penalty.

Further information about the complaints process and Architects Tribunal inquiries is available on the ‘Make a Complaint’ page.

Other bodies who are helping to resolve cladding issues

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is conducting a state-wide audit of buildings to identify unsafe cladding.  See the VBA’s website for more information about its audit and the cladding issue more generally, including fire safety concerns and steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of fire – www.vba.vic.gov.au/cladding.

The Victorian Cladding Taskforce has also been established by the government to investigate and address the use of non-compliant building materials on buildings within Victoria – for more information about the Taskforce see https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/building-policy/victorian-cladding-taskforce.

Minister’s Guideline and Building Product Safety Alert - 13 March 2018

The Minister for Planning has issued a guideline to reduce the risks to life and property arising from the inappropriate use of cladding products in external wall systems in multistory buildings in Victoria.



The guideline is accompanied by a Building Product Safety Alert, warning building practitioners about the potential fire risks associated with the non-compliant use of Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) with a PE  core of 30% or more and rendered expanded polystyrene (EPS) products when used as external wall cladding.

GRADUATE ARCHITECT? – NO SUCH THING! – You mean “Architectural Graduate” - 17 January 2018

 

Don’t risk prosecution!

The term “graduate architect” is only ever used by or about someone who has an architectural qualification but who is not registered as an architect.

This is a breach of the Architects Act, which restricts use of the title “architect” to persons whose name appears on the Register of Architects. Read more…

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