The importance of regulating architects

Architects provide a broad spectrum of professional services connected to the design, planning and construction of buildings, including:

  • masterplans
  • urban design
  • briefs
  • interiors
  • digital models
  • drawings
  • specifications
  • technical details.

Architects are often involved in the leadership and coordination of complex building projects from inception at the design stage to completion at the occupancy stage.

The regulatory framework applicable to architects is one of the most comprehensive in the building industry - it has to be. If the design of buildings fails, there are serious safety, financial and legal consequences for consumers, the community and practitioners.

In order to minimise the potential for harm from sub-standard practice, a core objective of regulation is to hold architects to high professional standards. This is achieved through the extensive educational pathways and professional requirements that must be satisfied in order to be registered as an architect.

Once registered, architects must continue to meet professional standards of practice including as set out in the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct, the National Construction Code and the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

Architects are also required to maintain their skills and knowledge through compliance with Continuing Professional Development requirements.

The up-to-date Register of Architects, maintained by the ARBV, allows consumers to source competent and qualified architects over unregistered persons, who may lack the qualifications or competencies to deliver safe and compliant building work.

Consumers are also able to engage architects with the knowledge that registration requires them to be covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Registration also creates benefits for consumers in the form of additional protections provided by an increased level of industry regulation.

Regulation benefits architects because it allows them to:

• participate in a registered and monitored profession
• have their credentials validated and visible to potential clients
• have their services legitimised over unregistered persons
• have greater protection from unlawful competition
• have confidence that appropriate action will be taken to address cases where professional standards have not been met
• ensure their qualifications and competency meet national standards
• receive support in ongoing proficiency.

Regulation of architects also achieves government objectives by providing controls and protections to support the continued growth and efficient operation of the building industry in Victoria.