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Standard 3: Honest promotion of your services

Standard 3 of the Architects Code sets out the requirement for architects to promote their professional services in a truthful and responsible manner.

It is closely aligned with a legal requirement of Section 20 of the Architects Act 1997, which states that the architectural output of a company using the title ‘architect’ in its name must be under the control and management of a person on the Architects Register.

As well as covering the expectation to comply with general advertising standards, it explains additional expectations such as ensuring clients know the names of the architects managing their project.

It’s also important for job titles to be accurate and for the title ‘architect’, which is protected by law, to be used appropriately. Only those who have been successfully admitted to the Architects Register can practise as an architect in the UK. If someone has obtained only partial qualifications or has not yet completed their Part 3, they should not use the title.

Your client has chosen to work with an architect so, to ensure they receive the standard of professional service they expect, it’s crucial the principal architect of a practice ensures all architectural work is under the control of an architect.

While any breach of the Code is not to be taken lightly, certain shortcomings won’t always result in formal disciplinary action. We sometimes receive complaints about misleading advertising and staff profiles on websites not being updated. These complaints can often be resolved informally, though we still recommend that you update your online content regularly, and in a timely manner, to reflect the services you currently provide. We consider each case on its merits, so whether a complaint of this nature is investigated further would depend on the specific circumstances and evidence in the complaint.

We hope you found this advice useful. We are here to support you through regulation, and the Professional Standards team is on hand to provide further advice and guidance on professional obligations under the Code. Contact us if you have any concerns or queries and we will be happy to help.