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Using the title ‘architect’ and whether to stay on the Register: Frequently Asked Questions


I am retired from practice, but will always identify as an architect. Can I leave the Register but still call myself an architect?

Socially, yes you can. Restrictions surrounding the use of the word ‘architect’ are only relevant in relation to business or practice. Anyone can lawfully call themselves an architect in a social context.


I am retired from practice, but still carry out some architectural work for family and friends.  Can I leave the Register but call myself an architect?

 No. If you are carrying out any architectural work then you are in practice. You are prohibited from using the title ‘architect’ in practice unless you are registered.


Can I call myself a retired architect?

If you are truly retired from practice, then you can leave the Register and still call yourself an architect in a social context. If you are carrying out any architectural work, including, for example, making submissions in respect of planning applications, or giving talks on topics relating to the practice of architecture, then you are not retired and must be registered to use the title.


I am on parental leave so am not practising. Do I need to remain registered?

No, you don’t need to remain registered while on parental leave, because you are not carrying on business or in practice. You can resign from the Register at any time, and when you return you will only need to pay the proportionate amount of fee due for the rest of the calendar year, plus the admin fee.


Someone has mistakenly called me an architect when I’m not. Am I breaking the law?

No. You can’t be criminally responsible for someone else’s actions.


I work in academia. Do I need to be registered with ARB?

There’s no requirement for academics to be registered with ARB, but only those who are on the Register may lawfully use the title ‘architect’. If you are giving talks and teaching on the practice of architecture, while describing yourself as an architect, then you are carrying out architectural work and must be registered to use the title.


I am an IT architect, but not registered with ARB. Am I breaking the law?

The Architects Act 1997 provides limited exceptions to certain professions to be able to use the title architect whilst unregistered. These are ‘golf-course architect’, ‘landscape architect’, and ‘naval architect’. Any other use of the title is unlawful.


Can I call myself a student architect, or Part 2 architect, in anticipation of registration?

No. The law only allows for one categorisation of registration – as a fully registered architect. You may call yourself an architectural student before you complete your period of initial education and training.


I have a degree in Interior Architecture. Can I call myself an Interior Architect?

No. Only individuals who have the necessary qualifications approved by ARB can use the word ‘architect’ in their title, unless they are in one of the exempted professions.


Can we use the word ‘architect’ in our business, if we employ an architect?

A practice can use the word ‘architect’ in the course of its business if it has a registered architect in control and management of the architectural work that is being carried out. The architect must however be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient control and management of that work, and are properly supervising non-architects.


I’m registered in another country. Can I call myself an architect if I make it clear that I am registered abroad?

No. The law requires you to be registered with ARB if you are going to use the title ‘architect’ in the UK. If you are already registered in another country then it may well be possible for you to register in the UK – please contact us at


I am not registered with ARB. Can I still call myself an architect on social media?

You will need to consider how you are using social media. If it is to promote your business or practice, then no. This applies to all digital content, including text on your social media accounts, your website, and any metadata. If it is purely for a social purpose, then yes.