On 30 October 2019 Mr Alan Green and his company A9 Architecture Limited of Benfleet, Essex were convicted of four counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘architect’. Southend Magistrates’ Court heard that, despite having no architect in control of its architectural work since 2015, the term was used across the company website and pricing policy, as well as its Twitter, Yell and LinkedIn profiles.
The Court’s attention was drawn to the prolonged nature of the offending. ARB first contacted Mr Green regarding the use of ‘architect’ in 2012, and he had been made aware of the legislation protecting the use of the title ‘architect’ on several occasions since 2014. While some breaches were rectified, others had continued. The Court’s attention was also drawn to the potential effect of this misleading information would have on members of the public.
Having taken into account Mr Green’s early guilty plea, the Court made an order of £3,378.13 against Mr Green and £5,100 against A9 Architecture Limited in addition to the criminal convictions. These included a fine, costs and victim surcharges. It is hoped that criminal convictions, fines and the negative publicity associated with title misuse prosecutions will act as a deterrent for those who may otherwise have used the title illegally.
In regulating misuse of the title ‘architect’ ARB’s objective is to limit the harm as swiftly and effectively as possible. Mr Green and A9 Architecture Limited will have 28 days to make any necessary changes. ARB will continue to monitor their trading style and take further appropriate action as necessary.
Notes for Editors
o ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
o The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:
– Maintain the Architects Register
– Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
– Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
– Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
– Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
– Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects
o The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2,500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine and related costs after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.
o ARB’s Misuse of Title Policy can be found on our website here.
For further information please contact Kate Howlett (ARB Communications Lead) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org