Serious concerns about architects are rare. On the limited occasions they do occur, as the UK regulator we are here to ensure standards, and therefore trust, in the profession is maintained. We hope the information published about conduct and competence decisions provides useful learning points for others.
On 5 December 2019 the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) issued architect Mr Stefan Horowskyj with a reprimand after a finding of unacceptable professional conduct (UPC).
In 2011 Mr Horowskyj was instructed by his client to convert a historic pub into a business premises. In 2018 the client submitted a complaint to ARB regarding events that took place between 2011 and 2013.
It was alleged that, during that period, Mr Horowskyj failed to provide adequate terms of engagement, carry out an adequate measuring survey or adequately handle aspects of the design of a revised scheme contrary to Standards 4.4, 2.1 and 6.1 of the Architects Code. Mr Horowskyj admitted to failing to provide adequate terms to his client but denied the allegations relating to the survey and design.
The PCC found Mr Horowskyj guilty of failing to provide adequate terms of engagement by way of his own admission, and that this amounted to UPC. It did not, however, find that the architect had carried out an inadequate measuring service and had generally handled the design and revised scheme appropriately, so found these allegations not proved.
The PCC concluded a reprimand was the appropriate sanction in relation to the failure to provide adequate terms of engagement.
A copy of the PCC Decision can be found here.
Notes for Editors
• 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 UK 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
• ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one lay, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
• The PCC is established under Schedule 1, Part II of the Architects Act and is required to consider any report referred to it. The PCC determines whether an architect is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence.
Where a guilty finding is made, the PCC will consider whether to make a disciplinary order, which means:
– a reprimand
– a penalty order
– a suspension order (to a maximum of 2 years); or
– an erasure order
• Money raised by fines imposed by the Professional Conduct Committee is paid to HM Treasury.
For further information, please contact Kate Howlett (ARB Communications Manager) on 020 7580 5861 or by email at KateH@arb.org.uk.