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Before hiring an architect

Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision

Working with an architect

Useful information and resources to help you achieve success in your project

What is an architect?

An architect is a professional who is skilled in building design and can help you with your construction or renovation project. In the UK, a person must be on the ARB Register of Architects to call themselves an architect professionally. 

To be entered and retained on the Register, an individual must have qualifications that prove their knowledge and skills, and they must maintain and develop their knowledge and skills throughout their career. They must meet the standards of conduct and practice set out in the Architects Code, and carry appropriate insurance to provide protection if things happen to go wrong. 

What does an architect do?

Architects design buildings of different sizes, from your own home to large developments, including hospitals, schools and shopping centres. The work that they can carry out for you will depend on your needs and their experience.

Amongst other things, an architect can: 

Design and plan your building project 

Produce conceptual and technical designs and illustrations  

Guide you through the planning process and offer advice on building regulations 

Manage the contracts you have with builders and other construction professionals 

ARB and the Architects Register

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the UK regulator for architects. Our role is set out by Parliament in legislation, and we work to keep the public safe by maintaining a Register of every practising UK architect. 

You can use the Register to find an architect to work with, or if you have already found an architect, you can use it to check that they are genuine. 

How to raise a concern

In a small number of situations, mistakes happen or things go wrong. In most cases, if you have an issue or complaint, you should raise it with your architect first as they may be able to resolve it. However, should it be inappropriate for you to raise the complaint with the architect or you are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution through their complaints process, you can submit a complaint to ARB.  

It is a criminal offence for an individual to use the title ‘architect’ in business or practice, or to call themselves an architect if they are not listed on the Architects Register. If you think someone is falsely claiming to be an architect, you can report this to us using our title misuse form.