Who is an Architect?

An architect is a person who designs buildings and advises in their construction. Indian law recognises an architect when their name and other personal details have been provided in the Register of Architects maintained by the Council of Architecture.  Once their name is listed in the Register of Architects, they are allowed to pursue his profession. Thus, a name entry in this register works as a proof of a qualified architect. There are certain ways to get a name registered, depending on the foreign or Indian qualification one may possess.1

  • For Indian qualification, a Bachelor Degree of Architecture awarded by Indian Universities, National Diploma in Architecture, Degree of Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch.) awarded by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Membership of the Indian Institute of Architects, etc., will be considered as a qualification.2
  • For foreign qualifications recognized by the Indian government, different degrees from various countries such as UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, etc., are accepted. The list can be accessed here.
  • An Indian citizen who has no qualification certificate can get registered if they have been engaged in the profession for at least five years, after which Central government can consider their application for registration.3
  • A person can also get registered if they possess any other recognised qualification under the legal rules which may be made by the Central government under the Architects Act.4
  1. Article 25(a), Architects Act, 1972[]
  2. Schedule, Architects Act, https://www.coa.gov.in/index1.php?lang=1&level=2&sublinkid=121&lid=135[]
  3. Article 25(b), Architects Act, 1972[]
  4. Article 25(c), Architects Act, 1972[]

Complaining against an Architect

A person can complain about an architect’s conduct if the architect does not exhibit fairness and impartiality in a work assigned, or is caught taking commission or any such inducements, or any other forms of professional misconduct. You can complain to the Council of Architecture.

Council of Architecture

The Council of Architecture is a statutory body constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, enacted by the Parliament of India. The Council of Architecture is charged with the responsibility to regulate the education and practice of professional architects throughout India, besides maintaining the register of architects. Further, it oversees architectural standards periodically by way of conducting inspections through Committees of Experts.

Process of complaint and penalties against an architect

Any violation of the duties of an architect will be considered as professional misconduct and will attract disciplinary action. Additionally, the Council can take any of the three actions listed below after an inquiry:

  1. Reprimand the said architect
  2. Suspend their practice as an architect
  3. Remove their name from the register of architects1

You can find a format of a complaint here. A committee constituted by the Central Government looks into all complaints against architects and inquiries relating to misconduct of architects. 2

Further, in case you come across any unregistered person who is impersonating someone, posing, misrepresenting or misusing the title of ‘Architect’, you can file a complaint against such person(s) along with relevant supporting documents online at the Complaint form available on the Council’s website.

  1. Section 30, Architects Act, 1972[]
  2. Rule 35(1), Council of Architecture Rules, 1973[]

Duties of an Architect

Architects have several duties by which they have to practice their profession. This includes maintaining etiquette, following architectural guidelines for buildings etc.

General Duties of an Architect

  • Provide the employees and associates with a suitable working environment, compensate them fairly and facilitate their professional development.1
  • Every partner shall ensure that when an architect enters into a partnership agreement with one or more architects, the firm also complies with the provisions of the sub-regulation.2
  • Ensure that their professional activities do not conflict with their general responsibility to contribute to the quality of the environment and future welfare of society.3
  • Compete fairly4 and maintain a high standard of integrity.5

Architect’s duties towards clients

  • Inform the client of the conditions of engagement and scale of charges, and agree that these conditions shall be the basis of the appointment.6
  • Not give or take discounts, commissions, gifts or other inducements for the introduction of clients or of work.7
  • Act with fairness and impartiality when administering a building contract.8

Architect’s duties towards the profession

Some of the architect’s duties to the profession are not to:

  • Sub-commission an architect’s work to another architect. However, this can happen if the client agrees to it.9
  • Attempt to supercede or replace another architect.10
  • Attempt to obtain, offer to undertake or accept a commission for which they know another architect has been selected or employed, until they have evidence that the selection, employment or agreement has been terminated. Additionally, they have to give the previous architect written notice.11
  • Advertise professional services. An architect should not allow their name to be included in advertisements or used for other publicity.12
  1. Regulation 2(1)(xix), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  2. Regulation 2(2), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  3. Regulation 2(1)(i), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  4. Regulation 2(1)(xi), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  5. Regulation 2(1)(viii), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  6. Regulation 2(1)(iv), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  7. Regulation 2(1)(vi), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  8. Regulation 2(1)(vii), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  9. Regulation 2(1)(v), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  10. Regulation 2(1)(xiii), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  11. Regulation 2(1)(xv), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]
  12. Regulation 2(1)(xxv), Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989[]