Consumer's FAQs

Is it important to use a ‘registered' architect?

The use of the title ‘architect' is protected by law. Only people registered with the NSW Architects Registration Board may use the title. To check a person's registration status see the NSW Register of Architects  If you choose an architect, you know that person has attained the necessary qualifications, completed specific practical experience and has passed the Board's examination before registration. Architects are subject to the NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct governing their service to clients.

Architects maintain professional indemnity insurance and each year must undertake professional education appropriate to the services they provide.

What level of fees can I expect to pay for the services of an architect?

Architects' fees are subject to open market competition. There is no central fee control system. Fees may be based on a percentage of the cost of the works, a lump sum or an hourly rate. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification of fees and look for this information in the Terms of Engagement or Client/Architect Agreement that should be provided before your architect undertakes any work for you.

What services will the architect provide? Can I request services up to a particular stage of my project?

Be sure to discuss your needs with your architect at the beginning of your project and clarify together what you needed. Check the stages of service listed in this pamphlet and the cost associated with them. 

Does the architect retain copyright on his or her drawings plans and documentation?

Yes. Your architect retains copyright on this work. The drawings and documentation may be used only for the purpose and on the site for which they are produced.

When am I expected to pay for work done?

You will be expected to pay for work produced at the stages defined in your client/architect agreement. It is therefore important to clearly understand the terms of your agreement to avoid confusion later.

Does the architect supervise the work of the builder and other contractors?

It is important to clarify the difference between supervision and contract administration. The builder would normally be contracted directly to the client and supervises the ongoing building work. Depending on the agreement between you, your architect may administer the building contracts, checking that the builder is completing the project according to the contract; will periodically inspect the works, check the quality and deal with the builder regarding any defects and their rectification

What is the role of the NSW Architects Registration Board?

The NSW Architects Registration Board is a statutory authority responsible for registering architects, approving architectural education, conducting enquiries into the conduct of architects, investigating misuse of the title Architect and promoting a better understanding of architectural matters in the community.

You can contact the Board to:

  • Check a person's registration status
  • Enquire about making a complaint about an architect
  • Notify possible misuse of the title 'architect' by persons or corporations and firms whose names do not appear on the Register of Architects or the List of Architect Corporations or Firms.  

It is important to note the difference between the NSW Architects Registration Board and the Australian Institute of Architects. As the professional association, the Institute's primary objective is to promote architecture and the interests of its members and their clients.