I’m pretty sure my designer is an architect …
Undercover Architect does not push anyone to choose an architect over any other design professional. Instead, it’s all about getting informed, going in eyes wide open, and finding the best professional for you and your needs.
What I do struggle with though, is when I hear a non-registered architect say that they’re essentially the same as an architect – it’s just that they’ve chosen not to sit their Board exams.
So what is an architect?
To be an architect in Australia, you need to do a recognised university degree (up to 6 years), then have at least 2 years of documented on-the-job experience (I had to keep a log book), then sit your Board exams. Board exams involve a written stage, and an interview stage. This Board examination process is known as ‘registration’ – and it is what enables you to use the title ‘architect’.
Registration is provided for by The Architects Act – an act under each state government, which stipulates requirements to use the title “architect” and operate as one professionally.
My registration process was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do academically. It was a HUGE amount of work, stress and nerves. I actually had no idea how much a toll it took on me, until I felt the sigh of relief leave my body when I was notified I’d passed.
AND NOW, each year, I have to complete a required amount of continued professional development to protect my registration (plus pay an annual fee).
Many architectural graduates do not go through this registration process simply because it’s bloody hard work – both to get registered, and to keep up your registration.
And if they choose not to, they are not legally allowed to call themselves an architect – regardless of the architecture degree they have on their wall.
I’m not suggesting it makes them less, or poorer quality, or that you shouldn’t work with them. But let’s all just be honest here – and be transparent about the qualifications we do have, and how we earned them.
To make it clear … a registered architect and an architect are the same thing. You can’t be one, and not be the other.
The same goes for Interior Architects. Unless they are registered as architects with the Board of Architects, they are not legally allowed to use the title ‘architect’ in their professional title. The degree of Interior Architecture qualifies graduates as is “Interior Designers”.
You can read more about the differences between architects, building designers and draftspeople here.
ps if you’re wondering how to confirm your architect is actually an architect – check with the Board of Architects in your state. Each registered architect has a registration number in the state they practice in.
Other blogs you may find useful …
The 6 top reasons to not use an architect – is your reason in here?
What’s the first question to ask about your project?
How to not get yourself into legal trouble with copyright and floor plan designs.