functions, the New Zealand Registered Architects Board is required to
investigate complaints against Registered Architects, and, if warranted,
implement discipline procedures which, as an absolute last resort, can see an architect’s registration cancelled.
purpose of the complaints procedure is to protect the public. However, the
profession can benefit from complaint investigations by seeing examples of where architects have got into trouble and learning from their mistakes.
From the small number of complaints that the Board has looked at so
far, the following patterns have emerged.
Generally complaints relate to residential projects with
- When residential
projects founder it's usually because of poor
Sloppy communications with
clients is often central to the problem.
of control of the project is worst in relation to money
matters, setting budgets, and obtaining cost estimates at the various
design stages of the work.
Not getting independent estimating advice is a common failing.
Often conditions of engagement and fee-setting are not formalised
and changes in scope aren’t documented.
Discipline Reports and Cautionary Notes
When complaints have been concluded, where relevant, summaries are provided to help architects avoid these mistakes.
In addition, where the NZRAB becomes aware of ethical or other issues of concern among architects generally, cautionary notes are issued to all architects, as below.
How the discipline process works
When members of the public contact the NZRAB with concerns about an architect's performance they are given a brochure which describes how complaints are dealt with and the penalties that can be applied if an architect is found wanting. You can view it here or in a text only version here.