Architects Registration Board

Architects Registration Board (Jamaica)

Code of Conduct

The Architects Registration Board of Jamaica Code of Professional Conduct and Practice

The objective of this Code of Professional Conduct is to promote the standard of professional conduct or self discipline required of a Registered Architect (RA) in Jamaica in the interest of the public.

In meeting its obligations under this Code, the Architects Registration Board (ARB) expects a RA to have due regard for the need to conserve and enhance the quality of the environment, its natural resources and cultural heritage.

A Registered Architect (RA) must at all times be guided by the spirit of this Code as well as by its precise terms and must have regard for the provisions of this Code irrespective of his/her field of activity, contract of employment or membership in any association.

A RA may be required to answer inquiries concerning his/her professional conduct and is liable to reprimand, suspension or expulsion if his/her conduct is found by the Disciplinary Committee of the ARB to be in contravention of this Code or otherwise inconsistent with his/her status as a RA or derogatory to his/her professional character.

Throughout this Code:

“ARB” means the Architects Registration Board established in accordance with the Architects Registration Act (1987).
“RA” means a Registered as architect(s) under the Architects Registration Act (1987).
“Client” means the person or body corporate or unincorporated with whom the RA makes an agreement or contract for the provision of services or the supply of goods.
“Contractor” means a person or RA who undertakes the performance and /or supply of goods.
“Body corporate or unincorporate” includes a central government department, a local authority, public board or corporation or any society.
“JIA” and “Institute” means the Jamaican Institute of Architects.

1. Integrity, Impartiality, Competence and Responsibility

1.1 ARA should discharge his/her duties at all times with integrity to his/her client, the employer and contractor in a construction contract, members of the public, fellow RAs and members of the profession and other professionals in the construction industry.

1.2 A RA owes a duty to his/her client to be competent to perform the architectural services which the RA undertakes on his/herclient’s behalf, and should serve his/her client in a conscientious, diligent and efficient manner. A RA shall ensure that the work of his/her office and any branch office, insofar as it relates to architecture, is under the control of an architect.

1.3 A RA should be both candid and honest when advising his/herclient/s. He/she has a duty to hold in strict confidence all information acquired in the course of the professional relationship concerning the business and affairs of his/her client/s and he/she should not divulge any such information unless he/she is expressly or impliedly authorized by his/her client/s or required by law to do so.

1.4 A RA is required at all times to protect the good name and public perception of the architectural profession by maintaining a high standard of performance, deportment and conduct.

1.5 A RA should not make, support or acquiesce in any statement, written or otherwise which is contrary to his/her own knowledge or bona fide professional opinion, or which he/she knows to be misleading or unfair to others or otherwise discreditable to the profession.

1.6 A RA is expected to contribute a reasonable portion of his/her time and endeavours towards continuing professional development with the objectives of maintaining the integrity of the profession and improving the performance and quality of architects and architecture.

1.7 A RA should not hold, assume or consciously accept a position in which his/her interest is in conflict with his/her professional duty. In circumstances not specifically covered in this Code, where he/she finds that his/her interests, whether professional or personal, are in conflict, he/she shall, as the circumstances may require either withdraw from the situation or remove the source of conflict or declare it and obtain the agreement of the parties concerned to the continuance of his/her engagement.

1.8  A RA shall act impartially in all cases in which he/she is acting between parties. Where he/she has responsibilities as architect under a building contract, or is similarly acting between the parties, he/she shall interpret the conditions of such contract with fairness, independence and impartiality.

1.9  A RA should not practice architecture, without an annual licence certificate or approval from the ARB authorizing him/her to practice, and should assist in preventing the unauthorized practice of architecture in Jamaica.

1.10 A RA shall not improperly influence the granting of planning consents or statutory approvals.

1.11 A RA undertakes, on becoming personally or professionally insolvent or being disqualified under the Companies Act, to notify the Chairman of the ARB of the facts.

1.12 A RA undertakes to report to the ARB if convicted of any indictable criminal offence including a suspended sentence or court order and personal or professional disqualification from acting as a Director.

2. Engagement, Fees and Payments

2.1 A RA member shall when making an engagement, whether by an agreement for professional services, by a contract of employment or by a contract for the supply of services or goods, have defined beyond reasonable doubt and recorded the terms of the engagement including the scope of the services, the allocation of responsibilities and any limitation of liability, the method of calculation of remuneration and the provision for termination.

2.2 A RA undertakes when offering services as an independent consultant, not to quote a fee without receiving an invitation to do so and sufficient information on the nature and scope of the project to enable a quotation to be prepared which clearly indicates the service covered by the fee.

2.3 A RA should not stipulate for, charge or accept any fee that is not fully disclosed in the Client/Architect Agreement for architectural services.

2.4 A RA shall neither sub-commission nor sub-let work without the prior agreement of his/her clientor without defining the changes in the responsibilities to those concerned.

2.5 A RA should be remunerated solely by professional fees payable by his/her client or by a salary payable by his/her employer. A RA should not accept remuneration from any source in connection with the works and duties commissioned except in circumstances described in Section 3 of this Code.

2.6 A RA must not accept any work which involves the giving or receiving of discounts, commissions or gifts from contractors or tradesmen, whether employed upon the works or not.

2.7 A RA shall neither make, promise to make, nor accept contributions of money, goods, or service for the purpose of securing a commission or influencing the engagement or employment of a particular architect or firm for a project.

2.8 A RA shall not attempt to obtain a commission by the submission of designs or provide any form of design service until he/she has been formally retained unless he/she is participating in an architectural competition that has met the requirements for competitions as set out in Sub-Section 4.4 below.

2.9 A RA may be architectural consultant, advisor, or assistant to building contractors, decorators, manufacturers, house and estate agents, estate development firms or companies, or firms or companies trading in materials used in or whose activities are otherwise connected with the building industry, provided that remuneration is by fee, salary or royalty and not by commission on sales or profits, and provided the RA does not either directly or indirectly solicit orders for the firm or company.

2.10 A RA who is engaged as an architectural consultant, advisor or assistant, as described in Sub-Section 2.9, acting in a professional capacity for a third party to whom his/her principals owe a contractual duty, is not permitted normally but, if mutually agreed between all the parties, may act as an independent architect on the direct instructions of the said third party and receive the payment of fees directly.

2.11 A RA shall not permit the insertion of any clause in tenders, bills of quantities or other contract documents which provides for payments to be made to him/her by the contractor whatever may be the consideration, unless with the full knowledge and agreement in writing of his/her client.

3. Outside Interests

3.1 A RA who engages in another profession, business or occupation concurrently with the practice of architecture must not allow such outside interests to jeopardize his/her professional integrity, independence or competence. A RA undertakes to declare in writing to any prospective client or employer any business interest, the existence of which, if not so declared would, or might be likely to raise a conflict or interest and doubts about his/her integrity by reason of an actual or apparent connection with or effect upon his/her engagement. If the prospective client or employer does not in writing accept these circumstances, the RA must withdraw from the situation.

3.2 A RA may be director, principal, partner or manager, and may participate in the profit of a bank, trust, company, insurance company, housing society or other financial institution engaged in the lending of funds for construction of buildings, provided there is no undue use of influence in the institution to procure work for the RA or the firm in which that RA is employed and provided that remuneration for any professional work done personally or under the RA’s control is by a salary or by fee. All potential conflicts of interest must be openly declared and noted in advance of any decisions made with respect to the construction.

3.3 A RA shall not simultaneously practice as, or purport to be, an independent consulting architect and engage in or have as a partner or co-director a person who, whether or not in a separate firm, is a director, principal partner or manager of a development or construction company, that is a company which designs, constructs and/or finances buildings, or of a firm making or dealing in building materials or components, unless

3.3.1 a signed declaration, in the form shown as Appendix I to this code is given to each client before receiving instructions, and to each contractor and nominated subcontractor before he/she is invited to tender or take part in the work.

3.3.2 for any professional work undertaken for the development company, construction company or other, remuneration should be by a fee, salary or royalty and not by commission on sales or profits.

3.4 If a RA has any monetary interest other than due fee, salary or royalty in any building or other development work, including the circumstances described in Sub-Sections 3.2 and 3.3, or has any other interest which might, or might appear to, prejudice judgment or impartiality in dealings with client or contractor, the RA shall in addition to complying with the requirements of Sub-Section 3.3 arrange for the appointment of an arbitrator, and an alternative arbitrator, who shall both be Registered Architects.

Agreement between those concerned shall be made in accordance with the form at Appendix II to this code.

3.5 A RA shall not and shall not purport to carry out the independent functions of an architect or any similar independent functions in relation to a contract in which he/she or his/her employer is the contractor.

3.6 A RA shall ensure that whenever he/she offers or takes part in offering a service combining consulting services with contracting services the consulting component is not presented as independent of the combined service.

3.7 A RA shall not sign or seal drawings, specifications, reports or other professional work for which he does not have responsible control.

4. Advertising and Competition

4.1 A RA may make his/her availability and experience known by any means provided that the information given is in substance and in presentation factual, relevant and neither misleading nor unfair to others nor otherwise discreditable to the profession.

4.2 A RA should not

4.2.1 indulge in self-laudatory, exaggerated, misleading, or false publicity

4.2.2 endorse a product, service or process connected with the building/construction industry

4.2.3 permit the use of the RA’s name or photograph as endorsement of a product or service

4.2.4 solicit, or authorize others to solicit, advertisements or other support toward the cost of any publication presenting the RA’s work unless the publication is a project of the ARB or other professional architectural organisation.

4.3 A RA may inscribe his/her name outside his/her office/studio, may exhibit his/her name on buildings designed by him/her or his/her firm in the course of construction, alteration and extension and may permanently sign his/her name on buildings designed by him/her or his/her firm provided that such signs are not ostentatious, exaggerated or misleading.

4.4 A RA should not take any part in an open architectural design competition unless the ARB has approved the competition to ensure that provisions are made for standards of competence and integrity that are reasonably necessary for the protection of the RA and the public. RAs asked to take part in any design competition (open or limited) should at once notify the Chairman of the ARB, submitting particulars of the competition.

4.5 A RA should not act as architect or joint architect for a work that is or has been the subject of a design competition in which the RA has been engaged as Assessor. A RA who is consulting architect for a design competition should not act as an Assessor having been appointed as consulting architect before the inception of the competition, nor in any other professional capacity in any matter connected with work which has been the subject of the competition, provided always that the RA may act as arbitrator in any dispute between the promoters and the selected architect.

4.6 If a RA is officially approached by promoters for advice as to the holding of a design competition with a view to acting as Assessor, and the position is accepted then it is decided not to hold the competition but to appoint an architect to carry out the work, that RA originally approached in an advisory capacity should not act as architect for the work in question without the approval of the ARB.

5. Employment and Relations with Other Registered Architects (RA’s)

5.1 A RA who holds public office should, in the discharge of his/her duties, adhere to standards of conduct as high as those that this Code requires of a RA in the practice of architecture.

5.2 A RA employed as a full-time salaried and official architect by a central or local government department or by a statutory undertaking, and who is, by reason of the office held, in a position to grant or influence the granting of any form of statutory or other approval, must not undertake private work notwithstanding any permission from the employing authority to do so, unless approval has been granted by the ARB and the RA is satisfied that the position held, and action in the matter will be free from any suspicion or suggestion of abuse and totally unrelated to the RA’s office and authority.

5.3 A RA, employed as a full-time salaried architect,shall not undertake private architectural or related work without the prior approval of his/her employer.

5.4 A RA shall not have or take as a partner or co-director in his/her architectural/consulting firm any person who is disqualified for registration by reason of the fact that his/her name has been removed from the Register of the ARB or any person disqualified for membership of any professional institution by reason of expulsion under the relevant disciplinary regulations.

5.5 A RA shall have a proper regard for the professional obligations and qualifications of those from whom he/she receives or to whom he/she gives authority, responsibility or employment, or with whom he/she is professionally associated. A RA who employs architects shall define their conditions of employment, authority, responsibility and liability.

5.6 A RA who is offering services as an independent consulting architect shall not revise a fee quotation to take account of the fee quoted by another architect for the same service.

5.7 A RA shall not attempt to oust another architect from an engagement.

5.8 A RA, on being approached to undertake work upon which he/she knows or can ascertain by reasonable inquiry that another architect has an engagement with the same client, shall notify the fact to such architect.

5.9 A RA, except a member in government service required by his/her appointment to do so, should not report on or give advice on the work of another RA without giving notice to that RA or the ARB.

5.10 A RA may refer disputes arising from this Code orwith another RA to the ARB.

5.11 A RA undertakes not to maliciously or unfairly criticize or attempt to discredit another RA or a RA’s work.

5.12 A RA undertakes to appropriately acknowledge the contribution made to his work by another RA or RA’s firm.

5.13 A RA undertakes, subject to any restriction imposed by law or the courts, to refer or report to the ARB any alleged breach of this Code of which he may become aware and assist the ARB in its investigation.

5.14 A RA undertakes to respect and maintain confidentiality in any matter involving alleged breaches of this Code by another RA.

6. Practice in Other Countries

6.1 When practicing in foreign countries a RA should abide by the code of ethics/conduct of the relevant professional institution/body of that Country.

6.2 A RA agrees to abide by the International Code of Ethics adopted by the Union Internationale des Architects (UIA) as stated hereunder:

6.2.1 Article 1.

(1) In all professional undertakings, it is essential to consider the system of values and culture prevailing in each country, and standards must be determined on a national basis. This is dictated by the consideration that standards which are valid for the most advanced industrial countries may be inappropriate or may entail unwarranted social costs for the developing countries.

(2) There shall be no attempt to impose solutions of one society on other societies.

6.2.2 Article 2.

Based on the principle that the responsibility for the development of every country rests primarily upon itself, the local consultant or professional shall have the primary duty to interpret the needs of his/her people, and his/her vision as to how his/her country’s environment could be built, planned, improved or enhanced, shall be entitled to respect.

6.2.3 Article 3.

The environment that the professionals are committed to fashion shall be expressive of the genius of the people and reflective of the substance of their culture.

6.2.4 Article 4.

As a corollary to the foregoing principles, every consultant from a foreign country, whether the work is a result of a government-to-government agreement or a requirement of a funding institution or a project from a private sector, shall associate and work harmoniously with consultants or professionals of the country where the project is located.

6.2.5 Article 5.

To accelerate the transfer of appropriate technology, consultants from developing and developed countries shall, through their interaction, extend to each other the fullest assistance and access to information.

6.2.6 Article 6.

Consulting services shall be performed by individual professionals or consultants possessing the necessary qualifications, education, experience and legal registration and licence to practice or by firms whose principals and heads are professionals qualified to perform the required services and are responsible for the performance of the staff of said firms.

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