Council of Architecture (COA) a body that sets out standards of practice to be complied with by the practicing architects, has instructed all the practicing architects to strictly follow the conditions of engagement and scale of charges for their appointment while accepting the professional work. As per the Architects Act, 1972, the practicing architects have to strictly follow the conditions of engagement and scale of charges set out by Indian Institute of Architects, an organisation established to elevate the standards of architectural practice and to promote the interests of architects throughout India.
COA’s directive comes close on the heels of series of incidents where architects names were dragged holding them partly responsible for accidents in buildings like fire and also for unauthorised/illegal constructions. Further, many local bodies are nowadays opting for online submission of applications for approval of building plans where role and responsibilities of architects have increased substantially. In light of these developments, the latest directive by the COA gains significance as it requires the architects to strictly follow the rules.
The COA has laid down standards of professional conduct and etiquette and a code of ethics for Architects under Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989. “It has come to the notice of the Council that despite there is a requirement under the Regulations for architects in practice to inform the client of the conditions of engagement and scale of charges for their appointment duly mentioning the roles and responsibility of architect and other stakeholders involved in a project, the same is not being followed by some architects,” the Council has pointed out in its notice to the architects.
The Council has asked the architects to undertake professional work only after the responsibilities entrusted to them are enshrined in proper agreement. The Council has also warned that the violations of the Professional Conduct Regulations may attract action as per Section 30 of the Act.