The Architects Registration Board is a statutory authority responsible for registering architects, promoting architectural training, conducting enquiries into the conduct of architects, investigating misuse of the title Architect and promoting a better understanding of architectural matters in the country. You can contact the Board to:
It is important to note the difference between the Architects Registration Board and the Uganda Society of Architects. As the professional association, the Society's primary objective is to promote the interests of its members and also act as a lobby group.
It is important to use a registered architect because then you are certain that the person has attained the necessary qualifications, completed specific practical experience and has passed the Board's examination before registration. Architects must undertake professional education appropriate to the services they provide which increases their professional competence and thus you are guaranteed a high delivery standard.
Architects are also subject to the Architects professional code of conduct in the Architects Registration Act governing their service to clients which ensures client protection even beyond the business/personal relationship. In case of misconduct, the architect is answerable to a regulatory Body.
Please note that this list of institutions is only informational for those seeking to study architectural courses in Uganda. Not all these courses will qualify one for registration by the board. In order for one to become a registered architect one needs to be a holder of a degree or diploma awarded by a university or other institution recognized for the time being by the board.
Fees charged by an Architect are subject to a legal instrument; The Architects Registration (Conditions of Engagement and scale of fees) Bye-laws, 2009 which provides for the minimum fee structure charged by an architect. However, the architect retains some level of discretion on fees based on a percentage of the cost of the works, a lump sum or an hourly rate.
Always ensure to clarify the fees with the Architect or 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.
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.
The 9th Board also introduced site inspections to ensure quality assurance by architects in the construction process. The technical inspector will carry out inspections to ensure that stickers are displayed on sites.
If things go wrong, the first thing you should do is talk to your architect so that they understand that there's something amiss that they need to correct. Also, under our Professional Code of Conduct, architects are expected to have their own in-house procedures for dealing with complaints.
The Architects Registration Board (ARB) was set up by Parliament to regulate architects in the Uganda. Our powers are governed by the Architects Act 1996. One of our duties is dealing with complaints about an architect’s conduct or their ability to do their job – their competence. This section describes how we handle complaints about architects.
According to Section 16 Of the Architects Registration Act,
We can investigate your complaint if it is about an architect on our Register and if it concerns that architect’s conduct or competence in relation to the standards in the Architects Code of Conduct. We treat all complaints fairly and we don’t charge for investigating them.
Sometimes, complaints are about issues that we don’t have the powers to deal with - and then you may wish to try other solutions.
The Architects Code of Conduct is not a set of rules that architects must follow, but guidance for architects in their professional lives. We wouldn’t automatically take disciplinary action against an architect if they fell below the standards, but we would look to see whether their actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence. These are the two ‘offences’ that the Architects Act says we can investigate.
Because we have to work in line with the Architects Act, there are some aspects of complaints that we are unable to deal with – though we will always try to give you helpful advice. For example, we can’t:
If we are unable to investigate your complaint, you may want to consider whether there are alternative methods for resolving your dispute.
In a serious dispute where you and your architect have been unable to reach an agreement, you may consider taking legal action. If this is the case, you might want to take legal advice to find out what your options are. Only courts can award compensation.
Also according to Section 20(1) of the Architects Registration Act, An architect or complainant aggrieved by the decision or order of the disciplinary committee may appeal against the decision or order to the High Courtwithin three months from the date on which the report of the committee is delivered to that architect or complainant.
Before sending us a complaint, you should try to sort out your concerns directly with your architect first. This is often the quickest and best way to deal with a complaint or problem.
Checklist if complaining directly to an architect
Please send us details of your complaint in writing – by email or post – or fill in our online complaints form (Download Complaints From here). Also you can call us on our office phones listed on our Contact Us page. See below for the information we need.
Information we need
When writing to us about a new complaint, please provide:
After full investigation, if we find that an architect is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence, we can impose a penalty. This will depend on how serious we decide the offence is.
Possible penalties are:
It can take many months to investigate a complaint, especially if it is complicated or technical. We will let you know how long each stage is likely to take, and keep you updated of any changes to those timescales.
When we deal with a complaint, we are committed to protecting the confidentiality and reputation of both sides. We make a complaint public only if it reaches a Professional Conduct Committee hearing. We ask that both you and the architect have the same respect for confidentiality.
We are committed to providing a high-quality, professional service to everyone who contacts us. If something goes wrong, please tell us and we will do everything we can to sort out your concerns.