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It is illegal to call yourself an architect if you are not one

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by Vanburn Harry, SVGIA, RASVG

For persons purporting to be architects without any recognition or certification from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Architects Council, you should be aware that it is illegal to do so. If you are not registered with the Architects Council or do not have an architectural license from the Council, it is illegal to call yourself an architect or perform architectural services.{{more}}

It is unlawful for any person to practice or offer to practice architecture in St Vincent and the Grenadines or to use in connection with his or her name or otherwise assume, use or advertise any title or description including the word ‘architect’, ‘architecture’, ‘architectural’ or language tending to imply that he or she is an architect, unless the person is registered or authorized to practise in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

An architect or architectural firm registered in any other jurisdiction recognized by the Architects Council may offer to practise architecture in the state of St Vincent and the Grenadines if:

(a) It is clearly and prominently stated in such an offer that the architect or firm is not registered to practise architecture in St Vincent and the Grenadines; and

(b) Prior to practising architecture or signing a contract to provide architectural services, the architect or firm must be registered to practice architecture in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Beware of Unqualified and Unregistered Persons practising as Architects

It is therefore brought to the notice of the general public that under Part VI, Section 38(3) of St Vincent and the Grenadines Architects Act 2011, no person other than a registered architect with the Architects Council, or a firm /organization shall use the title and style of architect and/or hold office as an architect or carry out duties and functions of an architect (by whatever name called) either in Government or in any other local body or institution or in private organization.

All such persons who are not registered with the Architects Council are encouraged to stop using the title and style of architect and/or practising architecture. Any such violation can/may attract penal action as provided under Section 38(4) of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Architects Act 2011, which may amount to fine or imprisonment or with both.

The general public is hereby informed that only persons who are registered with the Architects Council are permitted to practise architecture and to use the title and style of architect. If any un-registered practitioner (Vincentian or foreign national) is noticed, the matter may be intimated to the undersigned for taking necessary legal action.

The Architects Council is required, by law, to take cognizance of misrepresentation, misuse of the title and style of architect, and of unauthorized persons illegally practising architecture.

For Information and Guidance

General:

1. The Architects Council is a statutory body constituted under an Act of Parliament (St Vincent and the Grenadines Architects Act 2011).

2. The Act prohibits those persons not registered with the Architects Council to use the Title and Style themselves as “Architect” with any prefix or suffix to their designation.

3. Unregistered persons irrespective of their qualification, if they use the title “Architect” commit an offence and they can be prosecuted and punished as prescribed.

4. For professional architectural services, engage only registered architects.

5. Beware of those who misrepresent themselves as architects.

6. Public, Govt/semi Govt authorities, corporate bodies and individuals must engage only registered architects having up to date renewal.

Complaints for professional misconduct:

1. Architects are governed by Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, St Vincent and the Grenadines Architects Act 2011, Part V, Section 34.

2. Complaints, if any, against the erring architects can be filed before the Council in prescribed format (if any) with necessary documentary evidence.

3. Misconduct, violation, if proved, to the satisfaction of the Council after holding the enquiry, the architect can be penalized as prescribed.

Architectural Education:

1. The council is entrusted to ensure minimum standard of education, including inspection of institutions and to recommend grant and withdrawal of recognition of institutions.

2. It should be noted that only those who possess recognized qualifications are entitled to the registration.

Please be guided accordingly.

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