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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Architects Registration Council

1. What is the Architects Regi

The Architects Registration Council is the body set up by law, Architects Act 1969 (NLCD 357), to regulate Architects and Architectural Practice, and by administrative mandate to regulate Building Design Technicians and Draughtsmen in the Republic of Ghana.

Any person or firm involved in building design, construction and any other related fields and describes themselves as architects, building design technicians or draughtsmen are required to register with us.

The Council can take action against anyone who wrongly calls themselves as architect, or creates the impression to be an architect, or practices under any name, title or style containing the word ‘architects’, ‘architecture’ or ‘architectural’.

2. Why is Government Interest

The actions or inactions of certain professions may have dire consequences and impact on society, persons and or property. Such professions are regulated by government in the interest of both the professionals and the general public.

A government regulatory body is therefore an agency responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a supervisory capacity. The roots of government regulation are economic, political and social. Regulatory Administration in effect represents the direct use of government authority to access all the areas of society in the bid to protect and satisfy public interest.

3. What are the Duties and Fun

The establishing Act mandates the Council to be concerned with the Architectural profession and perform following duties and functions:

Set the standards, develop syllabus and conduct qualifying examinations for professional registration of architects
We maintain and publish a register of architects and architectural firms, building design technicians and draughtsmen
We keep and publish the National Register of architects and architectural firms, building design technicians and draughtsmen
We set the standard and ensure the maintenance of good professional conduct and ethics
We receive complaints, investigate allegations and prescribe disciplinary sanctions against offenders of the provisions of the Act
control the practice of architecture:

4. How is the ARC Governed?

The Architects Registration Council is a Public Service organisation with the Registrar as the head and Chief Executive Officer and governed by a ten - member board with the following composition:

One member from the Ministry of Works and Housing who shall be a registered architect;
Five members nominated by the Ghana Institute of Architects;
One member from the School of Architecture of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology;
One member from the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences;
Legal advisor from the Attorney-General’s Department; and
The Registrar of the Architects Registration Council

5. Wasn’t the GIA before now d

Yes it was, but with no legal mandate.

Much as the Act established the ARC in 1969, the governing board and administrative structures were not put in place for ARC to function.

The Ghana Institute Architects (GIA), the professional body of architects, in effect became the registration authority and regulator of the architectural profession in Ghana.  However, over time, the GIA realized it did not have the legal authority to enforce the provisions of the Architects Act of 1969. In this regard, it set a process in motion in 1997 towards the resuscitation of the Architects Registration Council as established by the Architects Act of 1969, which has the powers to regulate, police and ‘sanitize’ the practice. This culminated in the constitution and inauguration of the Architects Registration Council on 18th September 2000 by the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing.

6. What is therefore the diffe

The GIA is a professional body of architects like the Ghana Bar Association or the Ghana Medical Association.  These are associations or ‘clubs’ of similar professionals with their own constitutions, byelaws and regulations. They are self-funding, elect their own officers and run their affairs and secretariats.  They can be ‘pressure groups’ and strictly speaking, are independent of Government.

The ARC on the other hand is set up by Government through law, the Architects Act 1969 (NLCD 357), to regulate the architectural profession on its behalf.  It is funded by Government subvention and is an agency of the Ministry of Works and Housing.  The GIA however nominates five (5) of the ten (10)-member ARC Governing Board.

7. Are there other similar pro

Yes, there are the following examples:   

Professional Body Government Regulatory Body
Ghana Medical Association (GMA) Medical and Dental Council
Ghana Bar Association (GBA) General Legal Council
Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGh) Pharmacy Council

8. Are other built environmen

Yes, the engineering profession is regulated by the Engineering Council established by the Engineer’s Act of 2011, Act…..

The Bills that would establish the respective bodies to regulate Surveyors and Planners are currently being worked on by the State with the Ghana Institution of Surveyors and the Ghana Institute of Planners as key stakeholders. The 2 Institutions in this regard now have the capacity only to regulate their respective professionals themselves (as the GIA did before). They have control over only their own members and not over members of the general public infringing on their professions.

9. Does the above mean that th

Yes. The ARC has the authority, if it so desires, to caution or prosecute anyone, architects and members of the public alike, if they are deemed to have seriously infringed on the law as outlined through the Architects Act 1969, (NLCD 357).

10. Are there similar Professi

Yes, there are the following examples:

Professional Body Government Regulatory Body
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Architects Registration Board (ARB, UK)
Nigerian Institute of Architects ((NIA) Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON)
South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP)
American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

11. Should every trained archi

Yes, every trained architect with a professional degree recognized by the Council and who intends to practice in Ghana should register with the ARC. The categories of registerable persons are inclusive of fresh graduates of architecture schools, probationers, foreign architects and firms and full members of the Ghana Institute of Architects.  The Council has the following classes of registers: Standing, Provisional and Temporary Registers. These registers cover local and foreign individual architects and firms.

12. Do Firms really have to re

Yes; Architectural Firms also need to register with the ARC. The same is expected of any Foreign Firm working on a project(s) in Ghana.  Such a firm is expected to work in association with a registered local Ghanaian Firm or architect.  Their expatriate resident or visiting architects also need to register with the ARC.

14. What are the Benefits of R

Your registration with ARC entitles you to call yourself an Architect in Ghana. This is a statutory privilege which signifies that you are a full qualified professional who as a result of long and intensive period of study and practical experience, can bring a high level of architectural expertise to every aspect of a building project. Your registration sets you apart from other individuals operating in today’s market place who have not been awarded statutory recognition. It enables consumers to be confident that they are dealing with a fully-qualified and regulated professional architect.

13. Who can register an archit

For new registration of firms, the current ARC regulation requires that the Principal of such a firm or partnership should have a minimum of 10 years post-qualification and 5 years post-registration experience.  The Firm may also be expected to meet some minimum requirements as may be determined by the ARC.

It is however to be noted that any registered architect (even with 1-year post registration experience) is still entitled to practice in his or her name as an individual without hindrance.  Operating a firm on the other hand is an accreditation with the endorsement of the ARC and requires some basic safeguards of experience (that has a time component) and an ability to properly train other younger architects and technicians.

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