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Architect Registration Act

Gazette No. 17 of 1994

An Act to provide for the Registration of Architects and Architectural Technicians, The Regulation and control of Architectural practice, and for related purposes.

Date of Assent: 15 September, 1994
Date of Commencement 29 September, 1994
Enacted by the Parliament of The Bahamas.

PART I – Preliminary

1. This Act may be cited as the Professional Architects Act, 1994 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may appoint by notice published in the Gazette.

2. In this Act –

“architect” means an individual who, by reason of his knowledge of the principles of architecture acquired by professional education and practical experience, is qualified to engage in architectural practices;

“architectural technician” means an individual who by reason of his technical education is qualified to produce the documents relating to an architectural practice;

“architecture” or “architectural practice” means the rendering of services in connection with the design, and superintendence of construction, of structures for human habitation or use, utilizing space within and surrounding such structures; and, in this definition, “services” includes planning, preliminary studies, designs, drawings, specifications, architectural supervision, site supervision and the administration of construction contracts;

“Board” means the Professional Architects Board established by section 3; “certify” means – (a) in connection with site operations, specify that relevant architectural works have been constructed in accordance with the related contract documents, sound building practice and any permits or approvals required by any written law; and (b) in connection with calculations, drawings, specifications and other similar documents, specify that the design and standards shall admit of analysis in accordance with sound architectural practice; “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board elected under subsection (2) of section 3; “license” means a license issued under section 11; “Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for land use; “prescribed examination” has the meaning assigned to that expression by section 7(a); “Register” means the Register of Professional Architects provided for in section 8; “registered architect” means an individual whose name appears on the Register; “Registrar” means the Registrar to the Board; “seal” means a seal issued to a registered architect under this Act; ” to register” means to enter the name of an individual in the Register.
PART II – The Professional Architects Board

3.- (1) There is hereby established a body to be known as the Professional Architects Board which shall discharge the functions assigned to the Board by or under this Act.

(2) The Board shall consist of –

(a) the Director of Public Works ex officio or, if he is not an architect, a public officer who is an architect; and

(b) two registered architects appointed by the Minister acting in his discretion;

(c)two registered architects appointed by the Minister acting in accordance with the advice of the association known as the Institute of Bahamian Architects and the advice of such other associations of architects as the Minister sees fit; and

(d)one registered architect appointed by the Minister acting with the concurrence of the association known as the Institute of Bahamian Architects and the concurrence of such other associations of architects as the Minister sees fit;

and the Chairman shall be elected by the Board from among its members.

4.-(1) An appointed member of the Board shall hold office until the 31st day of December next following the date of his appointment but shall be eligible for reappointment.

(2) The Minister may on the recommendation of the Board at any time revoke the appointment of an appointed member.

(3) If any vacancy occurs among the appointed members, the Minister shall, as soon as possible after consultation with the association known as the Institute of Bahamian Architects and with such other associations of architects as the Minister sees fit, appoint another individual to hold office for the remainder of the period for which the previous member was appointed.

(4) An appointed member may at any time resign his office by instrument addressed to the Minister and transmitted through the Chairman.

(5) In this section, “appointed member of the Board” or “appointed member” means a member of the Board who is appointed under section 3(2)(b).

5.-(1) The Board shall meet at such times as may be necessary or expedient for the transaction of its business, and such meetings shall be held at such places and times and on such days as the Board may determine, provided that such meetings shall take place at least twice a year.

(2) The quorum of the Board shall be three.

(3) The decisions of the Board shall be by a majority of votes; and a member of the Board who holds office under section 3(2)(a) shall not have an original vote but shall, in any case in which the voting is equal, have a casting vote.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board may regulate its own proceedings.

(5) The Chairman shall cause to be given to a member of the Board, ten days’ written notice of a meeting of the Board.

6. The Minister shall appoint a Registrar (who shall perform the functions assigned to the Registrar by or under this Act) and shall provide the Board with such other staff and accommodation, services and other facilities as appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the performance of the functions of the Board.

7. The functions of the Board are – (a) to conduct or arrange for the conduct of an examination, where appropriate, for the purpose of assessing the professional ability of individuals applying for registration;

(b) to register architects and architectural technicians, and to issue licenses and seals;

(c) to safeguard against illegal, improper or unethical architectural practices;

(d) to exercise disciplinary control over registered architects;

(e) to publish in the Gazette a list of qualifications and institutions recognized by the Board in respect of the architectural academic training required for eligibility to sit the prescribed examination;

(f) to make recommendations to the Minister regarding amendments to the law relating to architects;

(g) to advise the Minister on any matter which the Minister refers to the Board relating to architectural practices or professional qualifications; and

(h) to regulate architectural practices in accordance with this Act.
PART III – Registration Of Professional Architects

8.-(1) The Board shall cause the Registrar to keep a register, to be known as “The Register of Professional Architects”, which shall contain the name and address of every architect and architectural technician registered under this Act, the qualifications by virtue of which he is registered and such other particulars as may be prescribed. (2) The Register shall be open to inspection by any member of the public at the office of the Registrar during normal office hours. (3) The Registrar shall make in the Register such alterations in respect of the names, addresses, qualifications or other particulars of registered individuals as are necessary and shall remove from the Register the name of any registered individual who is deceased or no longer qualified to engage in an architectural practice in The Bahamas. (4) A person whose name is not entered in the Register shall be deemed not to be an architect or architectural technician, as the case may be, for the purposes of this Act.

9-(1) An individual is entitled to be registered as an architect if, upon his written application to the Board for such registration, he satisfies the Board that – (a) he is qualified to be registered as an architect; and

(b) he is a fit and proper individual to practice as an architect.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an individual is qualified to be registered as an architect if he has not been disqualified or suspended from architectural practice (whether within or outside The Bahamas) and –

(a) at the date of his application, he holds corporate, full, professional, architectural membership granted by a professional body in the field of architecture and which in the opinion of the Board is evidence of satisfactory training in architecture;

(b)(i) he has passed the prescribed examination in addition to obtaining a degree, diploma or other academic qualification granted by a University or College, whether within or outside The Bahamas, and which in the opinion of the Board is evidence of satisfactory training in architecture; and (ii) he has, subsequent to obtaining the degree, diploma or other qualification, acquired to the satisfaction of the Board practical experience in architectural practices under the supervision of a registered architect, such practical experience being for a period of not less than three years if the individual is the holder of a Bachelor’s degree, or not less than two years if the individual is the holder of a Master’s degree, granted by a University or College; or

(c)(i) his application for registration is made within two years after the date of commencement of this Act;

(ii) he satisfies the Board that, for a period of not less than twenty years, he has acquired practical experience in architectural practices; and

(iii) he satisfies the Board that he is a citizen of The Bahamas or a permanent resident of The Bahamas whose permanent residence certificate permits him to engage in gainful occupation, and that he has been engaged in architectural practices in The Bahamas for a period of not less than six months immediately prior to the date of commencement of this Act;

but upon the expiration of the period prescribed in subparagraph (i), a person shall be qualified to be registered as an architect if he complies with the requirements of subparagraphs (ii) and (iii).

(3) An individual is entitled to be registered as an architectural technician if, within three years after the date of commencement of this Act, he makes application to the Board for such registration and satisfies the Board that –

(a) he has been awarded an Architectural Technician Certificate or Diploma from a Polytechnic Institution or College or other place of learning at which the syllabus for the particular Architectural Technician course has been approved by the Board; (b) he has been awarded a degree in Construction or Architectural Technology from an educational institution approved by the Board; or (c) he was engaged in the business of diversified architectural practice for at least five years with at least two years of training approved by the Board in the offices of an architect who could be registered under this Act and who notified and provided evidence to the satisfaction of the Board of this training within one year after the date of commencement of this Act, and that the applicant has passed the prescribed examination within that year.

10. -1) Every individual wishing to be registered shall make application therefor in writing to the Board, enclosing with his application the documents conferring or evidencing his qualifications for registration and such other particulars as may be prescribed or as may be required by the Board in any particular case.

(2) Within ninety days after the receipt of an application under subsection (1), the Board shall consider the application and make a determination whether or not the applicant should be registered.

(3) The Board shall communicate its determination to the applicant and, in the case of a favorable determination, direct the Registrar to register the applicant on the payment of the prescribed fee.

(4) An application made under this section by an individual who is not a citizen of The Bahamas and who is not a public officer shall not be granted without evidence of a valid work permit issued under the provisions of the Immigration Act.

11.- (1) Any individual who is registered under section 10 as an architect and who desires to engage in architectural practice in any year shall prior to the first day of January in that year apply to the Registrar for a license, and the Registrar shall on payment of the prescribed fee issue to him a license and every individual holding such a license shall display his license in a prominent position in his place of practice.

(2) If any individual who is registered as an architect applies on or after the 1st day of January in any year to the Registrar for a license to practice, the Registrar shall, on payment of the fee prescribed under subsection (1) for such license, issue to him a license; and the Registrar shall maintain a separate register of licensed architects which shall be current.

(3) Every license issued under this section is valid for the year in which it is issued and expires on the 31st day of December in the year in which it was issued.

(4) Every such license shall be renewed annually upon the application of the holder thereof and the payment of the prescribed fee.

(5) The annual renewal license fee is payable not later than the 31st day of January in each year.

(6) An individual who is required to pay the annual license fee under this section and who fails to pay that fee within the time specified in subsection (5) shall, in respect of his license for that year pay, in addition to that fee, a sum equal thereto.

(7) An individual who fails to comply with subsection (5) and whose license expires on the 31st day of December of the immediately preceding year shall not be considered to be unlicensed for the purposes of section 23 or 25 during the period commencing with that date and ending on the 31st day of January of the succeeding year.

(8) Where a license has been lost, destroyed or mutilated it may be replaced by the Registrar by the issue of a copy thereof upon the application of the holder of the license and on the payment of the prescribed fee.

(9) It shall be the duty of the licensee to inform the Registrar of any changes of address.

(10) A certified copy of any license made by the Registrar shall be prima facie evidence in any court that the individual to whom the license relates is a registered architect; and a letter signed by the Registrar stating that an individual is not a registered architect shall be prima facie evidence in any court of that fact.

12.-( 1) Every architect registered under section 10 shall upon payment of the prescribed fee be entitled to have a seal issued to him by the Registrar.

(2) The seal shall be of the design authorized by the Board and shall bear the name of the registered architect, his serial number and legend for use in connection with his architectural practice.

(3) The seal and signature of a registered architect shall be affixed to every document or drawing prepared by him and the affixing thereof shall be attested to by another person.

(4) Where a seal and signature purporting to be the seal and signature of a registered architect have been affixed and attested to as aforesaid, the document or drawing to which the seal and signature are affixed shall be deemed to have been prepared by the registered architect to whom the seal and signature belong, or by someone under his direction or supervision and checked by him.

13. The Registrar shall cause to be published in the Gazette –

(a) as soon as practicable after the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of this Act, a list containing the name and address of every individual who was a registered architect on the thirtieth day after such commencement; and (b) thereafter in each year as soon as practicable after the 1st day of January and the 1st day of July, respectively, a list containing the name ‘~and address of every architect registered or who ceased to be registered between the 1st day of January and such 1st day of July, both dates being inclusive.

14. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a partnership, an association of persons or a corporation may engage in architectural practice in its own name if at least one of its principal and customary functions is to practice professional architecture and the practice is carried on under the supervision of a member of the partnership or association or a direction of the corporation, or under the supervision of a full-time permanent employee of the partnership, association or corporation, who is a registered architect; but the partnership, association of persons or corporation itself shall not be deemed to be registered or licensed to engage in architectural practice.
PART IV – Discipline

15. For the purposes of this Act it shall be improper conduct if an architect registered under this Act –

(a) for the purpose of procuring his registration makes a statement which is false in a material particular;

(b) is convicted by a court in The Bahamas or elsewhere of a criminal offence which, in the opinion of the Board, renders him unfit to be registered;

(c) repeatedly performs defective work to which adequate checks have not been applied;

(d) makes any report in connection with the performance of any architectural practice containing any information which he knows to be erroneous in any material particular;

(e) certifies the accuracy of any construction documents knowing the same to be defective;

(f) certifies the accuracy of any construction documents without having personally carried out or supervised the preparation of those documents;

(g) is otherwise guilty of negligence or incompetence in the performance of his functions as an architect.

16.-(1) A complaint that an individual registered under this Act has been guilty of improper conduct may be made to the Board by any person and shall be accompanied by such statements and affidavits as may be required by the Board.

(2) Where the Board is of the opinion that any complaint so made might, if established, call for the exercise by a disciplinary committee of any of the disciplinary powers conferred by section 18, the Board shall appoint such a disciplinary committee and shall refer the complaint to the committee.

17.-(1) A disciplinary committee appointed under subsection (2) of section 16 shall consist of three members selected by the Board from among registered architects being, as far as possible, persons of a professional standing comparable to or senior to the individual complained against, and one of the members shall be the Chairman of the committee.

(2) In the conduct of the hearing of any complaint the disciplinary committee shall ensure –

(a) that adequate notice of the proceedings is given to the individual complained against; and

(b) that any party to the proceedings may, if he so requires, be heard by the committee either in person or by a counsel and attorney.

(3) At any such hearing the committee may require evidence to be given on oath, and the Chairman shall have the power to administer an oath for that purpose and to issue summonses under his hand requiring the attendance of any person before it, at a time and place to be specified in any such summons, to give evidence on oath or to produce any document relevant to the subject matter of the proceedings.

(4) Any such summons shall be served as if it had been issued by a magistrate, and the attendance before the committee of any person so summoned may be enforced by a magistrate, upon application made to him by the Chairman, as if the proceedings before the committee were proceedings before the magistrate, under the provisions of the Magistrates Act.

18.-(1) On the hearing of a complaint the disciplinary committee shall take the recommendations to the Board and the Board may either dismiss the complaint or make such order of a disciplinary nature as it thinks fit, and any such order may in particular provide for any of the following matters, that is to say –

(a) removal of the name from the Register;

(b) suspension of registration for a period not exceeding one year;

(c) payment of a penalty (to be forfeited to the Crown) not exceeding one thousand dollars;

(d) payment, by any party to the proceedings, of costs or of such sum as the Board may consider a reasonable contribution towards the costs incurred in connection with those proceedings.

(2) Any payment ordered to be made by any person under paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) may be enforced, in the case of an individual registered under this Act, by the Board ordering his registration to be suspended until payment is made and, in any other case, as a judgment debt owed to the Board.

19.-(1) Every order made by the Board under section 18 shall be prefaced by a statement of the findings of the disciplinary committee on the facts of the case and shall be signed by the Chairman of the committee.

(2) Every such order shall be filed with the Registrar and shall take effect –

(a) where no appeal under section 26 is brought against the order within the time limited for the appeal, on the expiration of that time;

(b) where such an appeal is brought and is withdrawn or struck out for want of prosecution, on the withdrawal or striking out of the appeal;

(c) where such an appeal is brought and is not withdrawn or struck out as aforesaid, if and when the appeal is dismissed and not otherwise.

(3) The Registrar shall cause a note of the effect of every order filed with him pursuant to subsection (2) to be entered in the Register against the name of the individual to whom the order relates and, except in the case of an order making provision only for costs, shall forthwith upon the, taking effect of the order cause a notice stating the effect of the order to be published in the Gazette.