The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia is a statutory authority, established by the Architectural Practice Act 2009. It is responsible for maintaining high standards of practice in architecture. It does this by registering architects, approving architectural education courses, enquiring into complaints against architects (conduct or competency), investigating the misuse of the title Architect, and promoting a better understanding of architecture in the community.

It performs these roles in the interests of the public, and consumer protection. Contact the Board, or use this website, to:

  • check a person's registration, or the registration of an architectural business
  • enquire about making a complaint against an architect or architectural business
  • notify the Board about the possible misuse of the title 'Architect'
  • find out more about architects and architecture.

Adelaide City Skatepark, Convic. Photography by City of Adelaide.

Who is an Architect?

The use of the title 'architect' is protected by law. Only people or businesses registered with the Architectural Practice Board of SA may use the title, or derivatives of the title. A person or business must have satisfied the Board that they have met the requirements of the Architectural Practice Act 2009, (including academic and practical experience), before being registered by the Board.

A person or company not on the South Australian Register is not an architect or architectural business. Persons or companies that are using the terms 'architect' or 'architectural services', or similar derivatives, but are not registered, may be in breach of the Architectural Practice Act 2009. A prosecution can be launched against the person or company for 'holding out' to be an architect.

If you have a query about a person or business, you can search the register of Architects to find out if they are registered; or you may prefer to contact the office to discuss your query.

Why use an Architect?

If an architect is chosen for a project, the individual has attained the necessary architectural qualifications, completed at least two years practical experience after graduating from a recognised architectural course, and has then passed the Architectural Practice Examination. This is a national examination. All architects must successfully complete these three steps to become registered.

The architect is regulated by the Architectural Practice Board of SA and must follow the Architects' Code of Conduct. All architects must also maintain professional indemnity insurance to ensure they are covered for claims of negligence or other civil claims, and complete a minimum amount of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every year. This ensures architects keep up to date with current developments and practices in the building, construction and planning industries. Professional development can also include courses in contract administration, design, documentation, business management, project management and similar competency-based courses.

Be assured that architects are proficient in all elements of the National Standards of Competencies for Architects (NSCA). Recognised qualifications for registration are assessed against the NSCA, and approved accordingly, and the Architectural Practice Examination assesses candidates practical experience and knowledge of the competencies. Architects must maintain their proficiency in all elements of the NCSA at all times.

Members of the community are entitled to have services provided at a professional level by a registered architect or architectural business. Registration ensures architects have the necessary qualifications and experience to provide the services and are accountable for both their conduct and competency.

The Board surveyed members of the South Australian community about design. The results can be read in the report titled South Australia Benefit of Design July 2015, which clearly shows the community prefers well planned, sustainable, functional and aesthetically pleasing design in public spaces and the built environment.

How to become an Architect

A career in architecture can lead to many different pathways.

An Architect contributes to community wellbeing and the complex fabric of the built environment by aiming to achieve places and spaces that are functional, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

An Architect is a professional person who is registered in the State or Territory in Australia in which they work. Any person using the title ‘architect’ or offering services to the public as an architect, must be registered with the Architects’ Board in that jurisdiction.

To gain registration, a person must have an accredited qualification, and then pass the national Architectural Practice Examination (APE).

An accredited qualification is generally a five year Master of Architecture degree (or similar). The University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide both offer courses which are accredited in Australia for registration as an architect. There are a total of 18 universities in Australia providing accredited courses.

The Board sponsors the Final Year Student Exhibition for graduates of the Master of Architecture degree at the University of SA and the University of Adelaide each year. The Board also presents an annual award to a student at each of the South Australian universities who excels in the subject of 'Practice Management'.

After successfully completing these requirements, an application for registration as an Architect can be made. The application requires the person to provide Professional Indemnity Insurance details, and also satisfy a 'fit and proper' person test. This is in order to meet the requirements of the Act and the professional obligations for practising architecture.

Architects’ Code of Conduct

Benson Radiology Salisbury, Tridente. Photography by Simon Cecere.

The Architects' Code of Conduct was approved in 2012. A breach of the Code by a registered person or business may be considered unprofessional conduct. The Code sets out the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of registered architects and architectural businesses.

The Code of Conduct details 12 Standards architects are expected to meet:

Standard 1 - Be honest and act with integrity
Standard 2 - Be Competent
Standard 3 - Promote services honestly and responsibly
Standard 4 - Manage business competently
Standard 5 - Consider the wider impact of work
Standard 6 - Carry out work faithfully and conscientiously
Standard 7 - Be trustworthy and look after clients' money properly
Standard 8 - Have appropriate insurance arrangements
Standard 9 - Maintain the reputation of the architecture profession
Standard 10 - Deal with disputes or complaints appropriately
Standard 11 - Co-operate with regulatory requirements and investigations
Standard 12 - Have respect for others

A copy of the Architects’ Code of Conduct can be downloaded on the publications page