09. Conditions of Appointment


This part describes the conditions which normally apply to an architect’s appointment. If different conditions are to apply, they should be set out in the Schedule of Services and Fees or letter of appointment.

Duty of Care

  • SW3.1 The architect will exercise reasonable skill and care in conformity with the normal standards of the architect’s profession

Architect’s authority

  • SW3.2 The architect will act on behalf of the client in the matters set out or implied in the architect’s appointment; the architect will obtain the authority of the client before initiating any service or work stage.

Contractors, sub-contractor and suppliers

  • SW3.3 A specialist contractor , sub-contractor or supplier who is to be employed by the client to design any part of the works may be nominated by either the architect or the client, subject to acceptance by each party. The client will hold such contractor, sub-contractor or supplier, and not the architect, responsible for the competence, proper execution and performance of the work thereby entrusting to that contractor, sub-contractor or supplier. The architect will have the authority to co-ordinate and integrate such work into the overall design.
  • SW3.4 The client will employ a contractor under separate agreement to undertake construction or other works. The client will hold the contractor, and not the architect, responsible for the contractor’s operational methods and for the proper execution of the works.

Site inspection

  • SW3.5 Where the services to be provided by the architect include those described in clauses SW1.12 and SW1.13 the architect will visit the site at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction to inspect the progress and quality of the works and to determine that they are being executed generally in accordance with the contract documents. The architect will not be required to make frequent or constant inspections.


  • SW3.6 Copyright in all documents and drawings prepared by the architect and in any works executed from those documents and drawings shall, unless otherwise agreed, remain the property of the architect.

Suspension and termination

  • SW3.7 The performance of any or all of the agreed services may be suspended by the client, and the architect’s appointment may be terminated by either party, on the expiry of reasonable notice given in writing.

Settlement of disputes

  • SW3.8 A difference or dispute arising on the application of the Architect’s Appointment to fees charged by a member may, by agreement between the parties, be referred to the RIBA, RIAS or RSUA for an opinion provided that:
    • the member’s appointment is based on this document and has been confirmed in writing; and
    • the opinion is sought on a joint statement of undisputed facts; and
    • the parties undertook to accept the opinion as final and binding upon them.
  • SW3.9 Any other difference or dispute arising out of the appointment and any difference or dispute arising on the fees charged which cannot be resolved in accordance with clause SW3.8 shall be referred to arbitration by a person to be agreed between the parties or, failing agreement with 14 days after either party has given to the other a written request to concur in the appointment of an arbitrator, a person to be nominated at the request of either party by the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, provided that in a difference or dispute arising out of provisions relating to copyright, clause SW3.6 above, the arbitrator shall, unless otherwise agreed, be an architect.
  • SW3.10 Nothing herein shall prevent the parties agreeing to settle any difference or dispute arising out of the appointment without recourse to arbitration.