What is a Chartered Institute?

The Chartered status is bestowed by the UK Government under Royal Authority, reflecting the prestigious, independent character of the Institute and recognising the value and distinct nature of the discipline. The Institute leads and promotes Architectural Technology setting and maintaining the standards for education, practice and professionalism. To find out more about a Royal Charter please visit: privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/royal-charters/

What is Architectural Technology?

Architectural Technology is a creative, innovative design discipline rooted in science, engineering and technology. As a design function, it relates to the anatomy and physiology of buildings and their production, performance and processes in compliance with regulatory, statutory and legal requirements.

What services can a Chartered Architectural Technologist offer and provide?

Chartered Architectural Technologists are qualified to offer full design services and manage building projects from concept through to completion. They are the lead for the technological design of a project; forming the link between concept, innovation and realisation. They:

  • specialise in design, underpinned by building science, engineering and technology applied to architecture, playing a pivotal or lead role in project and design management;
  • hold a valued, respected and regulated professional qualification and protected designation, which is transferable and recognised across borders, whilst abiding by a set of professional standards and self-discipline in a Code of Conduct;
  • apply their skills in a wide range of other areas within the built environment including innovation, research, academia, manufacturing and processing industries, housing, health and government agencies;
  • work collaboratively with other professionals such as architects, surveyors and engineers and are recognised on a par with all Chartered professionals in the built environment sector; and
  • design and manage all project types large and small from residential to commercial, industrial and public projects; they range from being sole practitioners to working in and running multinational and multidisciplinary practices.

Apart from Chartered Architectural Technologist what other classes of members are there?

student, no designation
Those studying on a programme for a career in Architectural Technology.

Associate, ACIAT
Those who have a formal qualification and working towards Chartered Membership.

Technician, TCIAT
Those who have qualified as an Architectural Technician.

profile candidate, no designation
Those working towards Chartered Membership but who have not yet demonstrated their competence. These candidates are not permitted to make reference to CIAT or hold themselves out as a member.

Honorary, HonMCIAT
Those who have been awarded Honorary status.

Is a Chartered Architectural Technologist an architect?

A Chartered Architectural Technologist and architect are both qualified to lead projects from conception through to completion and sign and issue the necessary contracts and contract administrations forms.

The title architect cannot be used generically to describe a designer. It only applies to those individuals who are registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). In the same way, Chartered Architectural Technologist is a protected title and regulated by CIAT.

What is the difference between a Chartered Architectural Technologist and architect?

Chartered Architectural Technologist’s role
A creative career in design, realisation and construction of buildings, including their refurbishment, adaptation and maintenance. Considers the structure of a building, how they are constructed and how they perform, specialising in the technical design and realisation process.

Architect's role
A creative career in design, realisation and construction of buildings, including their refurbishment, adaptation and maintenance. Considers the aesthetics, form and place of a building.

A designer did some work for me, are they one of your members?

You can check whether your designer is a member by using check a member, this does not include profile candidates so please call +44(0)20 7278 2206 or email practice@ciat.org.uk. If you only have a practice name then you can check via the Directory of Practices, which are Chartered Members on the Register of Practices.

What if my designer says they are a member and they are not?

If your designer is making reference to the Institute or holding themselves out to be a member, or associated with CIAT, then you should contact practice@ciat.org.uk with the evidence for investigation.

Can I make a complaint if they are a member?

Yes.

If they are not a member, you may wish to look at other avenues such as mediation, arbitration or adjudication. All of these methods would require agreement by both parties. You may consider using the Dispute Resolution Scheme, run independently by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), cedr.com/solve/dispute-resolution-services/.

You can contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Trading Standards Office or seek legal advice.

Who can make a complaint?

Anybody can make a complaint if you consider that they have acted unprofessionally. These could include, for example, a client, employee, employer, fellow member or any third party.

Before I make a complaint, are there any alternative ways of resolving the matter?

You could consider other avenues such as mediation, arbitration or adjudication. All of these methods would require agreement by both parties. You may consider using the Dispute Resolution Scheme, run independently by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), cedr.com/solve/dispute-resolution-services/.

You can contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Trading Standards Office or seek legal advice.

Can CIAT make a financial compensation award?

No. CIAT has no authority to award costs or enforce the member to rectify any wrongdoings. If you are seeking financial redress or mediation you need to consider other avenues for a solution, either in addition to, or instead of, a complaint against the member through our complaints’ procedure.

How do I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint by using our complaint procedures which can be found here.

Are there any costs associated with the complaints procedure?

No. CIAT does not charge any fees for administering a complaint that has been raised against a member.

What is the Code of Conduct?

The Code of Conduct is a set of principles that must be adhered to by a member.

What if the complaint covers more than one version of the Code of Conduct?

The Code of Conduct used will be the one in force at the time of the alleged breach. If the alleged breach spans more than one Code, the Code of Conduct in force at the time of the alleged breach will apply.

What are the Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures?

The Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures is a document which outlines the formal process of making a complaint against a member.

What disciplinary sanctions can the Institute impose?

The disciplinary sanctions that the Institute can impose are:

  • A reprimand
  • Exclusion
  • Expulsion

These sanctions are public and reported on this website and in AT Journal.

Do I have to complete the Complaint Form?

Yes. The form is required for processing your complaint and ensure that we collect the necessary information and evidence. It must be returned signed and dated. You can find it here.

How does the Institute support me throughout the complaints process?

CIAT must remain impartial at all times with both parties. The Practice Department is available to guide both parties through the process and assist with any queries, they can be contacted by emailing practice@ciat.org.uk.

Once I have submitted my complaint, what is the next stage?

On receipt of a complaint, it is checked by the Practice Department and then sent to the member for answer. Following the 28-day timeframe to respond (35 days if overseas), the members response will be sent to you for your final comment. These three stages are then collated into one set of papers and sent to the Honorary Secretary and Chief Executive to evaluate whether any further clarification or information is required by either party. You will be kept advised throughout the process.

Your papers, now known as ‘the case’, will be submitted to the Conduct Committee to determine at a Conduct Review whether the member has a case to answer, in relation to any of the clauses from the Code which have been raised against them.

The flowchart diagram detailing the stages for a complaint can be viewed here.

What happens post the Conduct Review?

If there is a case to answer against the alleged breaches of the Code, a Conduct Hearing will be scheduled and you will be provided with the details, along with a request for any additional information required. If there is no case to answer against the alleged breaches of the Code, the case is closed and you will be notified in writing. On occasion, the Conduct Committee may adjourn the Conduct Review to seek further clarification or information and you will be advised of this in writing.

Can I and/or a representative attend if there is a Conduct Hearing?

Yes. A complainant can attend as a witness and you must notify us of this intention in writing. The member can also attend the Conduct Hearing.

What if I do not agree with the outcome from the Conduct Review or Hearing?

If the Conduct Committee determines that there is no case to answer, the case is closed by the Institute and there is no further action that CIAT will take.

If there has been a case to answer and if you do not agree with the decision or decisions following the Hearing, you may submit an application to appeal against these. The process is run by Construction Industry Council (CIC), and is independent of CIAT. Further information on this process can be found here. This includes the grounds you must demonstrate for an appeal to be considered. In this instance, the member also has the right to submit an application to appeal if they disagree with the decision or decisions made by the Conduct Committee.

Is there a time frame for raising a complaint with you?

There is no time limit to raising a complaint against a member. You will need to use the Code of Conduct in force at that time of the alleged breach. Click here to access the previous versions of the Code.

What evidence do I need to support my complaint?

The evidence that you provide must be relevant and in context to your complaint. It is recommended that a sequence of events, outlined as a timeline, is forwarded with the evidence.

Why do I have to submit ten identical copies of the evidence?

You must submit ten identical copies because CIAT cannot be responsible for any potential omissions. It is important that all information sent to those considering the allegations (ten parties in total) are in receipt of exactly the same information and the onus is on you to supply the evidence that will be used.

Can I submit email correspondence as supporting evidence?

Yes. It needs to be in hard copy within the evidence you submit and be relevant and in context to your complaint.

Why can’t I submit my complaint electronically?

Currently the Institute does not accept electronic submissions but this is under review.

Can you receive a complaint if it has been to court or out of court dispute resolution?

Yes. CIAT’s process is independent and relates to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct and the member’s professional behaviour. As this process considers professional behaviour, there is no guarantee that the Conduct Committee may find a breach even if you have been successful in court.

The complaints process requires you to provide information regarding any relevant legal action that has been taken. If legal action is currently ongoing the processing of the complaint may be deferred until the conclusion of the legal process.

Can I use your decision and findings in court?

Yes. Even though our process is not a legal proceeding and is independent of any other action that you may decide to take, there is nothing to stop you using the Conduct Committee’s decision or findings to assist you in any other procedure.

If your question has not been answered please contact the Practice Department by emailing practice@ciat.org.uk

Last updated 17 June 2020