Hardly 10 months since its launch, the Architects Registration Council (the Council) has published its inaugural list of registered architectural professionals in the local press.
The list of 93 by the Council also tells the public whether the architect, architectural technologist or architectural draftsperson has a practising licence, any record of wrong doing, suspensions et al. According to the Registrar, Mmilili Kenneth, the public will be kept informed of any suspensions, withdrawal of registration status and practising licence status in an effort to safeguard the interests of the public who are the consumers of architectural services.
“The Council exists not only to regulate and monitor the activities of professionals, but also to develop architectural professionals as from time to time the Council will conduct and run continuing professional development workshops to ensure that our registered professionals’ skills and experience remain relevant and up to date”. To protect the public interest, the Council is required, in terms of the Architect’s Registration Act, Cap. 61:08, Section 51, to issue a Code of Conduct and Ethics of the Profession which prescribes the standards of professional conduct, practice and ethics expected of a Registered person. Failure, on the part of a Registered professional, to comply with the provisions of the Code shall constitute misconduct and may lead to an inquiry, fines and penalties in accordance with Part IV of the Act and/or its regulations, according to the founding Registrar.
The recently published list is not exhaustive according to the Registrar who says that they are still receiving and processing applications since the registration process is ongoing. “That is exactly why we stated that this list was as of July 25, 2016. The updated register will be maintained by the Council and will be available for inspection by any member of the public at a perusal fee of P50 at the Council’s offices”, he said. However, Kenneth expects the next public notice of updated list to be published before end of this year. “The publication of this list is already bearing fruit. We are receiving enquiries from members of the public who want to know what to do with an architectural professional who had bungled their building, failed to deliver services as contracted, while others want to know the legality of downloading and selling house designs to members of the public, for instance”, said Kenneth.
He went on to state that it will be an offence, in terms of the Architects’ Registration Act, for one to perform the Work of an Architect, manage the performance of the Work of an Architect or procurement of architectural services, practice, advertise, pretend or hold himself or herself out to be an architect, architectural technologist or architectural draftsperson, lead members of
The registrar says the publication of their first ever list of registered architects in the country has also caused more and more practitioners to wake up and seek registration. According to the Registrar, the Council is also conducting professional examinations for the acquisitions of a registration certificate where necessary. He says the Council just conducted the second of the three professional examinations scheduled for this year and that 53 candidates who could not be directly registered hence recommended to sit for the professional examination for admissibility purposes.
Kenneth admitted the publishing of the list of registered architects simply counts among the highs of the brand new institution that was announced to the nation only in October last year. Coinciding with the year of Botswana’s golden jubilee, the publishing of the list of registered architects in the country has been one of the most awaited developments for decades, to enable consumes of architectural services to understand the types of professionals they are dealing with.
According to Kenneth it is not only the publishing of the list of practitioners that his new organisation can be proud about. “I presume the setting up of the office and coming up with necessary operational office needs, having an active and results oriented Council (the Board), and its various sub-committees performing the various key functions of the Council, also ranks up there. In accordance with the Act, the Council is also in the process of appointing members to the Fidelity Fund Board of Trustees. This is the board, and an organ of the Council, that will manage the fund, receive and assess claims for compensation by members of the public for impropriety or negligence on the part of a registered person. All registered persons who are issued with a practising certificate have to contribute to the fund in accordance with the regulations.
“We have conducted public seminars in Gaborone and Francistown, published numerous public notices and released just audited financial report for the year ended December 31st 2015. Those are also milestones for a hardly one-year-old organisation such as ours”.