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Prohibition on the Misuse of the Title Architect

The title ‘architect’ is protected in Ireland under Section 18 (1) of the Building Control Act 2007:

Only persons who are registered architects may use the title architect. A person who is not a registered architect who uses the title to imply registration may be guilty of an offence.

A person who is not registered and who practices or carries on business under any name, style or title containing the word architect may also be guilty of an offence.

The Board of the RIAI is the body responsible for bringing and prosecuting cases of misuse of the title architect.

Offences under section 18 of the Act are prosecuted by the RIAI in the District Court. A person found guilty of an offence under section 18 is liable to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term of up to 12 months or both.

If the misuse of title in respect of which a person is convicted of is continued after the conviction, the person shall be guilty of a further offence on every day on which the contravention continues and for each such offence the person shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €500.

Successful prosecutions are published in the Table of Prosecutions on the RIAI website.

Table of Prosecutions:

RIAI Table of Prosecutions

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Where a person is subsequently registered the Table of Prosecutions entry shall be removed as there is no longer a consumer protection imperative to publish.

When considering whether to bring a prosecution the RIAI will refer to the RIAI Prosecution Guidance Notes. 

Prosecution Guidance Notes for the Board of the RIAI

Business and Company Name Registration

From 1 December 2015 any person or business applying to the Registrar of Companies to register a company name or business name containing the term "architect" or any grammatical form thereof will require a certificate known as a Notice of Determination from the RIAI stating that the proposed business or company name complies with the requirements of section 18(3) of the Building Control Act 2007. The Notice of Determination process is carried out in accordance with the RIAI’s Rules for Practice Titles established under section 18(6) of the Building Control Act 2007.

Application for an RIAI Notice of Determination
RIAI Rules for Practice Titles