California

Newsletter Logo for California Architects

2014 Edition, Issue 1


Role of the Board’s Enforcement Program

The Board takes action against licensees and unlicensed individuals who have potentially violated the Architects Practice Act. We accomplish this by leveraging the innate resources of Enforcement Program staff, contracted architect consultants, and the Office of the Attorney General. This includes conducting thorough investigations and initiating disciplinary actions and issuing administrative citations with monetary fines.

The Board has an active Enforcement Program designed to ensure that laws governing the practice of architecture are enforced in a fair and judicious manner. Its Enforcement Program addresses three primary objectives, which are articulated in the Board’s mission statement: 1) Establish regulatory standards of practice for those licensed as architects; 2) Increase public awareness of the Board’s mission, activities, and services; and 3) Protect consumers by preventing violations, and effectively enforcing laws, codes, and standards when violations occur.

To achieve these goals, the Board’s Regulatory and Enforcement Committee (REC) makes recommendations to the Board on initiatives and policies. The REC has also published the Building Official Information Guide, Consumer Tips for Design Projects, and the Consumer’s Guide to Hiring an Architect to educate and protect consumers of architectural services in California.

The Board’s caseload has been significantly reduced from 269 pending complaints in December 2008 to 80 pending complaints in December 2013. The Board’s case aging statistics are consistently lower than the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) performance standards.

The Board continues to leverage resources and policies from DCA’s Consumer Protection Enforcement Initiative. In addition, the Board is seeking new improvements, such as "infraction authority" to issue citations on-the-spot to unlicensed individuals illegally practicing architecture.