The California Architects Board’s (Board) mission is consumer protection. Our licensure standards are preventative protection in that they ensure that California architects have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice in a manner that protects the public health, safety, and welfare. The Board also invests in public education to ensure that consumers have information about how to work with an architect. The Board’s Enforcement Program, however, is the remedy that consumers can rely upon in the event an architect may not have performed consistent to the standards of the profession.
There are a few key points about the Enforcement Program that architects should understand. First, it is important to share information with the Board in response to a complaint. It is in your best interest to have your information in the case file so it can be considered. In fact, the Rules of Professional Conduct require architects to respond to the Board’s inquiries.
Cases concerning professional practice issues are reviewed by the Board’s Architect Consultants. These experts have assessed hundreds of cases and help determine whether the actions that have been alleged are true, and whether they violate the "standard of care."
Architects should also know that there are a number of "due process" provisions that facilitate the opportunity to be heard and appeal decisions. For citations, architects can request an "informal conference" with the Executive Officer to clarify the facts of a case. In addition, cases can be appealed to a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. All such cases are then considered by the Board. These steps afford the parties the opportunity to clarify, document, and dispute elements of the case.
The Board is very proud of its Enforcement Program. Our metrics continue to exceed the standards of the Consumer Protection Enforcement Initiative, a quality control measure of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Architects have a professional responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and the Board’s consumer protection mission furthers that imperative to the benefit of all Californians.