Further to my message in a newsletter of June 2023 and specifically in regard to advice provided in a Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) webinar that stated “The Superintendent is not required to act fairly: but is required to act honestly”, we wrote to the VSBA explaining the obligations of Architects under the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct as set out in the Architects Regulations 2015 to “act with integrity, fairness and impartiality in administering the building contract”. We have now received a response from the VSBA which has clarified the comments, in summary stating that the deletion of fairness in a Superintendent’s role applies only to the role of Principal’s agent and does not refer to the matter of certification. We have linked this letter here for member’s review.
As underlined by the Architects Registration Board of Victoria’s (ARBV) recent issue of Systemic Risks in the Australian Architecture Sector, it is important for registered architects to be well aware of their obligations, such as in matters of fairness, in their provision of architectural services. Requirements include both legal obligations as set out in contracts and consultancy agreements, but also regulatory obligations as defined under the Architects Act 1991 and accompanying Architects Regulations 2015. This year a series of Acts particularly pertinent to our profession have been amended including the Architects Act, the Planning Act, the Heritage Act and the Building Act, all of which effect our architectural services. Aside from the obligation for both ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ Continuing Professional Development as set out by the ARBV and required to be confirmed by each registered architect annually on renewal of registration, I would encourage all members to actively engage in as many architectural educational opportunities as time allows, to ensure an up to date understanding of both regulatory requirements as well as the breadth and detail of the fast moving technical environment we inhabit. The Institute offers a comprehensive array of CPD, available through the website. In addition the Victorian Chapter has been hosting monthly ESD webinars, free to all members to enhance and collectively upskill in this important sphere. Our next ESD Member Lean-in webinar is at 12 midday 7 September: Liam Wallis, founder of HIP V. HYPE, will present on ‘The Practical truths of Delivering Sustainable Projects which will be another step in our ESD education – look forward to seeing you there.
David Wagner FRAIA
President of the Victorian Chapter