What is The Difference Between an Architect and a Chartered Architect?

November 2, 2020

Overview of an Architect

In any of your building projects it is important to ensure the project is effectively planned out and complies with all building regulations and planning requirements. It is the job of both a Chartered Architect and an un-chartered Architect to ensure this is a smooth process for you, with accurate plans drawn to your specifications. Architects are also skilled in maximising the potential of your property, with innovative design solutions to create more space. Hiring an Architect will also ensure your project remains on budget, meets deadlines and is finished to the correct standard.

Chartered Architect Vs Non-Chartered Architects

When investing in a large project on your home, it is important you choose the right Architect for the job. The main differences between a chartered architect and a non-chartered architect are as follows:
  • Insurance
  • Health and Safety
  • Management Process
Chartered architects have to follow certain methods, processes and standards in order to become a RIBA (Royal Institute of Chartered Architects) Chartered Architect. This ensures that the company conducts projects in a professional, effective way. This results in the customer receiving the best service, workmanship and results every time. Chartered Architects are trustworthy, giving you the confidence you need when considering a project on your home. Non-Chartered Architects do not comply with the standards set, meaning there is room for error and processes differ. As a result, your experience may not be as smooth, in-depth, or as professional.


Having the correct insurance protects both yourself as the client, and the professional Architect. This means you can trust that everything will be done correctly, or resolved in the event of an issue. Therefore, as the client, if anything did go wrong, it would be sorted and put right without any hassle.

Non-Chartered Architects who do not have the correct insurance, may potentially leave you in a predicament, causing you more stress and work if not covered by the insurance.

Health and Safety

Chartered Architects have to adhere to strict health and safety precautions. This means, when actively attending site visits, the Architect is ensuring both yourself and the staff are safe. Furthermore, plans drawn will be compliant with structural health and safety regulations upon completion. So when it comes to gaining planning permission, the process will be smoother, and quicker, as approval is more likely to be achieved.

If an Architect is not complying with health and safety regulations, your plans risk being rejected. This can delay the plans being approved, delaying the overall completion schedule of your project. Having the Architect redrawing the plans to meet health and safety regulations after being rejected could also lead to further drawing costs.

Management Process

By following a robust management process, Chartered Architects are able to efficiently get your project approved and started much quicker than those without an effective process. These systems are perfected and proven to succeed over the years. By being part of RIBA, Chartered Architects are continuously kept up to date with the latest of everything.

In contrast, Architects who are not chartered do not benefit from these processes. Therefore, leaving your client experience potentially less enjoyable and more stressful.

In Summary…

For your peace-of-mind and project security, it is a safe bet for you to choose a Chartered Architect over a standard Architect. The initial upfront cost may seem more expensive. However, in the long-run with and efficient, fully insured, qualified and proven business model, choosing a Chartered Architect can save you money.

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