Some Questions and Answers Regarding the Architects Act 2008
Q. I am applying for a license for the very first time and therefore I am not yet an architect. As a result I cannot get professional liability insurance. What do I do?
A. Submit your application without proof of insurance. If your application is in order the Board
will approve your license subject to proof of insurance. If proof of insurance is acceptable to
the Registrar your licence can be granted without having to go back to the Board a second time.
Q. Can my employer’s professional liability insurance policy suffice as insurance coverage in order for me to obtain a license?
A. The Architects Act 2008 requires each architect to be named in a professional liability
insurance policy. If the architect’s employer owns a professional liability insurance policy, the
employer can request that the architect’s name be listed in the policy as a named insured. If
your employer does not agree to do this, you will be required to obtain a separate policy that
names you as a named insured.
Q. My employer provides me with professional liability insurance. If I become unemployed, do I lose my license to practise?
A. The moment you are not covered by professional liability insurance, you must cease
practising architecture immediately and notify the Board. Effectively your license is suspended
until it expires at the end of the calendar year or until such time as your insurance coverage is
reinstated, whichever occurs first.
Q. Article 13(2) of the Act states ”…a partnership, firm or corporation may provide architectural services where the services are offered and provided under the direct supervision of an architect. “ What is intended by this section of the Act?
A. A firm may offer and provide architectural services to the public provided an architect not
only supervises the architectural services being provided but also supervises the marketing of
these services. It is no longer acceptable for a firm to appoint a non‐architect to promote the
firm as an architectural consultant unless that person is supervised by an architect.
Q. My employer promotes architectural services as they see fit and yet no architect appears to be supervising them in this regard. What does this mean?
A. The Act requires an architect to directly supervise the offering (or promoting) of all
architectural services by a firm. Architects who provide direct supervision to a firm are required
to notify the Board in advance with the firm’s name. If no architect has notified the Board that
they are providing the required supervision, the firm could then be found in contravention of
the Act and subject to a fine up to $25,000 for the first offense and up to $100,000 for
subsequent offenses. If, on the other hand, an architect does provide the required supervision
to a firm but fails to notified the Board of such, he/she may be found in breach of the
Q. Must I supervise the practise of architecture for my employer?
A. No. Article 13(2) only requires one architect to provide the required direct supervision
needed for a firm to offer and provide architectural services. If no architect provides the
required supervision however, then the firm cannot offer or provide architectural services.
Q. The Regulations state any document I stamp must also prominently display the name of the architectural consultant. What does this mean?
A. The Regulations require the name of the architectural consultant be prominently displayed
immediately adjacent to your stamp whenever it is applied. This name must be either your own
name or, if you provide supervision to a firm referenced in Article 13(2) of the Act, then the
name of that firm, or partnership or joint venture that the firm is a member of.
You are not permitted to stamp any document that identifies any other party that could be
misconstrued as a provider of architectural services unless the party holds a license or employs
an architect who provides the required direct supervision required by Article 13(2) of the Act.
Q. Can more than one architect provide direct supervision to a firm required by Section 13(2) of the Act?
A. Yes. Nothing precludes more than one architect from providing direct supervision to a firm
required by Section 13(2) of the Act. In such a case the Board will assume all supervising
architects are unanimously in agreement with the manner in which the supervision is being
conducted at all times, unless there is a written agreement amongst the architects
documenting the supervisory hierarchy. This agreement may be useful in the event of a
complaint filed against those architects who are supervising the practise of architecture for the
Q. What do I do when the regulations state I must identify the architectural consultant in documents I stamp, but my client has a strict policy of not identifying any party other than the stamping architect?
A. The Act states which types of documents must be stamped and the regulations state the
name of the architectural consultant be prominently displayed on all stamped documents
adjacent to the stamp. This is the law in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and
failure to comply with this may place the architect in breach of the regulations. This requirement
is not unlike the requirement for engineers to apply a practise seal on stamped documents,
which effectively identifies who the engineering consultant is.
Q. With respect to Section 13(2) of the Act, can I supervise more than one firm at a time.
A. You are permitted to supervise only one firm at a time, and any partnership or joint venture
that the firm is a member of. The Code of Ethics also requires the supervision be limited to the
one primary office location where you work out of. If you supervise a firm you are required to
notify the Board in advance of the firm’s name, and notify the Board immediately when the
supervision ceases. This allows the Board to know which firms can and cannot provide
Q: How is the new Act materially different from the old Act?
A: Some material differences include:
1. The Certificate of Registration, Certificate of Practise, and the Certificate of Approval have all
been replaced with a simple License.
2. The old Registration Board was essentially a sub‐ committee of the Association. The new Board
is an autonomous body, independent of the Association. The new Act does not permit members
of the NLAA Council to sit on the Board.
3. The Board is responsible for the licensing of architects only, which includes continuing education
requirements and disciplinary procedures. It has no role in such things as promotion of the
profession, business practises, or architectural advocacy.
4. The Board now consists of 5 architects and 2 laypersons appointed by Government.
Architectural members are elected and hold staggered terms.
5. When you are granted a License, you automatically are granted full membership into the NLAA.
6. Your license automatically expires at the end of every year unless you renew it.
7. You must stamp all documents submitted to authorities for approval, including planning
submissions. You must also stamp all documents issued for construction, including
8. Any firm may offer architectural services to the public provided an architect directly supervises
the offering and provision of the services. An architect may only provide the required
supervision to only one firm at a time, plus any partnership or joint venture the firm is a
member of. All requirements regarding share ownership and boards of directors have now been
9. An architect who provides the required direct supervision to a firm must notify the Board in
advance of the name of the firm and to notify the Board when the supervision stops. This allows
the Board to know at all times which firms are able to provide services.
10. If you stamp documents on behalf of a firm you supervise, the name of the firm and the label
“Architectural Consultant” must be prominently displayed alongside your stamp at all times. Any
other time you stamp documents you personally must be identified as the architectural
consultant. You are not permitted to stamp any document that identifies any other party as the
11. The disciplinary process has been totally revamped and is now in line with provincial
requirements for all self‐regulating professions.
12. The old Act stated when you needed an architect. The new Act states you require an architect to
design all buildings and building renovations, except for a small list of exemptions. Engineers are
only exempt to the extent required to practise civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and
Q. Another architect retired leaving documents incomplete and not stamped. While this work was not performed under my responsible control, can I still stamp these documents once the work is completed and I have reviewed it?
A. If the architect is no longer permitted or able to stamp documents you are required to seek permission from the Board before stamping his/her documents.