Hong Kong's Architects Registration Board ("ARB") has issued guidelines ("the Guidelines") on use of the title "architect".

The Architects Registration Ordinance (Cap. 408), which governs the registration of architects, sets out who is entitled to describe himself as an "architect". It provides that:-

  1. A person whose name does not appear on the register (Registered Architects List) is not entitled to describe himself as "architect" or "registered architect" or to use the initials "R.A." after his name.
  2. A person whose name is not on the register may describe himself as an architect if-
    1. he describes himself by reference to an architectural discipline not related to the design, construction or fitting out of buildings; or
    2. he describes himself by reference to a membership of any body or institute of architects formed outside Hong Kong which description does not imply that he has the right to practise architecture in Hong Kong under the description of architect

In respect of (2)(b) above, the Guidelines have clarified that:-

  • Use of the title "Architect, AIA, Registered Architect, California" or similar, is acceptable.
  • Use of the title "Architect" or "Assistant Architect", without any reference, is not acceptable.
  • Use of the title "Architectural Designer" or Architectural Assistant" is acceptable.

In respect of firms or companies intending to use the description "architect", the Guidelines do not provide any guidance as such, but simply say that reference should be made to section 30(4) of the Architects Registration Ordinance. That section states that a person, including a firm or company, shall not use the description "architects" or "registered architects" or the initials "R.A." unless at each place where the person carries on the business of architecture, the business is conducted under the supervision of a registered architect and where the person carries on a multidisciplinary practice, the business, so far as it relates to architecture, is under the full time control and management of a registered architect.