The Association of Consultant Architects (ACA) is the national professional body representing architects in private practice – consultant architects – in the UK. Membership is open to Registered Architects practicing on their own account either alone or in partnership or as a Director of a company whose business consists wholly or mainly of an architects’ practice or an allied field.
An architect who elects to become a member of the ACA will be required to pay a subscription based on the number of personnel working within his or her practice. Any other principals of the practice, whether working in partnership or in other forms of collaboration, will then become eligible for full voting membership.
Voting members must be Registered Architects, but do not have to be members of the RIBA. They may adopt the suffix ‘ACArch’. The title “architect” is protected and regulated by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). All registered architects are required to adhere to the ARB Code of Conduct.
The ACA is not a regulatory body, but provides an independent voice for and support to architectural practices that promotes and enables high standards in practice within the membership. The ACA maintains a directory of members and promotes the work of member architects in other ways, publishes a newsletter and arranges events and seminars all directed towards keeping members up-to-date with best practice.
The principal activities of the ACA and services provided are:
- The ACA directory of practices published on the website
- The ACA newsletter, which includes updates on various aspects of best practice
- Occasional email informatives regarding practice and events and notices from associated organisations such as the CIC, SPACES and the ACE
- The ACA study tour, usually in November to a European city and organised biennially
- Publication of the ACA form of appointment for an architect, ACA SFA 2012, the ACA form of building contract and project partnering contracts, PPC 2002 and TPC 2005, as well as other contract forms
- Maintenance of close ties with other professional and trade associations within the construction industry. ACA is a corporate member of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and is also a member of the National Planning Forum
- Lobbying Parliament and consultation with government departments and other industry and national bodies. ACA comment and consultation is well-regarded by Government, ACA members and within the industry as a whole, particularly with respect to town planning issues through the ACA Planning Action Group (ACAPAG)
- A programme of talks and seminars including “ACA soapbox” and ACAPAG Town Planning reviews and update seminars and occasional building visits
- The ACA website and associated networking and blogs as well as social networking through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook
- ACA council meetings which take place approximately ten times a year and the AGM
- ACA Annual Members’ Dinner
- Occasional ACA exhibitions
The ACA operates from its UK head office at:
60 Godwin Road
Kent. BR2 9LQ
The principal aims of the ACA are:
- To encourage excellence in the quality of service that our members provide.
- To vigorously represent the aims and interests of architects in private practice on issues of practice.
The ACA believes that practising architects should have an effective independent voice to represent their interests, within the construction industry and beyond, through contact with the press, other professional and trade bodies and government departments as well as promoting the value of the services that architects provide to the public at large.
Its purpose is to maintain an up-to-date and agile response to important current issues about architectural practice and to respond with opinion and support. This is delivered in the form of seminars, networking and discussion groups for the membership and by tracking and publicly commenting on the opinions and activities of Parliament, government departments and other relevant organisations.
The ACA also supports its members by providing information and contact details to help with practice issues such as professional indemnity insurance, health and safety, legal questions and environmental obligations.
The ACA is constituted as a company limited by guarantee. It is managed by an unpaid elected council of practicing architects, with the daily running in the hands of a small but highly effective team based in SE London.
Founded in 1973 by former presidents of the RIBA, the ACA has stood firm for quality in architecture and reliability of service in private practice.
Although its roots go back much earlier, the ACA was created as at the time there was no organisation in existence dedicated solely to the interests of private practitioners on the issues of practice.
ACA believes that it is vitally important that those who choose to practise architecture have an effective voice to represent their interests whether through the press, parliament or in the eyes of the public.
ACA is the only organisation whose first aim is such representation. Other organisations may have a dilemma as to whether they represent individuals or practice – our aims are clear and are as follows:-
- to encourage excellence in the quality of service that our member architectural practices offer to clients
- to represent exclusively the aims and interests of architects in private practice on issues of practice
If you are an architect interested in having an effective voice and prompt representation on issues that affect you and your practice, ACA is uniquely positioned to work on your behalf. If you are not an architect but wish to have more information on architects and their practice then our Directory will help you. Further explore our constantly changing Exhibition area for demonstrations of work carried out by individual member architectural practices.
Partnerships and Memberships
The ACA is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and thus actively involved in Government consultations on matters relating to the practice of architecture. The ACA is also a member of the London Planning and Development Forum.
ACA also collaborates with SCALA (the Society of Chief Architects of Local Authorities), CIAT (the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists), ACE (the Association for Consultancy and Engineering) and the CIOB (the Chartered Institute of Building) on events and other matters that are of interest to members.
The ACA is governed by Council, who ensure that the activities of the ACA are in line with its mission and constitution. Council members are elected democratically by and from the voting membership. Councillors are elected for a three-year term, renewable once for a further three years.
Council is chaired by the ACA President. Other nominated officers are elected at the first Council meeting after the AGM each year. The other principal offices of Council are the Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer.