Legal requirements for practising architects
As with all regulated professions in France, French architects are legally required to follow a professional code of conduct. Not complying with these regulations can be considered malpractice liable to disciplinary action.
Duties with respect to clients
Any professional undertaking by an architect must be based on a written agreement (contract) before carrying out any work. This should define the nature and extent of the scope of work as well as the practical details of payment. (Article 11 of the Code of Conduct). Prior to any such agreement an architect must make known to his client and the local professional body of which it is registered, any personal or professional interest that it maintains with any person or company linked directly or indirectly to the construction of the project.
Duties with respect to other architects
Architects have a duty with regard to other architects. Any acts of unfair competition, discredit or plagiarism are prohibited. Any architectural project must include the signature of all the architects who contributed to its development. (Article 15 of the Code of Conduct). The name and title of any architect who takes part in a project’s development must be explicitly mentioned, with their agreement, on the elements of the project in which they participated (article 5 of the code). For this reason an architect who did not take part in the development of the project cannot affix his signature nor claim to any financial reward for this reason; fake signatures are prohibited (article 5 of the code).
When an architect carries out activities of a nature different to that of architecture, they must be perfectly distinct, independent and of public notoriety.