Leeds architect suspended from Architects Register for 12 months

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Steven Johnson has been suspended from the Architects Register for 12 months following a finding of unacceptable professional conduct (UPC) at his former practice MJF Architects

At a hearing of ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) on 3 September 2019, the PCC heard that Steven Johnson had been appointed by his client to prepare Building Regulations drawings and carry out a tender process for a refurbishment and extension to her property. He also acted as the Contract Administrator.

It was alleged that Steven Johnson had not entered into a written agreement with his client which adequately covered the terms of engagement, as set out in standard 4.4 of the Architects Code.

It was also alleged that he had not carried out an adequate tender process, had failed to provide adequate detail in Building Regulations drawings, and had not undertaken his role as Contract Administrator competently. Johnson admitted the first allegation and denied the other three.

The PCC considered there was a lack of clarity and clear records across the project as well as multiple errors in Steven Johnson’s work, which cumulatively were so severe as to amount to UPC.

The PCC acknowledged Johnson’s acceptance of the first allegation and the provision of testimonials from satisfied clients. The PCC however noted that Johnson had made no apology to his client, and considered that there was a lack of understanding of the gravity of his shortcomings.  In addition, the PCC took into account that he had received a previous sanction for a similar failure.

Given the importance of providing proper terms and clarity and that this was the second finding of UPC for a similar matter, the PCC concluded a 12 month suspension from the Architects Register was the appropriate sanction.

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