Work groups Area 2 - Practice of the Profession


Public Procurement & Architectural Design Contests

Winning contracts to provide architectural services is the lifeblood of the architectural profession and it is therefore a matter of central policy concern to the ACE. Within procurement there are two distinct aspects regulated in different ways; the first is public procurement where public funds are expended by government bodies or agencies in the construction of the built environment. This type of procurement is regulated by directives of the EU that set down strict rules to ensure fair competition between providers. Architectural Design Contests - this is a core issue to help architects obtain work and promote high quality outcomes, requiring transposition of rules and best practice criteria. The work group will publish on the ACE website recommendations for the implementation of the new Public Procurement Directive as well as information on procedures in Member States.


Scope of Services and Liability and Insurance

At the beginning of 2010, the ACE Executive Board set the Scope of Services Work group, which was later merged with the Liability and Insurance Work group in 2013. There is a more or less identical set of core architectural services offered by architects all over Europe. However, on closer inspection we note that planning and building activities are subject to special regulations, which are based on general interest. The nature of these regulations, to which the stakeholders are bound, varies greatly from country to country. In all Member States of the EU, architects carry liability for the work they undertake. This liability arises from the duty of care that architects owe to their clients as well as to society in general. The ability to act independently of vested interests on behalf of society is a characteristic feature of liberal professions and much cherished by architects. Nevertheless, there is a need to ensure that the liability imposed on architects is balanced against the range of their duties and the influence an architect can exert on a project during his or her working life. The Scope of Services Work group is examining these issues in the light of new developments and requirements recently imposed by the European Union.



In view of growth of Building Information Modelling in various EU Member States, ACE has established a work group to look at the legal, technical and financial issues surrounding the advent of BIM, develop its policy and engage with work to develop an European (CEN) standard.



In 2018, ACE expects to conclude it mutual recognition agreement with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authority (CALA), participate in on-going dialogue with the Korean Institue of Registered Architects (KIRA) and up-date the early MRA agreed with the Federacion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana (FCARM). 



The Internationalisation & New Business Models (IBM) Task Force will focus on the impact of internationalisation on the profession and how architects might “upskill” in order to remain globally competitive and export their services.



The current share of female architecture students is more than 50% throughout European architecture faculties. This has not always been the case as women have only been admitted in European universities since 120 years. The postgraduate gender gap in architecture is rooted in three main gaps:

  • Pay gap: Women earn less than men in the profession, and the gap widens with the level of hierarchy.
  • Visibility gap: Women tend to be less visible in the public arena, on panels, in the public perception.
    Stereotype gap: Stereotypes are mainly rooted in sociology and culture, amplified by the public image-making factors like advertisements and movies. 

The ACE Women In Architecture (WiA) task force will identify the actual situation of women in the architectural profession by:

  • Seeking to understand what drives women out of the profession.
  • Conducting a reality-check of the five main strategies (visibility, personality development, stereotyping, networking and mentorship) that are currently being developed in order to balance the gender gap.

The aim of the WiA task force is to develop new strategies for balancing the gender gap in architecture, because every Institution that empowers women empowers itself.






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