This protocol note sets out the rules that RIBA Client Advisers should abide by for their appointment with clients, and the delivery of their work.

  • All accredited RIBA Client Advisers must currently be a Chartered or Affiliate Member of the RIBA. Where an application for membership is rejected, or if current membership is suspended or terminated for whatever reason, the RIBA Client Adviser will immediately cease to be accredited. The person may reapply for accreditation when and if RIBA membership resumes.
  • All RIBA Client Advisers are to abide by and act in accordance with the RIBA Code of Professional Conduct, both in the spirit of the code and its precise and express terms. They should also take into account the supporting guidance notes to the Code and comply with this specific note for RIBA Client Advisers.
  • The current disciplinary procedures of the RIBA will apply to all RIBA Client Advisers, whether Chartered Members or Affiliates.
  • The law 
    RIBA Client Advisers must comply with all legal obligations in the jurisdictions in which they are working.
  • Experience and knowledge 
    RIBA Client Advisers are knowledgeable and experienced professionals in their field. Individual RIBA Client Advisers should not seek to advise on projects or issues that are outside their area of expertise and knowledge. Should RIBA Client Advisers be appointed to such projects, they should make clear in writing the limits of their experience and knowledge and ensure that they have the necessary expertise within their support team.
  • Policy 
    RIBA Client Advisers should ensure that they are aware of and remain up-to-date with both public and RIBA policy on matters including:
      - procurement strategies
      - building standards
      - sustainability
      - whole-life construction
      - efficiency
      - health and safety
    They should seek expert advice on such matters, as necessary, to carry out their advisory role.
  • Appointments 
    RIBA Client Advisers must ensure that the terms of their appointments are clear and recorded in writing. They should obtain their client's written agreement to the terms of appointment as soon as possible and should not proceed with any work until they have their client's authority to do so.
  • Conflicts of interest
    The role of the RIBA Client Adviser is to act as an independent adviser to clients and other parties, including users and other stakeholders. The RIBA Client Adviser should therefore take steps to avoid conflicts of interest. Should a conflict arise, it should be declared to the client, and if the conflict is unacceptable or cannot be resolved, the RIBA Client Adviser should withdraw from the engagement. If in any doubt, the RIBA Client Adviser should first seek guidance from the RIBA or other adviser. Any residual or potential conflicts of interest should be declared to all relevant parties when appropriate.
  • Once an appointment has been accepted RIBA Client Advisers must not seek any further appointment on the project other than a direct extension to their RIBA Client Adviser role. In particular, they should not become part of the design team acting for a bidding or contracted body to the client.
  • Continuing Professional Development 
    RIBA Client Advisers must undertake at least the minimum level of annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) required of all RIBA Chartered Members. Details should be entered into the RIBA's online CPD records, and a proportion of these will be monitored for compliance with the RIBA's requirements.
  • RIBA Client Advisers should seek to stay in touch with other RIBA Client Advisers and share relevant experience and knowledge. The RIBA will facilitate such exchanges by organising regular networking and briefing events and other means of communication.
  • The RIBA may from time to time require RIBA Client Advisers to undertake obligatory training modules for the acquisition or updating of necessary skills and knowledge. Such modules should be undertaken within a reasonable time of the RIBA Client Adviser being notified of the requirement.
  • Insurance 
    RIBA Client Advisers should be covered by appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance. The extent of such insurance should be confirmed to the client. Chartered Members registered at the Architects Registration Board must comply with the ARB's current PII requirements.
  • Annual renewal 
    RIBA Client Advisers should renew their accreditation each year, which requires:
      - affirmation that they will continue to abide by this protocol note
      - payment of an annual fee
      - continued membership of the RIBA
      - confirmation that CPD requirements have been met (including any required training
      - that the RIBA Client Adviser is fit to practise for the forthcoming year
  • RIBA Client Advisers should ensure that the registration information kept by the RIBA is up-to-date and accurate, including address/es, telephone numbers, email address/es and website/s by regularly checking and updating their details online by logging on to the Members Area of
  • Feedback
    The RIBA will seek to collate relevant information on ongoing projects to provide all RIBA Client Advisers with an information resource and periodic updates. This will be made available on the RIBA's Knowledge Communities. RIBA Client Advisers should feed information back regularly to the RIBA's online database.
  • Title
    The title RIBA Client Adviser will be subject to the terms of the Architects Act in the UK. Please note that use of the RIBA affix is limited to those RIBA members, including RIBA Client Advisers, who are registered at the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
  • RIBA Client Advisers should note that the RIBA constitution does not permit the use of RIBA Client Adviser as an affix. Permissible affixes are those listed in Byelaw 2 of the RIBA Charter & Byelaws.
  • RIBA Client Advisers who are Affiliates of the RIBA may not refer to themselves as a RIBA Client Adviser, and should take care not to use the 'RIBA' affix while practising, without the express authority of the ARB. RIBA Client Advisers practising outside the UK should abide by the pertaining registration requirements of the country in which they are working.