Core curriculum topic: Business, clients and services

To help you gain the skills you need to practise architecture now and in the future as a RIBA Chartered Member, we have defined 10 mandatory core curriculum topics to address through CPD.

The topic Business, clients and services covers the principles of good business practice and service provision, and the relevant legal frameworks. The topic also covers having the knowledge and skills to make sure that the business you own or work for is managed competently, ethically, effectively and efficiently, with sound financial and quality management, and appropriate systems, processes and procedures in place.

Business, clients and services

The principles of good business practice and service provision, and the relevant legal frameworks. The topic also covers having the knowledge and skills to make sure that the business you own or work for is managed competently, ethically, effectively and efficiently, with sound financial and quality management, and appropriate systems, processes and procedures in place.

The legislative framework and due diligence

  • Intellectual property rights, copyright law
  • Insurance, employers, PI and liability
  • Professional liability and indemnity
  • Insurance warranties
  • Obligations to stakeholders and third-party rights
  • Employment legislation
  • Workplace pension provision
  • Risk management strategies
  • Data protection and data management

Contracts, client agreements and forms of appointment

  • Preparation of brief and client requirements
  • RIBA Plan of Work and is stages and overlays
  • Contracts, agreements and forms of appointment
  • Terms of engagement
  • Scope of services
  • Clear letters of appointment
  • Advising the client on the right/best form of contract to be used

Overall business set up and strategy

  • Practice structures and legal status
  • Time management, recording, planning and review
  • Practice finance, business planning, funding and taxation
  • Quality management, QA systems
  • Recording and review
  • Project management
  • Succession planning and retirement planning
  • Collaboration tools
  • Knowledge and document management software
  • Digital platforms for team collaboration

The client offer

  • Client relationship management
  • Understanding your client’s requirements
  • Developing and interpreting the brief
  • Knowing how to explain design proposals
  • Effective communication, presentation, and pitching
  • Confirmation and recording
  • Handling clients’ money
  • Understanding the client’s commercial drivers
  • Having commercial understanding
  • Clear technical design specification
  • Communication, progress reporting
  • Engagement and consultation
  • Systems for adhering to the programme
  • Post occupancy evaluation
  • Managing the handover process

Selling and marketing strategy

  • Marketing and promoting the practice
  • Building a brand and reputation
  • Building and maintaining a website
  • Having a strategy for social media
  • Blogging, using press, and case histories
  • Competitions, procurement and bid strategies

Financial management

  • Fee calculation, costing, pricing, negotiation, and bidding
  • Resource management and job costing
  • Cash flow monitoring and control
  • Cost monitoring and control and financial management
  • Programming of services appropriate to appointment
  • Taxation accounting and planning
  • Foreign exchange planning
  • Macro-economic monitoring
  • Contingency planning
  • Management accounting

Project management

  • Project Management qualifications
  • Project management soft skills
  • Programming of services appropriate to appointment
  • Coordination + integration of design team input
  • Time management, recording, planning and review
  • Quality control

Tools and checks for adhering to budgets

Team and people management

  • Employment contracts
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace
  • Cultural intelligence
  • Staff management and development
  • CPD management system
  • Performance reviews and appraisals
  • Team working, team building and leadership
  • Recruitment strategy and hiring the right people
  • Staff retention strategy
  • Retirement planning
  • Supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of your team


Find CPD on this topic

You must take two hours of CPD on this topic every year.

Find RIBA accredited CPD on Business, clients and services through RIBA Academy.

Related courses include:

Find related CPD offered by our partners on the CPD Providers Network.

Podcasts, videos, articles, and other offers can also contribute towards your CPD requirements.

keyboard_arrow_up To top