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RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services

This contract is an appointment contract for conservation architectural services for domestic projects of any value.

The RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services is suitable for commissions for simple domestic projects of any value, in which the building works will be carried out using standard forms of building contract, such as the RIBA Domestic Building Contract.

It is suitable for commissions procured on the basis of a traditional form of building contract where tendering occurs at the end of Stage 4 of the RIBA Plan of Work (Technical Design) and is devised as an agreement between an architect/consultant and a ‘consumer client’ relating to work to the Client’s own home.

Under the CDM Regulations 2015, on projects with more than one contractor, a principal designer must be appointed to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project. This contract has the option for the architect/consultant to be appointed as the principal designer.

The RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services is not suitable for works where the property is to be let or for commercial or residential work undertaken for business clients, including charities, religious organisations, not‑for‑profit bodies, or where the client is a public authority. The RIBA recommends the use of the RIBA Concise Professional Services Contract: Conservation Architectural Services for commercial projects.

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Download a specimen copy of the RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services.

Paper copies will be available to purchase at RIBA Books mid October.

Conservation Accreditation Schemes

Working with older and historic buildings, traditional (pre-1919) buildings and designated buildings, such as Listed Buildings, calls for a particular set of skills and expertise. To gain conservation accreditation, professionals have to submit evidence of their knowledge, skills and experience. Registers of accredited professionals can be used to find professionals with the prerequisite skills.

Some grant funders, including Department for Communities Northern Ireland, Historic Environment Service (Cadw), Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland, require the use of accredited professionals, so it is important to check the funding requirements for the project.

Further details on the conservation accreditation and certification schemes that exist for the range of professionals, and on when using conservation accredited professionals is required by grant funders, can be found at

Supporting Organisations

The following organisations support this Contract:

  • RIBA Conservation Register, operated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC), operated by AABC Register Ltd
  • Directory of Accredited Conservationists, operated by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • Accreditation in Conservation Architecture scheme, operated by Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)
  • Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), the professional body for historic environment conservation specialists across many disciplines
  • Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association (EASA), a membership organisation which aims to advance the knowledge and practice of ecclesiastical architecture.

Key features

  • Is based on the RIBA Concise Professional Services Contract but is suitable for simple domestic projects of any value
  • Is for use with a consumer client, relating to work to the client’s own home – including renovations and extensions – provided that the client has elected to undertake the work in their own name and not as a limited company or other legal entity or where the property will be let
  • Is compliant with the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • Focuses on the architect/consultant providing conservation architectural services
  • It includes the provision for the architect/consultant to undertake the services of a principal designer, under the CDM Regulations 2015

Easy to understand

The RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services is written in plain English, which provides three key benefits:

1. The language used in the contract is succinct and easy to understand, compared to other standard forms of contracts

2. The terms of the contract are fair and equitable for both the client and the architect/consultant

3. The clause structure used in the contract avoids the use of large numbers of sub-sub clauses and large amounts of cross-referencing between provisions

Copies required for each Party

It is legally advisable that both parties to the contract each have an original signed version. Therefore, you should purchase two copies of the contract, so that both the client and the architect/consultant has an original signed copy. Alternatively, prepare your contract online – see RIBA Contracts Digital – which allows you to issue final copies of the contract to each party at no extra cost.

Integration with other RIBA documents

The RIBA Domestic Professional Services Contract 2020: Conservation Architectural Services has been specifically written to integrate with the RIBA Building Contracts and the RIBA Plan of Work.

Create your RIBA Professional Services Contract online – it is quick, simple and straightforward

Generating your professional services contract online allows you to create, alter, manage and view all of your contracts in one secure location before printing the final contract. For further details, go to

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