Regulation of Architects in Florida is found in Title 32, Chapter 481 of Florida Statutes. Pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 481.209 a person desiring to be licensed as a registered architect shall apply to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (department) to take the licensure examination. The department shall administer the licensure examination for architects to each applicant who the Board of Architecture and Interior Design (board) certifies:
1) Has completed the application form and remitted a nonrefundable application fee and an examination fee which is refundable if the applicant is found to be ineligible to take the examination;
2) Is a graduate of a school or college of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board; or is a graduate of an approved architectural curriculum, evidenced by a degree from an unaccredited school or college of architecture approved by the board. And
3) Has completed, prior to examination, 1 year of the internship experience.
Fla. Stat. § 481.213 provides that the department shall license any applicant who the board certifies is qualified for licensure and who has paid the initial licensure fee. The board shall certify for licensure by examination any applicant who passes the prescribed licensure examination and satisfies the statutory requirements. The board shall certify as qualified for a license by endorsement as an architect an applicant who:
- Qualifies to take the prescribed licensure examination, and has passed the prescribed licensure examination or a substantially equivalent examination in another jurisdiction and has satisfied internship requirements.
- Holds a valid license to practice architecture or interior design issued by another jurisdiction of the United States or
- Has passed the prescribed licensure examination and holds a valid certificate issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and holds a valid license to practice architecture issued by another state or jurisdiction of the United States.
Pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 481.223, a person may not knowingly, practice architecture unless the person is an architect or a registered architect, use the name or title “architect” or “registered architect,” present as his or her own the license of another, give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof, use or attempt to use an architect license that has been suspended, revoked, or placed on inactive or delinquent status, and employ unlicensed persons to practice architecture. A person violating the above provision commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. An affected person may maintain an action for injunctive relief to restrain or prevent a person from violating the above provision.
Pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 481.225, disciplinary proceedings can be initiated against registered architects for
- attempting to obtain a license to practice architecture by bribery or fraudulent misrepresentations,
- being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of nolo contendere to, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of architecture or the ability to practice architecture,
- making false report or records in the capacity of a registered architect,
- advertising goods or service in a fraudulent manner, committing an act of fraud or deceit, or of negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in the practice of architecture,
- practicing on a revoked, suspended, inactive, or delinquent license,
- aiding, assisting, procuring, or advising any unlicensed person to practice architecture,
- failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation placed upon a registered architect,
- attempting to influence the professional judgment of an architect by an act that, if carried out, would constitute negligence.
If the board finds any registered architect guilty of any of the above grounds it may enter an order imposing one or more of the following penalties:
- Denial of an application for licensure.
- Revocation or suspension of a license.
- Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $ 1,000 for each count or separate offense and a fine of up to $ 5,000 for matters pertaining to a material violation of the Florida Building Code as reported by a local jurisdiction.
- Issuance of a reprimand.
- Placement of the registered architect on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including requiring the registered architect to attend continuing education courses or to work under the supervision of another registered architect.
- Restriction of the authorized scope of practice by the registered architect.