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In Tennessee, regulation of architects is provided in Title 62, Chapter 2 of code of Tennessee.  Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-101 provides that in order to safeguard life, health and property and to promote public welfare, only properly qualified persons can practice architecture in Tennessee.  It is unlawful for any person to practice or offer to practice architecture, unless the person has been duly registered.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-105, no person should present another architect’s registration as one’s own.  Any forged document or false evidence provided to state board of examiners (board) for obtaining a certificate is punishable.  No architect should falsely impersonate another practitioner or use an expired or revoked certificate of registration.  Any violation of the rules can be considered as a misdemeanor.  It is considered as duty of the board members to report any violations of rules to proper authorities.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-106, the board can inquire into the identity of any person claiming to be an architect, and can prosecute any person violating the rules.  The board also can seek civil remedies at law or equity to restrain or enjoin any unauthorized practice or other violation, when it deems appropriate.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-108 provides that the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, governs all matters and procedures respecting hearing and judicial review of any contested case arising under chapter 2 of Title 62 of code of Tennessee.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-109, an architect who voluntarily provides inspection services for structural or building systems at the scene of a declared emergency can not be held liable in negligence for any personal injury or property damage caused by an action of the architect in good faith.  The immunity provided can apply only for an inspection that occurs within ninety (90) days of the declared national, state or local natural or man-made emergency.  However, gross negligence or willful misconduct can be punishable.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-301 provides the general requirements for registration as an architect.  When an applicant applies for a certificate of registration after paying the prescribed fees the board generally considers the application.  In proper cases, the board issues a certificate of registration as an architect, to any person who submits satisfactory evidence to the board that the person is fully qualified to practice architecture.  However, a person who does not speak and write the English language and who is not of good character and repute will not be eligible for registration.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-302 provides that the qualifications of applicants for registration as architects is determined by a majority vote of architect members of the board.  Applicants for registration as architects shall be examined by the architect members of the board only.  If the board denies issuance of a certificate to an applicant, the application fee can not be refunded to the applicant.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-303 provides that in cases for registration where evidence originally presented in the application is not conclusive the board can require the applicant to adduce additional evidence.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-304, the board can grant a certificate of registration as an architect to any person who holds a like unexpired certificate of qualification or registration issued to the person by any state or by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (Council) if the person is qualified.  However, the architect should make an application for registration.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-305 provides that the board can issue a new certificate of registration to replace any certificate lost, destroyed or mutilated subject to the rules and regulations of the board.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-306 provides that the issuance of a certificate of registration by the board will be evidence that the person named in the certificate is entitled to all the rights and privileges of an architect while the certificate remains unexpired.  Each registered architect will obtain and keep a seal of the design authorized by the board, bearing the registrant’s name, registration number, the words ‘Registered Architect’, and the words ‘State of Tennessee’ or ‘Tennessee’.  The registrant can stamp with the registrant’s seal on all original sheets of any bound set of plans, and any specifications or reports prepared by the registrant or under the registrant’s responsible charge.  No architect can affix the architect’s seal or stamp on any document that has not been prepared by the architect or under the architect’s responsibility.  Plans, specifications and reports issued by the registrants can be stamped with the seal during the life of a registrant’s certificate, but it is unlawful for anyone to stamp or seal any document with the seal after the certificate of the registrant named on the seal has expired or has been revoked.  The architect will become solely responsible for all documents on which that architect’s seal or stamp is placed.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-306 also provides that ‘registered architects’ means only those architects who are registered in Tennessee.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-307, certificates of registration will expire two years following the date of their issuance or renewal and are invalid on that date unless renewed.  The board should notify every person registered of the date of the expiration of that person’s certificate and the amount of the fee required for its renewal for two years.  The notice should be mailed at least one month in advance of the date of the expiration of the certificate.  Renewal can be done during the thirty days preceding the certificate expiration date by the payment of the fee determined by and payable to the board.  Certificates of registration can be renewed for six months by payment of the renewal fee plus a penalty as set by the board.  Any person wishing to renew a certificate later than six months after its expiration date should reapply for certification.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-308, the board on receiving a written complaint can refuse to issue or renew, and revoke or suspend, the certificate of registration of any architect who is found guilty:

  • of any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration,
  • of gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in the practice of architecture,
  • of failure to obtain, keep and utilize the registrant’s seal,
  • by a court of competent jurisdiction of breach of contract for professional services, or
  • of any violation of the rules adopted by the board.

The board can reissue a certificate of registration to any person whose certificate has been revoked if five or more members of the board vote in favor of reissuance for reasonable reasons.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-501 provides that to get qualified as a registered architect an applicant should pass an examination set by the board.  The applicant should be a graduate of a school of architecture where the professional degree curriculum has been accredited and who has completed three years of practical experience in architectural work satisfactory to the board.  An applicant who is a graduate of a nonaccredited architectural curriculum, and five years of practical experience in architectural practical training satisfactory to the board can also be accepted.  Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-502, an accredited degree in architecture will be one that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) at the time of graduation.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-503, every applicant should have not less than two years of practical experience in an office of a practicing registered architect.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-504 provides that the written examination for candidates who can be the current architect registration examination prepared by the Council, as accepted by the board.  The board will be responsible for administering and grading the examinations.  Candidates can retain credit for any parts of the examination passed and at the board’s discretion can be permitted to have unlimited retakes of any parts of the examination failed.  The deadline date for receipt of applications for examination shall be at the discretion of the board.  The initial application fee shall entitle the candidate to one examination of a prescribed number of parts.  An additional fee shall be required for retaking examination.  The fees will not be refunded.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-505 provides that upon proper application, the board can administer any part of the Council examinations for candidates who have commenced the series of examinations in another state.  Each such application should be accompanied by an administration fee and endorsement by the architectural registration board of original application.  Separate applications should be filed for each year’s examination.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-506, when a candidate requests the board can allow candidates who have commenced examinations in Tennessee to finish taking parts of these examinations in any other state.  However, the other state should approve this procedure and should have an established method for accomplishing it.  A candidate should state the candidate’s need for requesting a transfer and pay a fee established by the board.  The transfer will terminate the candidate’s current application to this board for registration.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-2-507 provides that whether an examination is conducted at Tennessee or any other state, all records of the examinations should be returned to the state board of registration of architects where the series of examinations were commenced for recording and licensure when successfully completed.

Inside Tennessee