The Czech Chamber of Architects is a self-administrated professional association. It was established by Act No.360/1992 Coll. on the Practice of Certified Architects and Certified Engineers and Technicians active in Construction, as amended, as a public law entity with its official office in Prague and with authority throughout the Czech Republic. It is responsible for the professional, thus practical and ethical performance of the profession of architect profession in the Czech Republic.
Under the above legislation, it is an association for all certified architects, certified urban planners, and certified designers of environmentally stable land-use systems; it also associates registered resident persons and carries out a disciplinary supervision over the work of registered resident and visiting persons. The CCA issues certificates to Czech architects and acts as an admitting authority for architects from the EU who decide to work in the Czech Republic as visiting or resident persons.
The main function of the CCA is to assist both architects and their clients and, ultimately, the general public. The CCA has always opposed any useless and unjustified curtailing of the rights of anybody on the market and has pursued the establishment of fair conditions on the architectural services market.
Through its elected representatives, the CCA strives to carry out all of its entrusted duties in a legal and legitimate manner. It considers the democratic professional self-administration to be an important aspect of a civil society, a practical tool to manage the so-called free or independent professions. Through its international activities the CCA advocates, in particular, equal rights for Czech architects on the global market (in comparison with their foreign colleagues) and, at the same time, helps other Central and East European countries in establishing professional organizations for architects using its own, fairly developed professional legislation. CCA registers 3318 authorized architects.
The Chamber supports the practice of architects with a number of activities:
- Granting to and suspending and withdrawing certificates from architects;
- Keeping a list of certified architects;
- Issuing professional regulations and carrying out disciplinary proceedings;
- Striving to ensure, together with the promoters of competitions, desirable and fair conditions.
- Monitoring the fairness of open competitions (tenders) relating to architecture and land-use planning;
- Taking part in the insurance of architects;
- Publishing supporting informational materials for the activities of architects;
- Co-operating closely with faculties and schools of architecture at universities and comparable educational institutions, including bringing the Czech educational standards in line with those valid in the EU;
- Co-operating with government bodies, particularly the Ministry for Regional Development, on the preparation of certain generally binding regulations;
- Co-operation with other professional organizations and institutions, especially the Society of Architects, the Czech Chamber of Chartered Engineers and Technicians Engaged in Construction, and the Czech Union of Civil Engineers;
- Maintaining contact with international professional institutions, i.e. the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) and the International Union of Architects (UIA),a national section of which is formed jointly by the Chamber and the Society of Architects;
- Contributing to the support of its members through its own Endowment fund ARCUS, and its participation in the activities of the CFA Foundation;
- Paying respects to persons successful in architecture by awarding them the title "Personality of the Profession"
- Organizing an exhibition of essays and dissertations of the students of schools of architecture.
The structure of the Chamber:
- General Assembly
- Board of Directors
- President of the Chamber
- Supervisory Board
- Professional Court
- Registration Council
Working groups of the Chamber:
- Legislative affairs
- Foreign activities
- Monuments heritage
- Standards of perormance and valuation
- Nature and landscape
- Urbanism and planning
- Landscape Architecture
- Transparent public procurement
- Promotion of architecture
The General Assembly
The General Assembly is the supreme body of the Czech Chamber of Architects.
- The General Assembly elects from among their regular members the members of the Board of Directors, the Supervisory Board and the Professional Court for the three-year term of office.
- The General Assembly approves the Codes of the Chamber, the size of membership fees, the size of compensation for a time loss caused by discharge of the function in the bodies of the Chamber, the Chamber’s budget for the respective year and notes the management results of the previous year.
- The General Assembly discusses and approves the reports on activities of other bodies of the Chamber.
- The General Assembly can modify or cancel a decision of the Board of Directors.
- The General Assembly can decide on establishment of auxiliary bodies and set forth their rights and duties.
- The General Assembly decides on other issues, which it reserves for its decision-making.
The Certification Council decides to grant the certification on the basis of the carried out certification proceedings. The Certification Council nominates the Examination Committees, determines on the examination content and draws up the Certification Code. The Certification Council is also entitled to recognize foreign certificates and/or licenses of architects similar to those granted in the Czech Republic. The Certification Council also carries out the registration and recognition proceedings for citizens of other EU member states and Switzerland. Registration is conducted for the following fields: Architect with general competence, architect, urban planning, and landscape architect. The Certification Code of the Czech Chamber of Architects sets forth the requirements for certification proceedings. The Minister for Regional Development appoints members of the Certification Council for a three-year term upon nomination of the Chamber.
To be eligible for a certificate, an applicant must generally be a Czech citizen permanently residing in the Czech Republic, have a clean criminal record and be a graduate from a high school of architecture. Further, the applicant should have practiced for at least three years and passed a professional examination, which would prove his/her ability to practice as an independent architect and his/her knowledge of the relevant legislation. In justified cases, the Chamber is entitled to make exceptions from the above standards with regard to the requirements of nationality, permanent residence and/or education. A university degree in a similar field could be sufficient for granting a certificate, or the Chamber can even exempt the candidate from this obligation. As this right is widely used in all justified cases, any citizen who proves his/her ability to practice as an architect in an independent and responsible way may be granted the certificate. The Chamber is also entitled to recognize foreign certificate of architects similar to those issued in the Czech Republic.
Disciplinary and Arbitration Proceeding
Ethical standards for the practice of certified architects are defined in the Code of Conduct of the Chamber of Architects approved at the General Assembly. In compliance with the law and the Disciplinary and Arbitration Order of the Chamber, a proposal to open the disciplinary proceedings is submitted by the Supervisory Board as soon as the Board becomes aware of a serious or repeated violation of a certified architect's duties. In the disciplinary proceedings, the Professional Court decides upon the guilt or innocence of the accused and possible sanctions against him/her. The Board of Directors of the Chamber and, at an upper level, a state court is the place of appeal against the decisions made by the Professional Court. In accordance with the Disciplinary and Arbitration Order, arbitration is carried out by the Professional Court upon a proposal by certified architects who are in dispute or a proposal by a certified architect and another person who are in dispute, if the other person is willing to submit the dispute to the Chamber's arbitration.
Office of the Chamber
The Office of the Chamber is responsible for the execution of all administrative tasks and serves as a contact place in respect of all activities carried out by the Chamber. It accepts the applications for certificates and provides the applicants with information on the registration proceedings, supplies background information to the examination boards and the Registration Council and maintains a list of all certified architects. It accepts all comments and proposals for the Supervisory Board and prepares supporting materials for its activities as well as supporting information for the Professional Court. Certified architects or other interested persons are provided with information about professional matters related to architecture, including legal consultation and assistance. The Office also offers professional insurance schemes, including both the statutory insurance which is obligatory for all certified architects and the complementary insurance which is based on a company's annual turnover or the size of a project. An information bulletin and other materials, particularly general and specific regulations and supporting information for the concluding of contracts, are published by the Office. The members of the relevant working group provide the promoters of competitions in architecture and town planning with consultation and assist them with the establishment of fair competition terms and conditions. Beside its Prague office, the Chamber also has an office in Brno to be easily reached from the Region of Moravia.
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