News & Press: Press Releases

Professional Indemnity Insurance and Registration of Professionals Associated with a Practice

Thursday, 10 November 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jacquie Cullis
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Date of issue: 9 November 2016

Architectural professionals performing architectural work are legally obliged to be registered with SACAP and accordingly abide by the professions’ Code of Conduct. One of the many benefits of investing into professional registration is that you can enjoy good standing and the trust of financial service institutions. In particular from insurance companies who cover your Professional Indemnity (PI) and from banks who trust that registered professionals are competent to carry out claims and documentation with regards to draws against building work completed.

In light of various calls for clarity received by SACAP’s Professional Fees Committee it is apparent that not all principals running practices are aware that by working with un-registered persons in their teams they risk their PI insurance company dismissing a claim they may one day need to submit. 

SACAP guides registered persons on the parameters governing how they charge clients and professionally indemnify themselves when performing architectural work.

The risk faced by those principals lies in the fact that professional indemnity insurers require in their policies that when a principal agent takes out insurance for a comprehensive scope of work that all the work identified as being included and covered within that policy is performed by registered professionals. Insurance companies may choose to not pay out a claim when they investigate and find that the principal and all of the practice’s team members performing architectural work on that project are not registered with SACAP.

Insurance companies and the public at large may verify the registration status of any architectural professional on SACAP’s website.

In addition to this, we are aware that not all registered professionals are adhering to Rule 4.1 of their professional Code of Conduct (Board Notice 154 of 2009) which outlines that they shall only undertake to perform architectural work where they have clearly set out in writing the terms of the appointment, which must inter alia include details of the professional indemnity insurance.

We therefore encourage practice principals to mitigate against financial risk by abiding by the Code of Conduct and at the same time join our Council in pursuing excellence for our vision of a people-centered architecture for South Africa.     


The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) is legally charged with regulating the architectural profession. Its mandates are provided for in the Architectural Profession Act 2000, (Act No. 44 of 2000) which came into operation in 2001. It upholds the standard of education and training through accrediting Architectural Learning Sites situated within tertiary institutions. It registers suitably qualified candidates and professionals and promotes Continuing Professional Development through collaborative engagement with Voluntary Associations. It protects public interest by identifying the type of architectural work each category of registered person is capable and competent to perform and administrates a Code of Conduct.

Please visit the SACAP website for more