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Muncipal Resources/When an architect is required

Illegal Practice

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Muncipal Resources/When an architect is required

Illegal Practice

AAPEI’s principal objective is to protect users and potential users of professional architecture services by governing its licensed members, including holders of Certificates of Practice and Temporary Licences, so the public can be confident AAPEI members are appropriately qualified and meet the legal requirements to practise architecture.

AAPEI works to raise awareness of the Architects Act and AAPEI Bylaws as well as the need for ongoing professional competence, learning and ethics. Under the Architects Act the use of the title “architect” is regulated and can only be used by AAPEI members.

AAPEI is also responsible for investigating complaints about AAPEI members and addressing illegal practice by non-architects.


This Architects Act of Prince Edward Island is designed to protect the safety of Islanders by regulating the profession and clearly outlining when architectural expertise is required for the design of buildings. The Architects’ Association of PEI is the body charged with managing and enforcing the rules within the Act.

To download the guide click on the link below:

MUNICIPAL RESOURCE GUIDE / When an architect is required

It is the Architects’ Association of PEI’s responsibility to enforce the Architects Act of PEI.  These resources will provide you with guidelines as to when an architect and/or engineer is required to be involved in the design and build of a new structure, extensions and revisions of existing structures, or renovations to older properties while preserving their heritage.


What is an architect; how do the services of an architect differ from the services of a contractor, draftsperson or an engineer?

Many people can be involved in building and designing projects. An architect is a licensed, insured professional who is highly trained, qualified and experienced in the design of buildings. Architects are unique in their services in that they are responsible for the integrity of their design. Their designs offer the best value and meet your particular requirements. These benefits show up in improved user satisfaction, lower operating costs and improved resale value.

You can determine if a set of plans has been designed by an architect if they have the licensed architect’s official stamp bearing the name of the licensed architect and Certificate of Practice holder. All architects licensed to practice on the Island are registered with the Architects’ Association of PEI. To see this list of licensed architects, visit our website at

What services does an architect provide?

An architect is extensively trained, qualified and skilled to design new buildings, building adaptations or renovations to existing buildings, and heritage restoration to older properties. The services of an architect can include design, preparation of construction documents for bidding and construction administration. Architects also provide other services such as needs assessments, feasibility studies, facility programming (defining what your project will be), project management, site selection, building condition audits, and interior design.

Why would people choose to use an architect for their projects?

There many reasons to engage an architect for a project. Because architects are design and build specialists they bring unique benefits such as: – A building that meets both short- and long-term goals.

– An experience and design that is customized to the needs of the client.

– Peace of mind that comes from the architect’s strong knowledge of the regulatory, bylaw and building requirements.

– Quality work, completed on schedule and done right the first time, saving time and money.

– Responsible design and buildings that address cultural, environmental and sustainable development issues.

How can people find an architect in PEI?

All architects working on the Island are registered with the Architects’ Association of PEI. To see this list of licensed architects, visit our website at

Why do some projects require an architect and others do not?

There is provincial legislation that outlines what types of buildings require an architect to be involved. These standards are set to ensure public safety. In general, the buildings that require an architect are those that will be used by the public, and therefore should be monitored closely for safety and quality.

Do these requirements apply to all projects on the Island or just those within municipalities?

The Architects Act of PEI is provincial legislation, so it applies to all buildings on the Island, regardless of where they are being built.

When does a building or renovation project require an architect?

Each project is unique and many factors determine whether an architect must be involved. To assist with determining what types of projects require an architect, we have developed the “Island Building Resource” for assistance and encourage anyone involved in a new project to contact a licensed architect or the Architects’ Association of PEI to be certain.

What should I do if I am not sure if a project requires an architect?

If you (or someone you know) is unsure whether an architect is required, we would encourage you to contact the Architects’ Association of PEI or a licensed architect to confirm the requirements for your particular project. The list of these individuals can be found on the Association’s website,

What should I do if I am aware of a project that has been approved or started that did not have an architect involved, but I believe it should have?

If you are aware of a project that you feel should have an architect involved, but may not have, we would encourage you to speak to the individuals involved to let them know your concerns and/or contact the Architects’ Association of PEI to make them aware.


The Architects Act in Prince Edward Island outlines the definition of architecture and specifies the categories of structures that necessitate an architect as mandated by law. This encompasses the majority of public and sizable buildings. Additionally, the Act establishes legal accountability for individuals who are not registered architects but engage in the practice of architecture (or enable such practice). This legal responsibility extends to regulatory bodies that opt to process applications in violation of the Act’s provisions.

The Architects Association of Prince Edward Island (AAPEI) is tasked with the
responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the Act in order to safeguard and uphold the public’s interests. The Act confines the practice of architecture exclusively to licensed members of AAPEI who provide professional services through an AAPEI-issued Certificate of Practice.

This encompasses activities such as:

Developing of designs to govern the construction, expansion, 
or modification of a building.

Assessing, offering counsel on, or providing reports concerning the construction,
expansion, or modification of a building.

Conducting a review of the construction, expansion, or modification of a building.

Engaging in the use of the term “architect” or any related variations by an unlicensed individual, including corporations, is considered a violation. The act of representing oneself as being involved in the practice of architecture without a license issued by AAPEI is also deemed an offense.

Any instance of misrepresenting the safeguarded title “architecture”; or disseminating misleading assertions or advertisements—whether done inadvertently or deliberately—has the potential to lead the public to an erroneous belief that they are availing services from a professional who is duly licensed and subject to regulation.


Feel free to reach out to our director with
any issues you may have.