NCARB Releases New Ethics Standards With a Focus on Harassment

© Tomas Bertelsen

© Tomas Bertelsen

On July 2nd, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released a new set of model ethical standards that they hope will be adapted by their regional licensing boards, in turn setting a precedent for ethical standards across the American architecture profession. While in the past, the NCARB’s ethical standards have largely addressed professional issues like the role of the architect to ensure public safety and his or her transparency when interacting with clients, the updated document focuses on personal concerns that often overlap with the workplace.

“The Model Rules of Conduct serves as both an important regulatory tool for licensing boards and a statement to all NCARB Record holders,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “It has the potential to lift architecture to the same high standards held by other professions.”

The document was drafted by the NCARB’s Ethics Task Force, a group established by former NCARB president Dennis S. Ward in 2015. “Among other issues, the task force intentionally referenced harassment as a focal concern,” said Ward. “It’s affirming to see that the ethical guidelines our volunteers have crafted over the past three years will help address the issues highlighted by current social movements.”

Ward’s implicit reference to the #MeToo movement has particular gravity in the field of architecture, which is notoriously male-dominated—especially in high-level positions at top firms.

News via: NCARB