PALS Refresher: What is the Law?

PALS Refresher: What is the Law?

PALS Refresher: What is the Law?



This module outlines the legal obligations of an architect and the consequences of breaching them. It focuses on five key areas of special importance: negligence, contracts, the Architects Acts, the National Construction Code, and safe design.


This presentation is equivalent to 1 hour/point of formal CPD and will deliver outcomes related to the following Competency/s from the National Standard of Competency for Architects:

    2015 Competencies:

    Design: Project Briefing

    1.1 Preparation & endorsement of an agreement between client and Architect

    Design: Conceptual Design

    3.4 Design response incorporates assessment of relevant legislation, codes and industry standards

    Design: Detailed Design

    5.3 Evaluation and integration of regulatory requirements

    Practice Management

    9.7 Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements and obligations in regard to architectural practice, practice management and registration as an architect

    2021 Competencies:

    Practice Management and Professional Conduct:

    PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance. 
    PC 5 Be able to apply essential elements of a client architect agreement across the range of procurement methods in relation to their appropriateness to the scale and type of the project, including alternatives for partial services and the engagement of secondary and sub-consultants. 

    Project Initiation and Conceptual Design:
    PC 32 Be able to apply planning principles and statutory planning requirements to the site and conceptual design of the project. 

    Detailed Design and Construction Documentation:
    PC 46 Be able to produce project documentation that meets the requirements of the contract and procurement process and complies with regulatory controls, building standards and codes, and conditions of construction and planning approvals. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this presentation you should be able to:

  1. Fulfil your key professional obligations as an architect, both under legislation and common law
  2. Comply with your obligations under the Architects Act
  3. Understand the importance of having a written contract with your client on every project


Wendy Poulton

Risk Manager, Informed by Planned Cover

Wendy has been a Risk Manager since 2005, providing plain English advice on consultancy agreements, training consultants in risk management, and creating guidance materials on emerging challenges in the construction industry. She has lectured on insurance and risk management at RMIT and the University of Melbourne. Previously, Wendy was a solicitor in the Commercial and Insurance Litigation section of Hunt and Hunt. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1997 and completed a Master of Construction Law in 2011.




Architects acts

Architects’ liability

Architects standard of care

Duty to correct and warn

Architect Registration Boards


Member: $49
Non-Member: $74
Student: $19


What Do I Do Next?

1. You will receive an automated registration email upon purchase. Follow the link in this email to take you to the course material on our online CPD platform.
2. You may have to click the green "log in via members site"  button to log into the online CPD platform. (Please do not input your credentials into the CPD site. Instead, to log in hit the “log in via members site” green button). You may be redirected to our members portal to log in with your credentials there.
3. Accept the T&Cs if it is your first time on the online platform, and hit “my dashboard” to find your purchased course.
4. Undertake your course at your own pace.
5. Once you have completed all the course material, you will be prompted to complete your assessment and feedback, after which your formal CPD certificate will be made available.