Changes to the Illinois Architecture Practice Act

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Practicing architects in the state of Illinois are licensed under the Illinois Architecture Practice Act of 1989. This Act, which was updated recently, defines the role and expectations of a professional architect in Illinois and outlines the regulatory powers the state has over those offering professional architecture services within its borders. Recent changes to the Act include a new requirement for a current email address on file with the state, addition of an unlicensed public member to the Architecture Licensing Board, and updates to provisions affecting those new to their architecture career.

The Illinois Architecture Practice Act defines an architect as “a person who is qualified by education, training, experience, and examination, and who is licensed under the laws of this State, to practice architecture.” Recent legislation has changed how those qualifications are assessed and monitored by the state and its regulatory board.

For example, Section 4.1 has added a new “email address of record” component to the address of record paragraph, which requires licensees to provide a valid email address to the Department and to report any changes in that email address within 14 days after the change (225 ILCS 305/4.1 new). By adding an email address to the current physical address of record requirement, the Department is clearly making attempts to bring the licensing and regulation requirements into the twenty-first century.

A few other notable changes to the Act include the composition of the Architecture Licensing Board and the matter of their compensation. In Section 9, the number of individuals on the Architecture Licensing Board has been increased from 6 to 7, 6 of whom are required to hold a valid architecture license in Illinois and have done so for at least ten years (225 ILCS 305/9). The seventh position on the board is reserved for an unlicensed member of the public. Section 9 now also includes a new provision for the reimbursement of board member’s “legitimate, necessary, and authorized expenses” related to their board activities.

Perhaps one of the most interesting changes to the Act is a shift in terminology regarding unlicensed persons working in the field of architecture. While in Section 4 the Act forbids anyone from performing independent architectural services without a license, the law also recognizes that unlicensed individuals who have completed the education requirements and are in good standing as required for licensure. Formerly referred to as “architectural interns” in the Act, that term has been changed to “architectural associate” (225 ILCS 305/4).

While a minor change, “associate” does connote a position of more respect and responsibility than the title of “intern.” The many other changes found in the wording of the Act perform a similar function, clarifying terms and definitions and editing confusing or otherwise imprecise language throughout the revised Act.

Jordan Matyas - 1818 Founder

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.