Complaint Review Process

Complaint Review Process

Members of the AAA are expected to maintain the professional practice standards established by the Architects Act, General Regulation, and Code of Ethics. 

Legislative requirements are in place to ensure that the public can confidently retain the services of a registered professional. 
If you believe a registrant of the AAA has behaved in an unprofessional manner, contravened the Architects Act or bylaws, or is otherwise incompetent or unfit to practice, you can make a complaint to the AAA.

The complaint process is as follows:
  1. Complaint form is submitted online to the AAA. The Registrar reviews the complaint and may propose mediation.
    • If both parties agree to mediate, a mediator is assigned at cost to both parties.
    • If the case cannot be settled by mediation or the parties do not agree to mediate, the Registrar refers the case to the Complaints Review Committee (CRC) Chair.

  2. Once the CRC Chair receives the case one of the following actions is taken:
    • If the Chair believes there is sufficient evidence, the case is referred directly to a hearing (see step 4).
    • If the Chair believes the complaint is frivolous or vexatious and dismisses the complaint, no further action is taken.
      • Complainant may appeal to Council.
    • The Chair collects more information from the complainant and the member.
      • If the Chair finds insufficient evidence of professional misconduct, no further action is taken.
      • The complainant can appeal to Council. 
    • The Chair does not have enough information to decide and therefore an investigator is assigned (see step 3).

  3. Investigation
    • The investigator conducts a review of the complaint and presents evidence to the CRC Chair.
    • The CRC Chair makes a decision based on evidence provided by the investigator and determines:
      • there is insufficient evidence of professional misconduct, no further action is taken but complainant can appeal to council.
      • the case is frivolous/vexatious, no further action is taken but the complainant can appeal to Council.
      • there is enough evidence to refer directly to a hearing (see step 4)

  4. Hearing (the member under investigation is entitled to be represented by legal counsel at the hearing)
    • A hearing panel determines merit of the complaint and may determine sanctions based on a review of the complaint.
    • The member can appeal the decision of the panel to Council and then proceed through the judicial system if unsatisfied with council appeal.

Before making a Complaint

  1. Check if the architect, licensed interior designer, architectural firm or licensed interior design firm is registered with the AAA.
  2. Contact the AAA member involved and attempt to solve the dispute by reaching a mutually satisfactory solution, within the context of the contractual agreement regarding the project.
  3. It is important to note that the role of the AAA is to govern the practice of architecture and interior design in the province of Alberta. The AAA does not have the mandate or the resources to become involved in the ongoing contractual and business dealings of its membership. It is only in situations where a member of the public believes that an AAA member has engaged in unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct that the AAA should become involved.
  4. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, they may choose to retain the services of a professional mediator or legal counsel to assist with the interpretation and resolution of the issues. If it becomes evident that the dispute cannot be resolved between the parties, legal action may be necessary. The agreement between the professional and the client is governed by contract law, and the courts may ultimately be the only avenue for resolution.