Hiring a Design Professional

CATEGORY: Private Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
DATE: Jan 27, 2023

Under California law, a “design professional” can mean a licensed architect, licensed landscape architect, registered professional engineer, or a licensed land surveyor.  Design professionals, especially architects, help to take a school’s overall concept, goals, and ideas for a construction project and reduce them to an executable plan.  With regard to hiring an architect, we recommend the following:

  1. Consider obtaining referrals for architects from other private schools or colleges, and from professional architect associations;
  2. Consider sending out a request for qualifications to several architects to ascertain the architect’s demonstrated competence, professional qualifications, and experience designing and constructing the type of building or project the school is renovating or constructing;
  3. Consider proposals from several architects;
  4. Consider interviewing several architects, and prepare questions for those interviews in advance;
  5. Consider whether the architect shares the school’s vision for the project, including on matters like architectural style and energy efficiency, environmental, and sustainability goals;
  6. Check the architect’s references;
  7. Confirm the architect and any design professionals hired by the architect are properly licensed. Architects must be licensed with the California Architects Board, and cities and counties will only issue pre-construction permits if the architect who prepared the plans and specifications signs a statement that he or she is properly licensed.  Licenses for design professionals can be verified with the Department of Consumer Affairs (https://search.dca.ca.gov/);
  8. Select an architect based on the architect’s competence, qualifications, experience, and references, the school’s project and budget needs, and whether the architect shares the school’s vision for the project; and
  9. Execute a contract with the architect that has been prepared or reviewed by the school’s legal counsel. Stay tuned for a future Construction Corner article on Contracting with Design Professionals.

View More News

Private Education Matters
California Construction Payments: The What and Why of Conditional Waivers & Releases
Nonprofit News, Private Education Matters
Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Does Not Preempt State Law