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SPAIN
Number of inhabitants 41,184,000
Number of architects 40,741
Index of architects per inhabitant 0.989‰
 
 

Admittance to the profession

EDUCATION

Establishing of education standards or recognition of study plans Yes
Regular supervision by an independent body No
Relevant authorities MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE
Recognised educational centers ESCUELAS TÉCNICAS SUPERIORES DE ARQUITECTURA (Technical Superior Schools of Architecture) of the POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITIES of: Catalonia (Barcelona and Vallès), Las Palmas, Madrid and València. ESCUELAS TÉCNICAS SUPERIORES DE ARQUITECTURA (Technical Superior Schools of Architecture) of the UNIVERSITIES of: Sevilla, Valladolid, Santiago de Compostela, Euskadi and Navarra.
Duration of studies 5 years of study plus an end-of-degree-course project
 
INTERNSHIP
Compulsory No
Is it structured and recorded? No
Duration  
 
EXAMINATION
Compulsory examination by an external authority to the education No
Examining body  
 
TITLE GRANTED
Academic title ARQUITECTO (Architect) Authority that grants the academic title Ministry of Education and Culture
Job title ARQUITECTO (Architect) Authoriry that grants the job title  
Additional notes  
 
Professional practice
Regulated profession Yes
Inscription in register compulsory Yes
Registering entity COLEGIOS DE ARQUITECTOS (Associations of Architects)
Law regulating profession Professional Associations Act 2/1974 of 13 February; a substantial part of Royal Decree 2512/1977 of 17 June, Building Regulation Act 38/1999, of 5 November
Additional notes Within the framework of Spanish constitutional law, the Autonomous Comunities publish their respective Professional Associations Acts.
 
ARCHITECT'S COMPETENCES
Description The law stipulates that the intervention of a technically qualified university graduate is necessary in all kind of construction works. This is always the exclusive competence of architects for buildings with an administrative, sanitary, educational, cultural and residential (housing, hotels, etc.) use. The professional activity of architects involves urban development, urban planning projects, construction, structures, installations and landscaping.
 
MECHANISM CHECKING LICENSE TO PRACTISE
Description The Colegios de Arquitectos are responsible for a specific control procedure ("visado"), which confirms that the author of the project is a registered architect, that there is no impediment to the architect in question practising the profession, and that the project complies with all the documentary requirements stipulated by prevailing laws and standards. Architects employed as civil servants by a public administration are not subject to this process, as the administration is responsible for carrying out these checks.
 
ARCHITECT'S LIABILITY
Description A) For buildings with an administrative authorisation prior to 6 May 2000: 10 years as of realisation, legal action up to 15 years as of the appearance of damages. B) For buildings with an administrative authorisation after 6 May 2000: 1 year for the finishes, 3 years for the installations and construction, and 10 years for structural elements; all these as of the definitive reception of the building. Legal action up to 2 years as of the appearance of damages.
Source A) Civil Code. B) Building Regulation Act 38/1999, of 5 November
 
INSURANCE
Compulsory No
Description Generally taken out with ASEMAS (architects' insurance company) for 0.2% of the total cost of the contract. Architects are free to choose any insurance company.
 
FEES
Does a fee scale exist? Yes
Compulsory No
Recommended Yes
Published by Colegios de Arquitectos (Associations of Architects)
Additional notes The application of mandatory fees is not allowed by law since 1997, although there are recommended scales based on the type of building, the level of quality to be achieved in construction and the degree of complexity of the project.
 
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Compulsory No
Is it audited? No
Organising body/ies Colegios de Arquitectos (Associations of Architects)
Description  
 
CODE OF ETHICS
Does it exist? Yes
Constituting body Colegios de Arquitectos (Associations of Architects)
 
OTHER PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS
Are there others who may legally provide similar services to architects? Yes
Title Competences
INGENIERO DE CAMINOS, CANALES Y PUERTOS (Civil Engineer) Projects of civil engineering and town planning.
INGENIERO INDUSTRIAL (Industrial Engineer) Projects of storehouses and industrial buildings.
INGENIERO AGRÓNOMO (Agricultural Engineer) Projects of buildings for explotations, agriculture and lifestock.
Other professionals in the provision of architectural services
Title Competences
APAREJADOR or ARQUITECTO TECNICO (Quantity surveyor / site architect) Expert with an intermediate degree whose responsibility it is to co-direct the physical completion and quality control of a work, and sign official documents and certificates together with the architect.
 
ADDITIONAL NOTES
 
 
PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECTURAL BODIES
Name of body Competences
COLEGIO DE ARQUITECTOS (there are 18 of these Architects' Associations in Spain. Together they form the CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE LOS COLEGIOS DE ARQUITECTOS DE ESPAÑA) Registration of architects, control stamping (see above), professional code of ethics, legal advice, technical consultation, services, activities, training, employment office, documentation.
ASOCIACIÓN DE SEGUROS MUTUOS DE ARQUITECTOS SUPERIORES (ASEMAS) Architects' mutual benefit society providing insurance for civil responsibility.
HERMANDAD NACIONAL DE PREVISIÓN SOCIAL DE ARQUITECTOS SUPERIORES (HNA) Architects' mutual benefit society for social security, health care and pensions.
CAJA DE ARQUITECTOS Banking service throughout Spain for architects, with the characteristics of a credit cooperative.
 
 
Foreign architects
Can a foreign architect practice independently? Yes
 
LAW/S REGULATING PRACTICE
Royal Decree 155/1996 and Royal Decree 1081/1989.
 
REQUIREMENTS
Origin 1 (EU citizens) Architecture diploma as listed in Directive 85/384/CE.
Origin 2 (Others) Architecture diploma recognised by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Origin 3  
 
PROCEDURE
Presentation of application to the Colegio de Arquitectos of the Autonomous Community in question.
 
EXPENSES
Sworn translation of documents, inscription in Register.
 
DOCUMENTATION
Origin 1 (EU citizens) Identity document, diploma, a certificate stating that your qualification is listed in Directive 85/384/CE, a certificate stating that you have not been subject of disciplinary action, proof of professional indemnity insurance. In the case of providing services, you will have to present furthermore a certificate of lawful practice in the country of origin, and the application for registration to provide services.
Origin 2 (Others) Identity document, work and residence permit in Spain, diploma, a certificate of realised courses and the program of studies, order of recognition by the Ministry of Education and Science, a certificate stating that you have not been subject of disciplinary action, proof of professional indemnity insurance, attendance of the Legal Architecture course.
Origin 3  

If foreign architects are authorised to work independently, what type of collaboration with national architects is recommended?  
In the event that foreign architects are not authorised to work independently, what is the stipulated formula of collaboration with national architects?  

ADDITIONAL NOTES
 

Useful addresses
CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE LOS COLEGIOS DE ARQUITECTOS DE ESPAÑA
Paseo de la Castellana 12, 4º
28046  Madrid
Tel: 91 435 22 00
Fax: 91 575 38 39
URL: http://www.arquinex.es/consejo
ASOCIACIÓN DE SEGUROS MUTUOS DE ARQUITECTOS SUPERIORES
Gran Via 2
48001  Bilbao
Tel: 94 423 54 12
Fax: 94 423 89 95
e-mail: info@asemas.es
URL: http://www.asemas.es
HERMANDAD NACIONAL DE ARQUITECTOS
Av. de Burgos 21, plantas 2 y 3
28036  Madrid
Tel: 91 383 47 00
Fax: 91 383 47 01
e-mail: hna@tsai.es
URL: http://hna.tsai.es
CAJA DE ARQUITECTOS
Arcs, 1
08002  Barcelona
Tel: 93 482 68 00
Fax: 93 482 68 63
e-mail: info@arquired.es
URL: http://www.arquired.es

This research has been carried out by the COAC for the UIA on behalf of its Spanish Section.
The information and data presented here are purely for informative purposes. In no case does the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya take responsibility for the veracity of the contents.

© Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya, 2000
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