Selecting your QI architect

What PCCs need to do

It's always wise to make a conscious decision whether or not to continue with your existing architect, particularly if they've done your last 3 or more inspections.  Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can be helpful to the PCC.  For their part, church architects are well used to coming and going from different churches, so there need be no awkwardness if a PCC decides to change their QI architect.  However, if a long-established relationship is working well, then do think carefully before possibly ending it.

If you're applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant, they will require your architect to have a specific level of formal conservation accreditation.  These accreditations include (but are not limited to) RIBA Conservation Accreditation and AABC.  So, if you're intending to apply for such grants, this may affect your choice of QI architect.  You will also need to follow relevant guidance on tendering/procurement and appointing a professional adviser.  Such guidance is available from Churchcare and Historic England.  If you need to discuss your particular circumstances further then you should contact Historic England's Manchester regional office.

As at September 2015 there is a move at national level to combine the QI lists with accreditation requirements of funding bodies but that is likely to take some time to come to fruition.

If you wish to change architect:

  • Contact the DAC Office who will provide the names, contact details and (where applicable) website details for you to consider the nature of the firms or individuals.  The DAC Office will also provide the names of comparative churches to yours (normally also in your area) where the individuals are already the QI architect. 
  • You are strongly encouraged to contact those parishes to see how they find working with that architect.  Good interpersonal relations with an architect are almost as important as the architect's technical ability but that interaction cannot reasonably be captured in mere lists given that relations vary between different PCCs, and possibly also over time with the same PCC. 
  • Notify your selection to the DAC Office for formal endorsement by the DAC.  The DAC Office will then write to you and to the architect to confirm the fee (which is paid by the Diocese) payable for your particular church.  The fee levels vary depending on the size and nature of the church building in question. 
  • On receipt of the QI appointment letter form the DAC Office, you can arrange with the architect a suitable date for undertaking the inspection visit.