Practice Guidelines

Law, rules and regulations, not Guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this Guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations.

A. Seal and Signature

4. When an Architect Might "Pull" or Remove the Seal

Situations may arise when an architect, having signed and sealed documents for a project and having submitted them to the local authority having jurisdiction, may wish to "pull" or remove the seal in an attempt to either disassociate himself/herself from the project or to delay the progress of the project.

As is stated in Practice Guideline A-1, the seal and signature on documents may be viewed as an attestation to the accuracy and appropriateness of the work represented therein making the architect responsible for the work shown.

Attempting to withdraw a signature or seal from already completed and submitted construction documents is a serious matter. In many ways the seal of a design professional on documents can be compared to giving expert testimony in a court of law under oath. One might change testimony if one had made a mistake earlier, but not for payment disputes or some other disagreement developed with the party involved.

The licensee might contact the local authority to which the documents had been submitted and request that they be returned. Again, this might be warranted if the licensee determines that there was the possibility of an error in the documents or that they did not reflect appropriate or correct architectural or engineering work. Another possible justification for the request might be if the client has put the project "on hold" for an indefinite period.

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Last Updated: June 17, 2009