Architects Certificate

Architects Certificate

An architects certificate is a document that is granted by an architect, surveyor, or other consultants on a property. This document was recently renamed the CML Professional Consultants Certificate, but the name ‘architects certificate’ is still commonly used. It has a validity period of six years and is essential for property owners who intend to take out mortgages on the building.

Architects certificates are commonly used in the place of NHBC warranties and are preferred by builders with smaller budgets. This is because the certificates can be up to fifty per cent cheaper than NHBC warranties. It is worth noting that these certificates are widely accepted by mortgage lenders and building societies, and they are promoted by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

What Does Architect’s Certificate Cover?

The main purpose of architects certificates is to provide comfort for the owner of the property and the mortgage provider. It provides protection against structural defects in the building. While it doesn’t exactly work as a warranty, it confirms to the consultant that, on visual inspection, the property appears to have been built to a satisfactory standard. It also indicates that it has been built in accordance with the approved plans and building regulations. The certificate is backed by the architects professional indemnity insurance, but it isn’t a latent defects policy.

architects certificate

What is a PCC Certificate?

CML PCC certificate (professional consultants’ certificate) is the new name of the architects certificate. Although PCC certificates can be issued by architects, they can also be granted by any consultant that belongs to a body that is listed in the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook. The consultant who issues the certificate will be liable to the current and future owners of the property for a period of six years. They also have to take out professional indemnity insurance as this will pay out when the homeowner sues successfully. Consultants will usually keep thorough records of what they inspected and the reasons why some areas weren’t inspected.

Is an Architect’s Certificate a Warranty?

An architects certificate provides some coverage and is generally preferred over warranties because of its low cost. You should note that these certificates only give the homeowner the right to sue the consultant if they negligently issued the certificate, and this can be hard to prove. They also have a short validity period when compared to new build warranties.

New build warranties last for ten to twelve years and cover the cost of structural damage and repairs. With warranties, you will not need to prove blame in order to get compensation. Providers of structural warranties usually allow homeowners to upgrade their architects certificates to warranties. Although new build warranties are meant to cover new properties, they can also be offered on ongoing projects or properties that were completed a few years ago. In the case of existing buildings, the company will provide retrospective structural warranties.

architects certificate

Should You Get an Architect’s Certificate or Warranty?

An architects certificate is cheaper than a structural warranty, but which of these two should you choose for your new property?

Aside from the cost, you need to think about the level of coverage you will get from either option. When damage occurs in the home, you will have to successfully prove negligence on the part of the architect or consultant. The process involves suing the consultant and winning, and that could take many years and a lot of money. In another scenario, the architect could have stopped practicing or may have gone out of business. These issues can make it hard to get compensated for structural issues in the property.

While warranties can be more expensive, they are ideal for people who desire complete peace of mind. This insurance is intended to cover the full cost of repairing defects in the property and can even cover the cost of rebuilding the structure if necessary. Unlike architects certificates, these warranties pay out immediately, and you won’t need to prove negligence in court. You only need to prove that the damage or defect exists.

You should also note that an architects certificate only covers structural design issues in the building. With a warranty, you will have a much wider scope of coverage as it covers structural defects and construction defects.

As per the CML certificate, the architect or consultant has to visit the building at appropriate periods. This document doesn’t state that there are no defects in the property, and it doesn’t require the architect to fix any issues that are uncovered in the inspection. The architect also keeps records confirming compliance. To minimize their chances of losing any court case, the architects need thorough records to prove to displeased homeowners that they made periodic inspections at the right time, and they must prove that the inspections were detailed enough to satisfy another consultant. These records make it harder for homeowners to get any compensation when they uncover faults in the property.


Architects certificates are documents issued by architects or other consultants to indicate that the building was built to satisfactory standards. These certificates can give you some peace of mind as it assures you that it is built in accordance with the approved plans and building regulations. The architect issuing the certificate is required to maintain professional indemnity insurance for the period when the certificate will be valid. It is important to remember that architect’s certificates don’t work as warranties and don’t assure homeowners that the building doesn’t have defects. You will only get compensation for defects if you are able to prove negligence on the part of the architect.

Interested in an Architects Certificate? Contact the Buildsafe team today by calling 0203 701 0422

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