The Dutch Architects’ Title Act (WAT) entered into force on 1 October 1988. This law provides a system for title protection by setting up an architects’ register. The title protection has been updated and supplemented through the amendment act that became effective on 1 January 2011. The title protection system implies that only those who are registered in the Architects’ Register as an architect, urbanist, garden and landscape architect or interior architect, are permitted to carry the corresponding title.

The Act sets minimum requirements for study content and professional experience before being qualified to get registered. Interested parties may consult the Architects’ Register by using the search function on the home page of this website ("Find an architect"). Upon request, the Architects Registration Bureau will provide statements concerning the qualifications of registered architects. The Act authorizes the Architects Registration Bureau to demand the court to discontinue any unlawful title use. The Act also gives this authority to the registered architects themselves, to the professional associations and to organizations representing end-users of the goods and services provided by the registered architects.

The purposes of the Dutch Architects’ Title Act are as follows:

Quality Assurance

To ensure that those who shape our environment (architects, urban planners, garden architects, landscape architects, and interior architects) are trained at an accredited educational institute and have built up sufficient professional experience.

Protection of clients

By engaging a registered professional, clients are guaranteed that this architect possesses sufficient academic qualifications and professional expertise to practice the profession.

Implementation of European legislation in order to promote cross-border engagement

Due to the fact that the educational and professional requirements set forth in the Dutch Architects’ Title Act are related to EU standards, cross-border engagement of an architect, urban planner, garden architect, garden and landscape architect, and interior architect will become easier.