Guidance for parishes on working with architects and arrangements for Quinquennial Inspections
QuinquennialQQChurchYourYourYouEach church must, by law, appoint a suitable person to undertake Quinquennial Inspections (QIs) of the church building and its curtilage. The person must be approved in advance by the DAC and is normally a qualified architect. It's normally best for parishes to engage this same, single architect to oversee work being undertaken to the church between QI inspections. This helps to develop your ongoing relationship. That's particularly helpful if an emergency arises and you need quick, informed advice from someone already familiar with your building. However, the only official stipulation is that parishes select a DAC-approved architect for the QI reports. Parishes are therefore at liberty to engage other architects for other work, but this should be very rare and you should take note of the relevant DAC advice on engaging architects not on the QI list.
If you're unhappy with the service provided by your existing QI architect, or if you just feel the time is right for a change, then see the guidance about selecting a QI architect.
The relationship between a PCC and its architect is a key one in maintaining and developing the church building. It's therefore in your interest to foster this relationship. The rates paid by the diocese for QI reports are lower than the normal commercial rates charged by architects but architects undertake such inspections out of professional interest, and/or Christian commitment and/or in anticipation of being engaged at their normal commercial rate for any ongoign work to the building. The relationship between the PCC and architect is, first and foremost, a professional and commercial one but developing that relationship is often beneficial to both parties.
If you're just about to have a QI inspection visit, do follow the guidance on preparing for your QI inspection.