AIA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct
The AIA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct applies to the professional activities of all AIA members and covers general obligations as well as obligations to the public, clients, colleagues, the profession, and the environment.
Ethics & integrity are essential to our work
AIA members are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence. The AIA Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct guides members’ conduct in fulfilling those obligations. The Code of Ethics applies to the professional activities of all AIA members, regardless of their membership category.
National Ethics Council
AIA Architect members are appointed to the National Ethics Council (NEC) by the AIA Board of Directors. The AIA Bylaws delegate to the NEC the authority to interpret and enforce the AIA Code of Ethics. Complaints submitted to the NEC are handled according to the NEC’s Rules of Procedure.
NEC decisions that result in a code violation and discipline may be appealed to AIA’s Board of Directors. In cases where termination is the recommended penalty, decisions are automatically appealed to the Board of Directors.
Filing a complaint
A complaint may be filed with the NEC by an AIA member, chapter, or anyone directly aggrieved by the conduct of an AIA member. The NEC has the primary authority to determine whether a violation of the Code of Ethics has occurred and, if so, what penalty (including potential termination of membership) should be imposed. In doing so, it follows the process stated in the Rules of Procedure, which are designed to protect the rights of both the complaining party and the member who is the subject of the complaint. If the NEC finds that a violation has occurred, its decision may be appealed to the AIA’s Board of Directors.
The NEC does not independently investigate or prosecute cases against AIA members. It is the sole responsibility of the Complainant and Respondent to submit evidence, call upon and produce witnesses, and present their respective cases. The NEC’s deliberations and decisions are based solely on what the Complainant and Respondent present and submit as part of the case record.
Please note: Ethics complaint filings cannot be filed anonymously. The Complainant's identity and all submissions will be forwarded to the Respondent in order for the Respondent to submit a Response.
Motunrayo Badru, AIA, 2024 Chair
Daniel Bankhead, AIA
Joe Herzog, AIA
Lynne Deninger, AIA
Josh Kehrwald, AIA
Mary McClenaghan, AIA
Jenelle Smagala, AIA
Gary Wang, AIA
Andrew Watkins, AIA
The NEC publishes redacted versions of its decisions as well as Advisory Opinions, for informational purposes only, which illustrate how the AIA Code of Ethics applies to a particular situation.
- View the NEC's Decisions & Advisory Opinions
Guidelines on one of the most common violations handled by the NEC.
A guide to ethical responsibilities and professional standards for AIA members.