Professional Practice for Landscape Architects
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Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

Rachel Tennant, Nicola Garmory, Clare Winsch

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eBook - ePub

Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

Rachel Tennant, Nicola Garmory, Clare Winsch

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About This Book

Professional Practice for Landscape Architects third edition deals with the practical issues of being a successful landscape architect professional.

Endorsed by the Landscape Institute, this book is an indispensable guide for licentiate members of the Institute on their Pathway to Chartership. It follows the revised 2013 syllabus covering all aspects of professional judgement, ethics and values, the legal system, organisation and management, legislation and the planning system, environmental policy and control, procurement and implementation. It also serves as a reminder and reference for fully qualified professionals in their everyday practice and for landscape students.

Valuable information is presented in an easy to follow manner with diagrams and schedules, key acts, professional documents and contracts clearly explained and made easy to understand.

A handy list of questions are included to aid with P2C revision, answers of which are found within the text.

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Information

Publisher
Routledge
Year
2015
ISBN
9781317501640

1
Professional judgement, ethics and values

Chapter Contents

What is a professional?
Code of Standards of Conduct and Practice for Landscape Professionals
How are landscape architects governed by their Code?
Royal Charter of Incorporation
Continuing professional development (CPD)
The landscape architect’s responsibilities and obligations
Categories of responsibility
Obligations of the landscape architect beyond the UK
Professional judgement: top 10 questions

What is a Professional?

There are many definitions available of the terms ‘professional’ and ‘professionalism’ but the following is a comprehensive definition in relation to the provision of professional services:
‘A professional person is one who offers competence and integrity of service based upon a skilled intellectual technique and an agreed code of conduct.’
Report of the Monopolies Commission on the Supply of Professional Services, 1970
A professional person enables a client to undertake work which they are unable to carry out themselves. A client will employ a professional on the basis of their:
  • Qualifications – through which they have been accepted as a member of a profession.
  • Skills – including the application of their knowledge, experience and intellectual technique.
  • Ethics and trust – there is a special relationship between professionals and their clients which is based on trust. This distinguishes them from others in the marketplace. Acting ethically is at the heart of a professional’s behaviour in accordance with their professional codes.
A profession has a professional institute or body that protects the status of its membership and governs its members. The Landscape Institute (www.landscapeinstitute.org.uk), founded in 1929 as the Institute of Landscape Architects, is the professional body for landscape architects in the United Kingdom. The Institute aims to promote landscape architecture, and to regulate the profession with a code of conduct that members must abide by.
The Landscape Institute’s membership declaration
When you join the Landscape Institute you agree to terms of the Royal Charter, by-laws and the Code of Conduct of the Institute. This continued commitment to the development of the profession, to high standards of education and conduct, to your own development and to the support of fellow professionals remains while you are a current Landscape Institute member.
The Institute controls who enters the profession by safeguarding the first basis of professionalism: the qualification of ‘landscape architect’. This is reinforced by determining standards and criteria for education and experience, and also by setting out the requirements for ongoing training and professional conduct (refer to ‘The Objects of the Landscape Institute’ under the Royal Charter of Incorporation).

Code of Standards of Conduct and Practice for Landscape Professionals

(Refer to the Landscape Institute’s website for the full text and guidance on the Code of Standards of Conduct and Practice for Landscape Professionals – www.landscapeinstitute.org.uk.)
The codes of conduct of a professional body are devised to protect the interests of the clients of the profession, to maintain the status of the profession in the eyes of society, and to protect the public and the profession.
The Landscape Institute controls the standard of work and professional and business ethics via the Code of Standards of Conduct and Practice for Landscape Professionals (2012).
Members are governed by and are obliged to conduct themselves in accordance with the Code in their business and professional life. The Code places a strong emphasis on the integrity, competence and professionalism of its members and takes on aspects of the Bribery Act 2010. It applies to all members irrespective of grade or level of membership.
‘The Code should be considered central to the professional life of a Landscape Professional not only as a source of ethical guidance, but also as a commonsense indicator to principles of good practice. It is only through the maintenance of high standards by individuals that landscape architecture as a whole will be served, the public will be protected and the profession as a whole will thrive.’
This means that all members must meet the high standards set by the profession in terms of qualifications, ongoing training and ethical standards. Meeting those standards and enforcing those standards is the profession’s promise of trust to the public.
The importance of professional ethics
Professional ethics set out appropriate behaviour by professional members and ensure both that a professional will always do the best for their client and that they recognise and respect the wider public interest.
Ethical standards provide confidence to the public and others about the reliability and high standards they can expect when using the services of a professional.
The Landscape Institute can enforce a breach of the Code through disciplinary proceedings for unacceptable professional conduct or competence, and also if a member is convicted of a criminal offence.

How are Landscape Architects Governed by Their Code?

When undertaking work a landscape architect should always have the standards of the Code at heart. The 13 standards can be grouped under three overarching themes:
  • Promoting professional attitudes – acting impartially, with integrity and honesty.
  • Promoting professional competence – carrying out their work competently and conscientiously with due skill and care, and providing the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to undertake their work in a business-like manner.
  • Promoting trust in professional relationships – acting responsibly and ethically, respecting the rights and interests of their clients and all parties who are likely to be affected by their work.
The following scenarios will help interpret the Code in the day-to-day working life of the landscape architect.

Promoting professional attitudes

The removal of a well-loved public park could be the result of your client’s brief for an extension to a residential development. Would you simply follow the brief or advise the client on the importance of the park and show how it could still be incorporated as part of the development?
Standard 1: The Landscape Institute expects members who are carrying out professional work to have regard to the interest of those who may be reasonably expected to use or enjoy the products of their work.
You have responsibilities to the character and quality of the environment. You should seek to manage change in the landscape for the benefit of both this and future generations, and should seek to enhance the diversity of the natural environment, to enrich the human environment and to improve them both in a sustainable manner.
Your business partner is considering sending an email to a previous client advising them never to use another landscape practice as their work is of poor quality, the senior personnel never tell the truth and financially they are unstable. Is this acceptable?
Standard 2: The Landscape Institute expects members to uphold the reputation and dignity of their profession and their professional organisation.
You should not be party to any action or statement that is likely to bring the profession into disrepute.
In addition to complying with legislation, you should not be party to any communication that is likely to be construed as defamatory by the profession, the public or others, or which may be considered discriminatory in any form.
Standard 5: The Landscape Institute expects members to act at all times with integrity and avoid any action or situations which are inconsistent with their professional obligations.
You should not be party to any statement, written or otherwise, which is contrary to your professional opinion, or which you know to be misleading, unfair to others, or otherwise discreditable to the profession.
You are aware that your friend, a practising landscape architect and Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute, has taken on a partner that has been expelled from the Institute. Should you take any action?
Standard 3: The Landscape Institute expects members to actively and positively promote the standards set out in this Code of Conduct.
You are expected not only to order your own professional life in accordance with the Standards of the Code, but also to do whatever can reasonably be done to ensure their observance generally by other members. You should also report to the Chief Executive any serious falling short of these Standards on the part of any other member of which you are aware.
You shall not take as a partner/co-director an unsuitable person, such as a person who has been expelled from membership of the Landscape Institute for disciplinary reasons, or has been disqualified or expelled from membership of another profession.
If your employer asked you to attend the local Landscape Institute Branch meeting would you avoid it and meet your friends in the pub instead?
Standard 4: The Landscape Institute also expects members to actively and positively promote and further the aims and objectives of the Landscape Institute, as set down in its Charter, and to contribute to the work and activities of the Institute.
You should also actively promote participation in the Institute’s activities to your staff.
You have been asked to advise two separate clients (large retail operator and local campaign group) opposed on the same potentially text_noindent_mrgtop0ious matter – what do you do?
Standard 5: The Landscape Institute expects members to act at all times wit...

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