Our approach to privacy
The Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) is committed to responsible and fair handling of personal information, consistent with the Information Privacy Principles in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
The ARBV’s role is to administer the Act which provides for the registration of architects (including companies and partnerships) and the regulation of their professional conduct.
Any reference to ‘we’ or ‘our’ in this policy is a reference to the ARBV.
This policy sets out how the ARBV handles personal and/or sensitive information obtained in the course of performing its functions under the Act. We are committed to the protection and fair handling of personal and sensitive information in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles set out in the .
This policy also tells you how you can access and correct the personal and/or sensitive information that the ARBV holds about you and how to make a complaint about a privacy matter.
This policy relates to all of your contact with us, whether in person, by telephone, email or online. Any personal information collected by the ARBV, or that we obtain about an individual from other sources, will be handled in accordance with this policy.
We may collect, use and disclose the following information in the course of carrying out our regulatory and enforcement functions under the Act:
‘Personal information’ is any information that can reasonably identify an individual, but does not include health information.
The type of personal information that we may collect includes:
- name, address and other contact details
- date of birth
- qualification and employment information
- complaint details
- professional indemnity insurance details.
‘Sensitive information’ is information about an individual’s race or ethnicity, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual preferences or practices, or criminal record.
Some of our work requires us to collect sensitive personal information, for example, where a person discloses a criminal history in their registration application we may seek to obtain a criminal record check from Victoria Police. The ARBV will only collect sensitive information with your consent or as required or authorised by law.
‘Health information’ is personal information which relates to a person’s physical, mental or psychological health, disability or genetic makeup, which is subject to the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic). The ARBV does not generally collect health information in performing its functions.
We may collect personal and/or sensitive information when you:
- submit a form via email or online (registration application, complaint or enquiry form)
- update your personal details via the ARBV website
- make a freedom of information request
- write to us
- email us
- telephone us
- apply for a job at ARBV
- respond to a survey or sign up for newsletters/information bulletins
- visit ARBV’s website (using automated data collection software and systems)
In most cases, we will tell you when we collect your personal information and/or sensitive information and will provide you with a collection statement identifying the ARBV and advising you about why we are collecting the information and how we intend to hold, use and disclose it.
Sometimes we may collect or receive personal and/or sensitive information about you from a third party. For example:
- if a complaint is made about you, we record this information
- if an enquiry is received, we may record the terms of the enquiry and related details
- we may receive information from other agencies about offences or professional conduct issues concerning architects.
It is not always practical for us to advise people when we receive information about them from a third party. We will only use personal information received from third parties to carry out our statutory functions and will only disclose this information with the person’s consent, unless legislatively required or permitted to do otherwise.
We collect personal information and/or sensitive information so that we can carry out our regulatory and enforcement functions under the Act. This may include (but is not limited to) any of the following functions:
- registration related functions, such as determining applications for registration and applications for the Architectural Practice Examination
- to maintain the Register of Architects and the Architects Disciplinary Register
- compliance and enforcement activities, including responding to complaints, carrying out investigations and prosecutions, and facilitating Architects Tribunal inquiries
- to receive or process enquiries, including requests for access to information and applications made under the
- our role in accrediting architectural programs
- to manage internal staff and human resourcing
- to provide industry updates and collect responses to surveys
If the personal and/or sensitive information that we request is not provided, we may not be able to process your application or assist with your complaint or enquiry.
Register of Architects
In accordance with our obligations under the Act, we maintain a Register of Architects which informs the public about who is registered or approved to carry out architectural services and assists us to regulate the architectural profession in Victoria.
The Register and Certified Extracts of the Register contain information about the registration of architects and approval of company and partnerships, including the names and addresses of every architect, approved partnership, approved company, date of registration, registration number, qualifications and insurance coverage.
We may use your personal information to inform and update the Register of Architects.
Members of the public can search the Register of Architects and any person may apply in writing to the Registrar for a certified extract from the Register.
We may use or disclose personal and/or sensitive information for the primary purpose for which it was collected. It may also be used for a permitted secondary purpose in specified situations, such as:
- where you have consented to the use or disclosure
- where the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under law
- where it is reasonably necessary to commence or defend a legal proceeding in a court or tribunal
- where the use or disclosure is necessary to undertake activities that are in the public interest or to prevent a serious threat to public health, public safety or public welfare
- where the ARBV is a signatory to a data or information sharing arrangement, for instance with national and international architecture regulators, or other related regulators such as the Victorian Building Authority
- where we engage a third party contractor to provide specified services, for example, processing online payments or the dissemination/collection of information to/from registered architects, partnerships or companies through newsletters or surveys e.g. Campaign Monitor or Survey Monkey
We make every effort to ensure that the personal and/or sensitive information that we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. In accordance with the Act, accurate information should be provided at all times. For example, partnerships and companies are required to notify the ARBV within 14 days if they no longer comply with the registration criteria. Generally, we rely on individuals to provide up to date information and advise us if the information collected has recently changed.
We take reasonable steps to protect your personal and sensitive information contained in our files from outside or unauthorised access. Our information technology arrangements incorporate a range of data security measures. For example, we require staff to use passwords to enter the computer system and our databases can only be accessed using an additional password, with different levels of access granted depending on the role of the staff member concerned. Only staff who need to use your personal and/or sensitive information to perform their functions will have access to it.
Personal and/or sensitive information which is collected by the ARBV is stored within Australia and our data storage system is subject to regular audits. Where your personal and/or sensitive information is transferred outside Victoria, for example, to an international body in accordance with a data or information sharing arrangement, we take steps consistent with the principles in Victoria’s privacy laws to ensure its protection from unauthorised use and disclosure.
Where personal and/or sensitive information is disclosed or made available to a contracted service provider, we will ensure that the contract requires confidentiality, restricts the use of the information to the purposes of the contract and clarifies what happens to the personal and/or sensitive information when the contract finishes. Wherever possible, arrangements are also made to enable us to monitor the contractor's compliance. Where contractors are involved in the delivery of core services, we ask them to comply with the Information Privacy Principles.
As the Act does not allow for registrants (architects, partnership and/or companies) to be removed from the Architecture Register, we will hold any personal and/or sensitive information which we collect indefinitely. Historical records may be held by the Public Record Office Victoria, in accordance with the .
Our online payment services are managed in conjunction with Windcave, a third-party IT service provider. Windcave may access the personal information entered into our forms in order to process electronic transactions or to resolve a technical problem.
If you make a payment using our website, we will process your payment with the assistance of Windcave and present you with an online receipt for your records.
You can view and update your personal information directly through the ARBV website.
If you become aware that the personal and/or sensitive information we hold about you is not accurate, complete, or up to date, you can ask us to correct it.
You can also request access to the personal and/or sensitive information that we hold about you. We will try to give you access with as little formality as possible however in some cases including where the request involves personal and/or sensitive information about other people, we may have to use freedom of information procedures to process the request.
Any request to access or correct personal and/or sensitive information held by the ARBV should be addressed to:
Post: Attention FOI Officer
Architects Registration Board of Victoria
Level 10, 533 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Most of the things we do require you to provide us with personal information so that we can verify your identity. However, individuals seeking general advice from the ARBV or accessing the Architects Register using our website do not have to identify themselves.
We assign registrants (architects, companies and partnerships) a unique registration number upon registration. This is a publicly available number.
We also assign individual and entities with a unique 8 digit invoice number for online payments to assist in tracking payments for fees and/or other charges prescribed by the Act or regulations.
We may amend this policy from time to time. The current version will be posted on the ARBV’s website and a copy may be obtained at any time by contacting the ARBV.
Privacy complaints procedure
You can complain if you believe there has been a breach of your privacy by ARBV, concerning the personal information we hold about you.
ARBV holds personal information about architects and exam candidates. Registered practising architects appear on the register, which is publicly available on our website through the search function. Some personal information is published in the register according to the requirements in the legislation (Architects Act 1991 and Architects Regulations 2004).
A complaint must be about an individual because information regarding companies and partnerships is not subject to the Information Privacy Act.
If you are unhappy about the way we have handled your personal and/or sensitive information, you may wish to discuss your concerns with the ARBV’s Privacy Officer. You may contact us in person, by telephone or in writing, using the following details:
Post: Attention Privacy Officer
Level 10, 533 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
If you want to identify yourself, please include the following information in your complaint, to help us with our investigation of the matter:
- your name
- your registration number (if relevant)
- your email address
- the reason why you think your privacy has been breached
- any evidence or relevant information supporting your complaint
- how the breach has affected you
- what outcome are you seeking
You may remain anonymous if you wish and we will endeavour to deal with your complaint as best we can, but please be aware that this could affect our ability to adequately deal with the issue.
ARBV takes any privacy complaint seriously. If your complaint is legitimate and valid, we will endeavour to resolve the issue with you as quickly as possible. We want to find a solution as much as you.
We will assess your complaint to determine how and why the privacy breach occurred and take every action to ensure it is rectified and will not happen again.
We will work to resolve the issue with you in accordance with the Victorian Ombudsman Good Practice Guide to Complaint Handling for Victorian Public Sector Agencies. This means we will deal with your complaint in an efficient and timely manner and will allow the complainant and respondent (ARBV) time to respond to any matters raised during the course of the investigation.
This collection statement sets out the way that the ARBV may collect, use and disclose your personal and/or sensitive information.
You should read this collection statement when you are completing an application (application) form for:
- the Architectural Practice Examination (APE)
- company or partnership approval
The personal information (that is, information identifying you) and sensitive information (such as criminal history) which is collected in an application form, is used by the ARBV to process and manage the application.
If you do not provide all or any part of the information requested in this form, we may be unable to process the application.
We may also use your personal and/or sensitive information:
- to provide you with updates from the ARBV about APE, registration, compliance and practice matters
- to maintain the Register of Architects and the Architects Disciplinary Register (published on the ARBV’s website)
- for law enforcement by the ARBV or other regulatory bodies
- such other purposes required or authorised by law
We may disclose your personal and/or sensitive information to third parties including, but not limited to, the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, the Architects Tribunal, other national architect registration boards or regulators, third parties where this is required for an investigation, a person acting on your behalf (such as a legal representative) and/or third party contractors who are engaged by the ARBV to distribute email updates or collect survey responses. Disclosures may be made to entities and persons outside Australia if, for example, the application relates to an architect who has practised overseas.
This collection statement sets out the way that the ARBV may collect, use and disclose your personal information.
You should read this collection statement when you are completing a:
- complaint form
- enquiry form
The personal information (that is, information identifying you) which is collected in a complaint or enquiry form is used by the ARBV to respond to, investigate and/or take action (including legal proceedings) in relation to an enquiry or complaint.
We may also use your personal information:
- to assist with research and policy work
- for law enforcement by the ARBV or other regulatory bodies
- such other purposes required or authorised by law
If you do not provide all or any part of the information requested in this form, we may be unable to respond to, investigate or take action in relation to your enquiry or complaint.
If you are seeking general information from the ARBV, you may choose to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. However, where an enquiry is made in writing, the individual will need to provide a contact email or postal address to which we can direct our response.
The ARBV may disclose the information you provide in a complaint form to the architect the subject of that complaint, but not if (in the ARBV’s reasonable belief) this would prejudice an investigation, place at risk a person’s health or safety, or place them at risk of intimidation or harassment.
We may disclose your personal and/or sensitive information to third parties including, but not limited to, the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, the Architects Tribunal, other national architect registration boards or regulators, third parties where this is required for an investigation, and/or a person acting on your behalf (such as a legal representative). Disclosures may be made to entities and persons outside Australia if, for example, a complaint relates to an architect who is or has practised overseas.
Reviewed 14 May 2021