Entering a competition is a costly process for architects. Financial compensation to competitors is both reasonable and a means of ensuring that the best architects will compete.
The cost to the sponsor depends on the number of prizes awarded. The RAIC recommends the following:
- Open competition: 3-5 prizes.
- Limited competition: 3-5 prizes.
- Invited competition: All competitors receive a payment. (The RAIC recommends three to five competitors be invited to participate.)
It is important to ensure provision for payments and awards are endorsed by the provincial or territorial association. Some provincial associations consider it professional misconduct to participate in an invited competition in which all architects are not equally remunerated.
For an Open Competition or (geographically) Limited Competition, the first prize shall be equal to the fee for professional services to undertake this portion of the design.
For example, if schematic design drawings are required as part of the competition submission, the prize money should be equal to the architectural fee for schematic design. If only conceptual designs were required, the prize money would be an amount appropriate for this level of service.
Other prizes should total approximately twice the fee or twice the first prize money.
Participating architects in Invited Competitions should be paid equal amounts commensurate with the fee for professional services rendered according to the submission requirements for the competition.