Architect/Senior Architect (DOE)

We are looking for Architects/Senior Architects to join our practice across multiple locations.


This post will play a key role in our Manchester, Chester and York offices’ continued success. As a Practice, we are interested in the person as much as your qualifications. We will match your enthusiasm and proactive approach with the necessary support to enable you to drive projects from concept to completion confidently. We are looking for someone who, given guidance, will be comfortable liaising with clients, consultants, contractors and statutory authorities. As part of a well-supported team, the successful candidate will be allowed to take ownership of projects and to drive them to a successful conclusion collegiately. The successful candidate will be aware of their place in the broader practice and their expectation to work towards common goals to deliver our defined vision.

We encourage good communication within the office, create space for honest and transparent performance assessment, and provide the support to achieve ‘best practice’ where necessary.

The role will suit a focused and motivated individual with a passion for historic buildings, looking to develop further their design and job running skills in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Practice Culture

We believe that change is continuous and that buildings are, in effect, ‘alive’. Historic buildings should be constantly maintained and sensitively adapted so that they may be lastingly used and enjoyed. All of our projects are unique, but the aim is conservation, which means balancing the preservation of a building or place with the need for considered intervention to ensure its continued vitality. One cannot be delivered in isolation from the other, and we ensure a holistic approach to all our projects.

Duties and responsibilities include but shall not be limited to

  • Planning, organising and executing accurate and fit-for-purpose drawings throughout the job, mainly through own direct production drawings (primarily using AutoCAD, SketchUp and, increasingly, Revit) and involving input from colleagues and other specialists as needed. We recognise the importance of BIM and are implementing BIM Level 2 on selected projects throughout the practice.
  • Facilitating and maintaining the flow of communication between the office/client/consultants/contractors and site, collaborating with others and ensuring that all follow-up action is taken to ensure successful delivery of all work.
  • Juggling numerous priorities throughout the job’s lifecycle, maintaining a focus on time, quality of output and productivity, identifying risks or possible slippage, and recommending remedial action where necessary.
  • Ensuring all job-related communications are undertaken to the required standard, including attending meetings, drafting minutes, formal communications, reports These will need to be fit-for-purpose and following the practice management manual and associated Quality Assurance and Environmental Management (QA/EM) systems.
  • Keeping the Branch Leader informed of the status of assigned jobs at all times, providing appropriate support for the efficient and profitable running of the office as required, and actively contributing to initiatives to identify and win new business.
  • Sharing own expertise within the team and contributing to regular design dialogues and ‘lessons learnt’ sessions.
  • Any other reasonable duties that arise from working within a small branch office and the nature and character of the post.

Tasks for Projects (in association with Branch Leader)

  • Assist in pre-commission submissions
  • Contribute at inception and maintain a project plan for each project
  • Ensure each project is set up with an appropriate appointment document
  • Discuss fee projections with Branch Leader
  • Agree on staff resources for projects
  • Negotiate fees and contracts for smaller projects
  • Take responsibility for own project running
  • Define service level and level of information to be produced
  • Product planning, building regulations, working drawings and tender packages
  • Carry out site inspections / contract administration
  • Ensure that the work carried out is technically correct
  • Responsibility for applying for all permissions relating to each project
  • Review and check all health and safety matters for each project

Please note that job descriptions are not exhaustive, and the duties and responsibilities of the post may be amended from time to time in consultation with the post holder.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience required

  • Full qualification as an Architect from a RIBA recognised university/architectural school.
  • Varied job-running experience (up to £5 million in budget), with sound knowledge of all UK planning and building legislation and their application.
  • First-rate design and technical skills and strong knowledge and understanding of the role of technical packages (both written and drawn).
  • A demonstrable interest in the issues and challenges associated with conservation/historic buildings; new design in the historic environment and the context of the climate emergency.
  • Good overall knowledge of traditional construction (e.g. brickwork/lead/slate/timber).
  • Sound working knowledge of AutoCAD, SketchUp, Revit and Adobe Creative Suite to produce consistently high quality and accurate work.
  • Well-developed communication skills, both oral and written, including the ability to research and draft technically useful and concise reports.
  • Able to operate effectively in the context of a small office environment with its incumbent fluctuations in workload, and a willingness to play a key role in helping identify and win new business for the office.
  • Ability to maintain focus on the big picture and achieve results (without losing sight of the details) through careful management of available time and resources to meet deadlines and maintain both quality and profitability.
  • Strong problem-solving skills: able to think ahead and spot potential obstacles, work effectively with ambiguity, devise appropriate solutions and see these through to ensure that projects remain on target both in terms of timescales and fee.


  • Ability to speak and write in Welsh fluently and a recognition of the importance of being able to deliver our work bilingually (for Conwy only).
  • Previous experience of working with historic buildings.
  • Relevant professional memberships, g. IHBC, SPAB, and/or AABC accreditation.
  • Senior Architect level appointments will only be considered if accreditation at AABC ‘A’ or RIBA ‘SCA’ level is in place, or submitted.

Equal Opportunities

Donald Insall Associates is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

December 2021