The Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) is a professional Association like the Ghana Bar Association or the Ghana Medical Association. These are associations or 'clubs' of similar professionals with their own constitution, bye-laws and regulations, are self-funding, elect their own officers and run their affairs and secretariats. They can be 'pressure groups' and strictly speaking independent of Government.
The Architects Registration Council of Ghana (ARC) on the other hand is set up by Government through law (the 1969 Architects Decree – NRCD 357) to regulate the architectural profession on its behalf. It is funded by Government subvention and under the Ministry of Works and Housing. The GIA however directly nominates 6 of the 10-member ARC. Any trained architect with a recognised professional degree by the Council can and should register with the ARC in so far as they intend working or practicing the architectural profession in Ghana.