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CSG guidance for applicants

If you have been off the Register for more than two years, or you passed your Part 3 qualification over two years ago and you now wish to come onto the Register, you need to provide additional information to satisfy the Board of your competence to practise. This requirement is in line with Rule 19 of the Board’s General Rules and Standard 2 of the Architects Code of Conduct:

Video 1 - General overview

Video 2 - The application

Video 3 - Continued Professional Development

Rule 19 - Re-entry to the Register

"Any person who falls within the categories described in section 9 (1)(a), (b) or (c) of the Act and who is engaged in the practice of architecture must have gained such recent practical experience as prescribed by the Board. The prescribed practical experience for the purposes of this Rule shall be that they have undertaken activities in the practice of architecture, during the period of two years immediately prior to the application, as are sufficient in the opinion of the Board to maintain their competence to practise in accordance with the Board’s guidelines which shall be published from time to time. Where the Board is not satisfied that a person has gained such recent practical experience, they may be required to satisfy the Board of their competence to practise in such manner as the Board may require."

Standard 2 - Competence

"You are expected to be competent to carry out the professional work you undertake to do, and if you engage others to do that work you should ensure that they are competent and adequately supervised. You are expected to make appropriate arrangements for your professional work in the event of incapacity, death, absence from, or inability to, work. You are expected to ensure that the necessary communication skills and local knowledge are available to you to discharge your responsibilities. You are expected to keep your knowledge and skills relevant to your professional work up to date and be aware of the content of any guidelines issued by the Board from time to time."

Your application will be reviewed by the Board’s Competency Standards Group (CSG) before being sent to the Registrar for formal approval/consideration. The CSG panel members are all architects working in the profession today, and have been appointed by the Board to undertake this work on its behalf.

CSG applications can take between 6-8 weeks to process. If you do not send us all the necessary information we have asked for, your application will be delayed and take longer to process.

In addition to the relevant application form, we need the following documents to support your application:

  • a statement confirming why you wish to re-join/join the Register at this time.
  • an up to date Curriculum Vitae
  • two references
  • evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for the last two years, along with a plan for any future CPD in the forthcoming year.

We have set out some guidance to assist you when producing your supporting information.

Statement to re-join/join the Register

The CSG Panel will use this statement to put your application into context. Using no more than one side of A4, please explain your present circumstances and your reasons for wishing to re-join/join the Register at this time. The Panel will expect you to summarise your professional activities since you were last on the Register or since you qualified.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Please provide a comprehensive and up to date CV, outlining your career from your architectural education through to your present appointment, with particular detail for the two years prior to your application.

Whatever the nature of your work has been in this period, it is important to describe your level of involvement and responsibility; reference to the RIBA work stages is helpful.

It is customary to include any awards, private study or research in your CV, as well as any complementary interests and activities, such as membership of other professional bodies.

N.B. As you are not currently registered, you must not use the professional title "architect" on your CV.

Please note that the Panel is not looking to see CVs which are focused on advertising your personal qualities and value to prospective employers.

If you have mostly been engaged in teaching architecture or in academic research, please detail the nature of your appointment(s) and the focus of your work. The Panel will be interested to know whether you are planning to continue in this role or whether you intend to return to practise.

If you are (or have been) working overseas, the Panel will want to know if and when you are intending to re-engage with UK architectural practice. If you have secured employment in the UK, please describe the position.


Please supply two references to support your application; these should be signed and dated by the authors. Your references should ideally detail the roles and responsibilities you have listed in your CV for any particular employment or engagement.

Usually, references are provided by employers or senior colleagues (or clients if you have been in private practice). You can also supply references from professional partners or co-directors. It is helpful if your referees are prepared to comment on your professional competence and involvement within the role you have carried out.

Maintaining Competence

ARB requires all architects to ensure that they are competent to practise. Please provide evidence, with particular focus on the last two years, of how you have maintained your competence, stating what Continuing Professional Development (CPD) you have undertaken.

If you have continued in practice whilst off the Register, you should present your CPD record for the last two years up to the date of application, along with any planned CPD for the coming year. A record including a descriptive schedule of talks or courses need not be accompanied by actual certificates, attendance or course length details. Where an office CPD programme is included, please ensure you state which events you have attended.

If you have been away from architectural practice for several years, we would like you to outline what you have done to keep in touch with developments both within the profession and within the built environment sector. If that has not been possible, please set out what steps you are currently taking to bring yourself up to date. In these circumstances, it may assist the Panel to see a schedule of CPD activities for the coming 12 months.

If you have been engaged in specialised work you will need to show how you have kept abreast of wider developments in the profession. This is in addition to having maintained competence in your particular field of work.

If you have been working overseas and are intending to return to the UK, the Panel will be looking to see a schedule of CPD for the coming 12 months which will bring you up to date with developments in UK architectural practice.

If you are working overseas, you will need to demonstrate to the Panel that you are undertaking CPD activities that are relevant both to your location and to your field of work.