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Registering with US qualifications

ARB and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) have signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) which became effective from 25 April 2023. The MRA states that the two parties will agree to recognise UK and US qualifications which are in scope of the MRA for the purposes of registration.

You will need to be eligible under the agreement to be able to use this application route. US to UK applicants must:

  • have a current NCARB Certificate confirming successful completion of a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB);
  • have completed NCARB’s Architectural Experience Program;
  • have passed the NCARB Architect Registration Examination or the equivalent; and
  • be currently licensed/registered in good standing by one or more NCARB Member Board(s) that is a participant to the Agreement

Start your application by contacting NCARB. This will begin the process of certification and check that you’re eligible to use the route. You can contact NCARB here.

NCARB then will issue an NCARB Certificate to qualifying applicants and this will also be transmitted to ARB.

ARB will then contact qualifying applicants and inform them of the additional requirements which must be satisfied. This will include the UK Adaptation Assessment to demonstrate that they are able to practise safely and effectively in the UK context. US to UK architects will need to pass this before being admitted to the UK Register.

At this point we will send you the following documents after we have received and checked your NCARB Certificate:

  • the UK Adaptation Assessment Procedures and accompanying guidance on preparing for the assessment; and
  • a UK Adaptation Assessment application form to complete

At this point, you will be required to pay the UK Adaptation Assessment fee of £2950.00.

After your UK Adaptation Assessment fee has been received, we will then send you:

  • a “Reflective Career Summary” template for you to complete; and
  • a practice-based scenario and a set of scenario-based questions, which you will need to respond to in writing. These will form the basis of the UK Adaptation Assessment professional interview, which is designed to ensure that anyone who joins the UK Register of Architects meets the standard required to practise safely and effectively in the UK.

We will also liaise with you regarding dates for your UK Adaptation Assessment professional interview at this point, this will be online during UK office hours. You will be allocated an interview in either the morning or the afternoon, UK time. We cannot accommodate requests to change the time of day you are allocated.

Further details can be found in the UK Adaptation Assessment Procedures.

Having passed the UK Adaptation Assessment, you will then be eligible to make an application to join the UK Register of Architects. Successful applicants will be provided with information on how to proceed when notified of the outcome of their UK Adaptation Assessment.

FAQs and more information on the mutual recognition agreement are available here.