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Competency Standards Group (CSG) Guidance

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.

The Competency Standards Group is comprised of panel members who are architects working in the profession today, who have been appointed by the Board to undertake this work on its behalf.


Rule 19: Re-entry to the Register

Rule 19 is part of ARB’s General Rules and it applies to all architects who wish to re-join the Register. Rule 19 defines ‘prescribed practical experience’ as:

“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

Standard 2 of the Architects Code of Conduct refers to architects’ obligation to be competent in their profession:

“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.

CSG applications can take between six and eight 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:

    1. Statement to join/re-join the Register

    You should include a statement confirming why you wish to join/re-join the Register at this time.

    The CSG Panel will use this statement to put your application into context. Using no more than one side of a A4 page, please explain your present circumstances and your reasons for wishing to join/re-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.

    2. A summary of your current role

    Please provide a written summary of your current role, outlining your responsibilities and the nature of your current work. This can be your own summary or a job description and specification.

    If your current role is 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 practice.

    Unless you are based overseas, as you are not currently on your Register, your job title must not be ‘architect’.

    3. Evidence of CPD for the last two years, along with a plan for any future CPD in the upcoming year

    ARB requires all architects to ensure 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. You can find more information on how to record your CPD on our website.

    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 upcoming year. A record including a descriptive schedule of talks or courses does not need to 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. You can find sample records here. These are for guidance purpose and CSG accepts any CPD format as long as it is easily set out and understood.

    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 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 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.

    All applicants will need to submit a development plan outlining the CPD activities you intend to undergo in the coming twelve months. You can find examples of personal development plans here.

    If you are accepted on to the Register, you will be included in the first annual CPD review after your initial twelve months back on the Register.

    The full CPD guidance can be found here.