Frequently asked questions
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When does the new education framework come into force?
The new Competency Outcomes for architects and Standards for learning providers will apply to all ARB accreditation decisions from January 2024. This means that:
- New qualifications receiving their first accreditation by ARB must deliver these outcomes from January 2024.
- Existing qualifications are still prescribed until they are superseded by a new qualification based on the new Outcomes or until no later than December 2028, at which point they will cease to be recognised for registration.
- Learning providers delivering ARB accredited qualifications must meet the new standards from January 2024. Review dates for existing qualifications have not changed but these Standards will apply to them when they are due to take place, as well as applications for the accreditation of new qualifications.
How do these changes affect existing qualifications?
Existing qualifications are still accredited until they are superseded by a new qualification based on the new Outcomes or until no later than December 2028, at which point they will cease to be recognised for registration.
When will the new accreditation Standards come into force?
When will ARB stop accrediting Part 1 qualifications?
If ARB will no longer accredit Part 1 qualifications, what will happen to the Part 1 Prescribed Exam?
I’m thinking of hiring an architect apprentice. How do these reforms affect me?
What is the relationship between these reforms and the Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice?
How can the public be assured that the new framework will uphold the current standard of education?
Information for learning providers
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Can learning providers still apply for accreditation for new qualifications under the old framework?
If you are a learning provider and have any specific or detailed questions, you should contact ARB’s accreditation team by emailing email@example.com.
When can learning providers apply for accreditation for new courses under the new framework?
An important difference with the new accreditation process is that we expect providers to contact us before the new programme is developed, and not to wait until all the material (such as module specifications and mapping) has been produced.
Is it possible for a learning provider to apply to change existing courses so they are compliant with the new framework, including the new Outcomes and Standards?
Yes, providers will be allowed to do so.
I’m worried that the transition plans won’t give my organisation time to become compliant with the new regulatory framework. What can I do about this?
To help inform our progress during the transition, over the next 18 months, we’ll be continuing to speak to learning providers and others, as part of our evaluation of the implementation of our changes.
When will the new accreditation handbook for learning providers be published?
The first iteration of the Handbook is expected to be ready by the end of November 2023.
Can an institution submit a course change for an existing qualification in order to meet the new outcomes?
Yes. Learning providers can either use our course change process to amend an existing qualification to meet the new outcomes, or they can submit an application for a new qualification. In both circumstances, ARB will need to approve either the new qualification or the course change before students can start the qualification or amended course.
How will the reforms affect the annual monitoring process?
There will be some changes to the annual monitoring process and the materials learning providers will be required to submit. Adjusted annual monitoring requirements will be contained within the Accreditation Handbook. While there may be changes to annual monitoring submission requirements, providers should note that institutions will no longer be required to submit applications to renew qualifications on a periodic basis.
Information for students
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How will this affect funding available to students?
Students with a non-cognate degree (that is, a degree for a subject that is unrelated to architecture) may not be entitled to the funding exception at master’s level. This is no different to the current funding model, but it could potentially limit funding access. We will explore further the impact on access to student funding for related or joint degrees through the guidance we intend to develop for learning providers, and we will look at undertaking research, too.
I’m currently in employment completing my mandatory period of Professional Practical Experience. How will the changes affect me?
We will also appoint a Commission with an independent Chair to provide options and advice to ARB on the key challenges of professional practice experience identified through the consultation. It will be tasked with making recommendations to ARB on how to improve fair and consistent access to quality practical experience, and the recommended new minimum requirements for relevant experience. The Commission will be appointed in 2023 and report to ARB by the end of 2024.
I’m thinking of starting an architect apprenticeship. How do these reforms affect me?
I’m studying an undergraduate degree in architecture outside the UK. Will I need to repeat an undergraduate degree in the UK in order to access the Register?
However, for now, most applicants will still need to demonstrate that they have gained either an accredited Part 1 qualification or passed ARB’s Part 1 prescribed exam, in addition to obtaining a Part 2 and Part 3 qualification, until the changes take effect.
This may differ for applicants through mutual recognition agreements or memoranda of understanding. More information on eligibility for these is available here.
I’m currently undertaking a Part 1 qualification. How will this affect me?
I've completed Parts 1 and 2 but haven’t yet started a Part 3. What does this mean for me?
I’ve completed Part 3 but haven’t registered yet. What does this mean for me?
If you have completed your Part 1 and Part 2, as well as your Part 3, you need to register within two years of obtaining your Part 3. If you don’t register within two years, you will need to provide additional information to satisfy the Board of your competence to practise and this will be assessed by our Competency Standards Group.
More information on this is available here under ‘evidence of your qualification’.
How will the educational reforms affect Part 2 and Part 3?
In the future, we will no longer prescribe at Part 2 or Part 3. Instead, we will accredit master’s and diploma level qualifications which cover the academic and practice outcomes set out in the Competency outcomes for architects.
Please see here for our latest timeline for transition to the new framework.
I’m currently in employment completing my second year of professional practical experience while studying for my Part 3 qualification. How will the changes affect me?
You should continue to complete your Part 3 qualification, as ARB will continue to accredit all existing qualifications until 31 December 2028.
I’m currently in employment in my first year of professional practical experience. How will the changes affect me?
ARB will continue to accredit all existing qualifications until 31 December 2028. If you have not yet started a Part 2 qualification, you can continue on to complete an existing Part 2 and Part 3 qualification. Alternatively, some new master’s level qualifications may be accredited by ARB by the time you have finished this period of practical experience. Once you have completed this period of practical experience, you could then complete a new master’s level qualification followed by your second year of practical experience and a new diploma level qualification.
My situation isn’t covered above. Where can I ask for advice?
Please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a learning provider thinking about making changes to an existing course or making a submission for a new qualification, please get in touch for further advice by emailing email@example.com.