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Transition of Prescribed Qualifications to Accreditation

This section of the Handbook covers the principles and process for the transition of prescribed qualifications from the outgoing Criteria and prescription model to the new Standards and Competency Outcomes for Architects (the Outcomes).


We are developing this section in conjunction with stakeholders and the Education Transition Reference Group.

As this is a new process, providers are encouraged to contact ARB as early as possible to discuss plans.


Under ARB’s new initial education and training model, three types of qualifications can be accredited to deliver the Outcomes:

  1. ‘Master’s-level’ qualifications – to FHEQ Level 7/SCQF Level 111 – that will encompass the Academic Outcomes
  2. ‘Practice’ qualifications that will encompass the Practice Outcomes (the Academic Outcomes must be achieved before the Practice Outcomes)
  3. ‘Combined’ qualifications that will encompass both Academic and Practice Outcomes

1 Framework for Higher Education Qualification (FHEQ); Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Part 1 qualifications

Qualifications to bachelor’s degree-level only (to FHEQ Level 6 or below/SCQF Level 10 or below) will not be eligible for accreditation.

Part 1 qualifications will remain accredited until December 2027 – subject to light touch monitoring – unless the provider chooses to withdraw accreditation from their Part 1(s) sooner.  

After December 2027, providers may continue to deliver these qualifications, but they will no longer be accredited or subject to ARB monitoring.

Part 2 qualifications

Providers of Part 2 qualifications may wish for these to continue to be accredited as master’s-level qualifications.  To do this, providers will need to revise those qualifications to deliver the new Outcomes and comply with the Standards.

Providers will need to apply to ARB for approval of changes to qualifications, and changes must be approved by ARB before they are implemented.

Where a provider is looking to make like-for-like changes – e.g. revise a two-year Part 2 to become a two-year master’s-level qualification – a staggered approach will be taken.  Through this transition route, providers will need to demonstrate compliance with the Outcomes and Standards over a two to three year period through a combination of a transition change application and submissions alongside forthcoming annual monitoring returns.

Changes considered through this transition route will not be classed as new qualifications and will not incur a new qualification application fee.

Please note that ARB expects the learning outcomes of all qualifications to change in order to deliver the new Outcomes and remain accredited.  Even if a provider’s internal processes suggest a major course change, this may not mean that a new qualification application and fee is required for ARB.

Factors that may indicate that a new qualification application (to be submitted at least two years prior to commencement) and fee will be required include:

  • The introduction of a four-/five-year master’s-level qualification
  • The introduction of a dual award qualification where a single award qualification was previously accredited
  • The introduction of master’s-level or practice qualifications where Part 2 and/or Part 3 were not previously held
  • The introduction of new qualifications in addition to any being considered through the transition change process

The above is not exhaustive.  A pragmatic view will be taken of the nature of proposed changes to each qualification and whether they can be considered under the transition route or the new qualification application route.

Providers should contact ARB as early as possible ( to discuss any planned changes and the most appropriate application process(es) in advance of internal approval and any submission to ARB.

Providers can also notify ARB if they wish to withdraw accreditation from an existing Part 2 qualification.

Part 3 qualifications

Similar to Part 2, providers of Part 3 qualifications that wish for these to continue to be accredited as practice qualifications will need to revise those qualifications to deliver the new Outcomes and comply with the Standards.

The information above regarding transition changes and new qualifications also applies to Part 3 qualifications.

Following the consultation on education and training reforms, ARB launched an independent Commission on Professional Practical Experience that is expected to conclude within the next 12 months.  Providers are advised to wait until the outcomes of the Commission and resultant implications for practice qualifications are known before seeking ARB approval of proposed changes/new qualifications at this level. 

Providers should contact ARB ( to discuss proposed changes to their Part 3 qualification(s).