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AACA, NZRAB and ARB Mutual Recognition Agreement Information

A new mutual recognition agreement with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) means that registration for eligible architects will now be quicker and easier. It also means that individuals can have relevant qualifications recognised under the agreement, provided they have qualified from an accredited qualification in architecture up to and including Masters level.

Applications through this route are now open.

Before applying, check that you’re eligible and then apply through the steps below.

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Who is eligible to use the route – UK to Australia or New Zealand

We have agreed initially that only accredited UK qualifications and accredited qualifications issued in Australia and New Zealand will be in scope. Individuals who have joined the UK register through the EU route to registration are outside the scope of the agreement. Individuals who have joined the UK Register having undertaken ARB’s Prescribed Examination are not generally eligible to use the agreement, unless in one of the groups described below.

UK to Australia applicants will need to have secured ARB prescribed qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 level and be registered and in good standing with ARB, which will be confirmed by ARB on a certificate of eligibility. UK architects will then need to meet additional requirements set by the AACA, following which AACA will then issue an AACA Statement pursuant to the MRA to take to state and territory registration boards in Australia to facilitate registration.

An architect is also an eligible UK to Australia architect if they have:

  • secured accredited Australian or New Zealand qualifications issued by Schools of Architecture in Australia or New Zealand, and have secured equivalence at UK Part 1 and Part 2 level having undertaken assessment by ARB (such as the Prescribed Examination)
  • and secured an ARB-prescribed qualification issued by a school of architecture in the United Kingdom at Part 3 level
  • and completed successfully any additional requirements of the AACA, and obtained an AACA Statement
  • or
  • secured UK prescribed qualifications at Part 1 and Part 2
  • and completed successfully any additional requirements of the AACA, and obtained an AACA Statement.

UK to New Zealand applicants will need to have secured ARB prescribed qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 level and be registered and in good standing with ARB, which will be confirmed by ARB on a certificate of eligibility. UK architects will then need to apply to NZRAB for registration and meet any additional requirements set by them.

An architect is also an eligible UK to New Zealand architect if they have:

  • secured accredited Australian or New Zealand qualifications issued by Schools of Architecture in Australia or New Zealand, and have secured equivalence at UK Part 1 and Part 2 level, having undertaken assessment by ARB (such as the Prescribed Examination)
  • and secured an ARB-prescribed qualification issued by a school of architecture in the United Kingdom at Part 3 level
  • and completed successfully any additional requirements of NZRAB.
  • or
  • secured UK prescribed qualifications at Part 1 and Part 2
  • and completed successfully any additional requirements of NZRAB.

Who is eligible to use the route – Australia or New Zealand to UK

Australia to UK applicants will require an AACA certificate confirming eligibility, including successful completion of an accredited qualification in architecture from a school of architecture in Australia or New Zealand, together with the Australian Architectural Practice Exam or Experienced Practitioner Assessment, and also current registration by one or more Australian State and Territory Registration Boards.

Australia to UK architects will also need to pass ARB’s UK Adaptation Assessment before being admitted to the UK Register.

An architect is also an eligible Australia to UK architect if they have:

  • secured ARB-prescribed qualifications issued by schools of architecture in the United Kingdom at Part 1 and Part 2 level,
  • and secured an Australian Architectural Practice Exam or Experienced Practitioner Assessment,
  • and are currently registered by one or more Australian State and Registration Territory Boards, and have passed ARB’s UK Adaptation Assessment.

New Zealand to UK applicants will require an NZRAB certificate confirming eligibility, including successful completion of an accredited qualification in architecture from a school of architecture in Australia or New Zealand, together with current NZRAB registration.

New Zealand to UK architects will also need to pass ARB’s UK Adaptation Assessment before being admitted to the UK Register.

An architect is also an eligible New Zealand to UK architect if they have:

  • secured ARB-prescribed qualifications issued by schools of architecture in the United Kingdom at Part 1 and Part 2 level
  • and are currently registered by the NZRAB, and have passed ARB’s UK Adaptation Assessment.

Who is eligible to use the route - Recognition of Masters Level Qualifications

Recognition of Australia or New Zealand Masters Level qualifications in the UK

The MRA provides for the ‘freestanding’ recognition of AACA-accredited masters-level qualifications issued in Australia and New Zealand. AACA and NZRAB will be able to issue a certificate or statement to confirm that accredited qualifications are within scope of the agreement, which will enable ARB to confirm that we have accepted the qualifications. Applicants will then be able to complete a UK Part 3 qualification to qualify for entry to the UK Register.

There is no provision for the ‘freestanding’ recognition of only undergraduate degrees qualifications issued in Australia or New Zealand under the MRA. If such international graduates elect to study Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications in the UK, Part 1 requirements will need to be satisfied by making an application through the Prescribed Examination route before an application for registration is possible.

Contact AACA or NZRAB for information about the costs of obtaining a certificate or statement confirming that the Masters level qualifications are in scope of the agreement.

Recognition of UK Masters Level qualifications in Australia and New Zealand

The MRA provides for the ‘freestanding’ recognition of ARB-accredited UK Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications. ARB will be able to issue a certificate or statement to confirm that accredited qualifications are within scope of the agreement, which will enable AACA or NZRAB to confirm that they have accepted the qualifications. Applicants will then be able to complete their training and register in Australia or New Zealand. There is no provision for the ‘freestanding’ recognition of ARB-accredited UK Part 1 qualifications.

The cost of obtaining an ARB certificate or statement confirming that the accredited qualifications are within scope of the agreement is £80.00.

The letters confirming the acceptance of masters level qualifications will not include an expiry date, and will enable applicants to complete the final part of the qualification process in Australia, New Zealand or the UK as necessary.

UK to Australia

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Complete the ARB Certificate Application Form

Having checked that you meet the eligibility requirements, you can complete your ARB certificate application form on the ARB portal.

There is a fee of £120 payable to ARB for provision of a certificate. 

Who: Applicant | Queries: ARB

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ARB referral

ARB will review your application and your qualifications. ARB will formally confirm that you are registered with ARB, are in good standing, and meet the relevant MRA requirements. ARB will then issue a certificate and transmit it to AACA on your behalf. You do not need to take any action at this stage.

Who: ARB| Queries: ARB

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AACA assessment application and interview

AACA will contact you to arrange an assessment application and interview. Applicants who complete the assessment application and pass the interview will receive an AACA Statement of Recognition. This statement can be submitted to State and Territory Architect Registration Boards in Australia to facilitate registration.

At this stage, there is a fee of $4,900 payable to AACA for UK registration recognition.

Who: AACA | Queries: AACA

Australia to UK

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Confirm eligibility

Review the eligibility criteria on the AACA website, and contact AACA to begin the application process: arb.org.uk/international-routes/aaca-nzrab-and-arb-mutual-recognition-agreement-information/

Who: Applicant | Queries: AACA

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AACA referral

AACA will issue a certificate to qualifying applicants and transmit a copy to ARB.

Who: AACA | Queries: AACA

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UK Adaptation Assessment 

ARB will contact qualifying applicants and inform them of the additional requirements which must be satisfied. This will include the UK Adaptation Assessment, which you must successfully pass to demonstrate that you are able to practise safely and effectively in the UK context and can be admitted to the UK Register of Architects. At this point, you will be required to pay the UK Adaptation Assessment fee of £2950.00. Further details can be found in the UK Adaptation Assessment Procedures here: arb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ARB-UKAA-Procedures.pdf

Who: ARB | Queries: ARB

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Registration

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. You can learn more about registering for the first time here: arb.org.uk/architect-information/applying-for-registration-for-the-first-time/

Who: ARB | Queries: ARB

UK to New Zealand

1

Confirm eligibility

2

Complete the ARB Certificate Application Form

Having checked that you meet the eligibility requirements, you can complete your ARB certificate application form on the ARB portal.

There is a fee of £120 payable to ARB for provision of a certificate. 

Who: Applicant | Queries: ARB

3

ARB referral

ARB will review your application and your qualifications. ARB will formally confirm that you are registered with ARB, are in good standing, and meet the relevant MRA requirements. ARB will then issue a certificate and transmit it to NZRAB on your behalf. NZRAB will contact you to let you know when the certificate has been received.

Who: ARB | Queries: ARB

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Registration

Having submitted the ARB Certificate Form to ARB, applicants should then complete a Pathway 8 Application Form and submit it to NZRAB. The Pathway 8 Application Form can be found here, along with more information: www.nzrab.nz/c/Pathway-8

Who: ARB | Queries: NZRAB

New Zealand to UK

1

Confirm eligibility

Review the eligibility criteria on the NZRAB website, and contact NZRAB commence your application: www.nzrab.nz/c/Pathway-8

Who: Applicant | Queries: NZRAB

2

NZRAB referral

NZRAB will issue a certificate of eligibility to qualifying candidates, and transmit a copy of the certificate to ARB on your behalf.

Who: Applicant  | Queries: NZRAB

3

UK Adaptation Assessment 

ARB will contact qualifying applicants and inform them of the additional requirements which must be satisfied. This will include the UK Adaptation Assessment, which you must successfully pass to demonstrate that you are able to practise safely and effectively in the UK context and can be admitted to the UK Register of Architects. At this point, you will be required to pay the UK Adaptation Assessment fee of £2950.00. Further details can be found in the UK Adaptation Assessment Procedures here: arb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ARB-UKAA-Procedures.pdf

Who: ARB | Queries: ARB

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Registration

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. You can learn more about registering for the first time here: arb.org.uk/architect-information/applying-for-registration-for-the-first-time/

Who: ARB | Queries: ARB

ARB, AACA, NZRAB FAQs

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What do AACA and NZRAB do?

AACA

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) is an independent, self-funded, Not-For-Profit organization set up by the statutory state and territory Architect Registration Boards in the 1970s. AACA supports nationally consistent high-quality qualifications and licensing of architects in Australia.

For more details, visit its website www.aaca.org.au

NZRAB

The New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) is established under the Registered Architects Act 2005 (the Act). The Act establishes NZRAB’s functions as:

  • making rules relating to architects
  • registering architects, issuing Certificates of Registration, and assessing whether architects meet the
  • standard for continued registration
  • maintaining a Register of architects
  • investigating complaints and, if required, disciplining architects
  • providing information to the public about the registration system for architects.

For more details, visit its website www.nzrab.nz

Will all registration boards in Australia be participating in the Agreement?

Yes, all Australian States and Territories registration boards will be participating in the agreement. However, to be registered in Western Australia applicants must first register in any other state or territory in Australia and then apply through the standard Australian mutual recognition acts.

How much does making an application to ARB under the MRA cost for Australian and New Zealand architects?

Applicants initially need to apply to AACA or NZRAB for a certificate, for which a fee may be payable. Applicants will need to check with AACA or NZRAB for more information on how to apply for a certificate. There is then a fee for the ARB UK Adaptation Assessment of £2950.00.

Successful applicants will then need to pay ARB’s usual registration fee when applying to join the Register. Fees vary according to the time of year in which the application is made and are published at: arb.org.uk/architect-information/applying-for-registration-for-the-first-time/fees/

What does it cost for a UK architect to seek recognition with AACA or NZRAB?

ARB will issue a certificate to UK architects seeking recognition, which will cost £80.00. UK architects will need to contact AACA or NZRAB for details of the fees for recognition in either country on receipt of the ARB certificate.  There will additionally be fees to register in Australia or New Zealand.  Again, the AACA or NZRAB will be able to advise further on this.

Is ARB able to assist with requirements relating to visas and work permits etc.?

We are unable to provide advice on these matters. Please see the UK Government’s information resource here.

I’m an EU-qualified architect who has joined the register through the EU route to registration. As I’m a UK architect, can I make use of the MRA?

The MRA does not accommodate UK architects who have joined the UK Register through another reciprocal agreement, such as that operated for EU applicants, so you will not be eligible to make use of the MRA.

I’ve been through the ARB Prescribed Examination and joined the ARB Register, am I eligible to use the MRA?

The MRA applies only to ARB registrants holding ARB accredited qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 levels issued by UK schools of architecture. Accredited Australian and New Zealand qualifications which have been evaluated by ARB through the Prescribed Examination route and followed by a UK Part 3 qualification and registration are also accommodated. If however, you have gained other non-accredited qualifications and have registered through the ARB Prescribed Examination route, you will not be eligible under the MRA.

Where can I see the full text of the agreement?

The full text of the signed agreement can be downloaded here.