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MRAs and MOUs

Principles underpinning the development and prioritisation of ARB’s mutual recognition agreements and memoranda of understanding.

These principles and criteria were approved by the ARB Board on 23 March 2022, following a consultation. The ARB Board has also approved principles upon which any new international route to registration is based. There are six principles in total.



There should be a realistic expectation that the agreement will facilitate the registration of architects between jurisdictions.

Criteria: We will consider and take into account current demand (e.g., through current UK applications for registration as well as other sources) for UK registration as well as any evidence of latent demand. We will also consider feedback from UK architects wishing to practise internationally.



There should be suitable level of resources available to develop, deliver and monitor agreements.

Criteria: ARB will consider any costs in developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing the MRA/MOU, which may include travel, external quality assurance or engagement costs. ARB will consider resource implications including, but not limited to, staff time and availability, in prioritising, developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing agreements.



There should be evidence that there is a realistic prospect of reciprocity.

Criteria: The international authority has a public commitment to engagement and sharing information with ARB to develop, implement, operate and monitor the agreement.



There should be broad equivalence in education and training outcomes to those in the UK.

Criteria: The outcomes of architectural education and training should align with the ARB’s requirements, currently set out in the Criteria for the Prescription of Qualifications.

In assessing equivalence we will take into account the structure, duration and quality assurance process in place.


Transparency and robustness

ARB must have confidence in the regulatory oversight mechanisms and quality assurance processes designed to ensure standards are being met.

Criteria: The partner organisation must have the appropriate authority to develop, sign and monitor an MRA/MOU.

Qualifications that are the subject of the agreement are quality assured and are regularly reviewed.

ARB should have access to evidence to demonstrate effective quality assurance mechanisms including, if appropriate, direct observation.


Public interest

We will consider the wider public interest including the opportunity to support and improve quality within the profession.

Criteria: Decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

The standard of entry to the UK Register must be maintained through the agreement.

Where appropriate, we will consider relevant Government advice regarding the development of an MRA/MOU.