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Update on the development of ARB’s international routes to registration

Updates on potential mutual recognition agreements

New legislation and the UK’s exit from the EU mean we have a new approach to how architects with non-UK qualifications can join our Register.

ARB is able to enter into mutual recognition agreements with other regulators around the world. These will help eligible professionals to register across countries more easily, sharing their skills and services and boosting the UK’s trade. At the same time, any new agreement will maintain high standards and safety and ensure that anyone who joins the UK Register meets the standard required to practise safely and effectively.

An update on agreements we are developing is below.

Australia and New Zealand

  • Our agreement with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board has been signed. Further information is available available here


  • A Joint Recommendation for an MRA has been submitted by the Architects Registration Board and the Architects Council of Europe and has been acknowledged within the formal governance structures of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.


Consultation on the UK Adaptation Assessment in July 2022

In July 2022 we launched a consultation on the UK Adaptation Assessment that would form part of the new route to joining the Register. This would assess an applicant’s understanding of the UK-specific context of practising architecture, ensuring that anyone who joins the Register meets the standard required to practise safely and effectively in the UK. This includes their understanding of UK legislation, building regulations and the construction sector. The consultation asked for views on our proposals for the assessment, including the requirements to access it and our plans for how the process will operate.

We analysed responses to the consultation and have published an outcome report here. This sets out our analysis of the consultation. We will develop the new procedures with this feedback and test them with a pilot of the assessment before publishing a final version of them early next year. They will then become effective once the new international routes are opened.

Update on 29 March 2022

We have published the outcome of the consultation we launched in October last year.

This summarises the key points that arose from the consultation and our response to each of these.

You can read this here.

Update on 1 February 2022

We have published a technical document on the use of ‘mixed qualifications’ in the context of a potential EU MRA. 

New legislation, if approved, will give us more flexibility in this area, permitting us to decide which qualifications should be acceptable when negotiating an MRA.

The document asks for views on our policy towards this type of qualification.

You can read it here and we are asking for comments by 28 February 2022. These can be sent to us by emailing 

Consultation launched in October 2021

As the regulator for architects, we have a key role in public protection. One of the ways in which we do this is by setting the standards for entry to the UK Register of architects. This includes deciding what qualifications and experience architects who have trained and qualified outside the UK need to hold to join the Register.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, we have been exploring a new approach to registration of international architects. We intend to implement this once the relevant legislation introduced to Parliament by the Government is in place.

The consultation document we have published today sets out and seeks views on our approach, including our aims and objectives, our principles and our proposed decision-making process.

Our aims
We want this new approach to support and uphold standards in the UK while also facilitating and supporting the UK architectural profession’s trade with the world, with its reputation for excellence and global presence.

The document sets out the principles we intend to follow in achieving this and in particular seeks views on:
• the overarching approach we take to our new international routes to registration;
• the development of the additional requirements for individuals holding international qualifications;
• the development of mutual recognition agreements and memoranda of understanding with other countries, and how we’ll decide whether or not to pursue these.

What has changed?
The process through which architects can apply to join the Register has not yet changed.
At this stage, we’re sharing our proposed direction of travel and seeking feedback on the approach we plan to take. This will help inform our decisions as to what we do next.

The point at which our new international routes will need to become operational will be dependent on the progress of legislation. We are basing our plans on the possibility that they may need to become operational in mid-2022.

How to share your views
We are running this engagement exercise online and invite any interested parties to provide their views on the approach, proposals and principles that we have outlined in the document.

We would also like to get your views about how we should communicate and engage in a way that’s beneficial and constructive for interested parties, and how we could formalise this into arrangements that provide more certainty and transparency.

Comments or feedback can be emailed to us at by 14 January 2022.

Architects with EU qualifications
Alongside this work, we’re reminding architects with EU qualifications listed in the ‘frozen’ Annex that they can still apply under interim arrangements. We’re encouraging architects to do this while those arrangements are still in place.

Further information on this can be found here.