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Milestone Reached in United States and United Kingdom Reciprocity Agreement for Architects

June 8, 2022 | News Release

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has reached an important milestone in the process that will help UK registered architects seek registration in the USA, and vice versa. 

The Professional Qualifications Act and subsequent legislation will give ARB the power to enter into mutual recognition agreements with other regulators. Through these, eligible architects can benefit from a straightforward process to register in the UK and other countries. 

ARB has been developing an agreement with the USA and its counterpart, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

NCARB has now announced that its member boards have ratified the text of the agreement. This is a key milestone towards being signed.

Further legislation is needed before ARB is able to enter into an agreement. The government is already developing this and it is expected later this year.

Alan Kershaw, Chair of the Architects Registration Board, said

“The UK and USA are among the world’s leaders in architecture. A mutual recognition agreement will reinforce this further, helping eligible professionals to register between the two countries, sharing their skills and services.

We’re therefore delighted to see the agreement has been approved by NCARB’s boards. This is a significant step towards its completion and one that many architects in the UK will be pleased to see.”

Emma Matthews, Director of International and Governance at the Architects Registration Board, said

“We know there’s substantial overlap between architects in the UK and USA, and with the high regulatory standards that help protect the public in each country.

Our discussions have been building on this as we aim to support and uphold those standards, while also facilitating collaboration among the profession.   

We’re now looking forward to the necessary UK legislation progressing and to bringing the agreement to ARB’s own Board later this year.”

Alfred Vidaurri Jr., NCARB, NOMA, FAIA, NCARB President, said

“The arrangement is an exciting opportunity for architects seeking to expand their careers internationally. One of the primary benefits enjoyed by NCARB Certificate holders is the ability to pursue reciprocal licensure, and this agreement expands those benefits to a new continent.”


Notes for Editors

  • The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is an independent professional regulator, established by Parliament as a statutory body, through the Architects Act, in 1997. It is accountable to government. The law gives ARB a number of core functions:
    • To ensure only those who are suitably competent are allowed to practise as architects. ARB does this by approving the qualifications required to join the UK Register of Architects.
    • ARB maintains a publicly available Register of Architects so anyone using the services of an architect can be confident that they are suitably qualified and are fit to practise.
    • ARB sets the standards of conduct and practice the profession must meet and take action when any architect falls below the required standards of conduct or competence.
    • ARB protects the legally restricted title ‘architect’.

Further updates on this and agreements with other countries are regularly published here:

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