ARB Accreditation: Competency Outcomes and Standards for learning providers
On 7 September 2023, following a statutory consultation and widespread engagement, ARB announced the next steps in our reforms to the initial education and training of architects. Having received support for the proposed Competency Outcomes required for registration, we announced that we would make some drafting amendments based on useful feedback, and publish the final version. Our new approach to accreditation, including the Standards for learning providers and transition timetable, also received support and useful ideas for improvement.
The new Competency Outcomes for architects and Standards for learning providers have now been finalised.
These will apply to all ARB accreditation decisions from January 2024. This means that:
- New qualifications receiving their first accreditation by ARB must deliver these new Competency Outcomes from January 2024.
- Existing qualifications are still prescribed until they are superseded by a new qualification based on the new Competency Outcomes or until no later than December 2028, at which point they will cease to be recognised for registration.
- Learning providers delivering ARB accredited qualifications must meet the new Standards from January 2024. Review dates for existing qualifications have not changed but these Standards will apply to them when they are due to take place, as well as applications for the accreditation of new qualifications.
Competency outcomes for architects
The Academic and Practice Outcomes in this document outline the threshold competencies required for registration as an architect. An architect’s skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours are defined through five competency areas:
- Contextual and Architectural Knowledge
- Research and Evaluation
- Management Practice and Leadership
- Professionalism and Ethics
Throughout these areas there are Outcomes that cover essential technical knowledge in the following topics, highlighted in the guidance:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Fire and Life Safety
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
- Building Technology
Universities and all other learning providers offering ARB-accredited qualifications will need to meet these Standards. They focus on the following aims:
- that students being awarded the qualification will have met the Outcomes;
- that there are sufficient resources in place to deliver the qualification; and
- that there is an organisational culture that will ensure consistent quality and support students
Taken together with the Outcomes, they help to ensure that someone who has completed accredited qualifications has the practical experience required to join the Register of Architects. The Standards will be supplemented by an Accreditation Handbook, which will set out in more detail the types of information learning providers should produce.
You can see the views of respondents to ARB’s statutory consultation in 2023 and how we developed the Standards here.
Our latest timeline for the transition to the new regulatory framework can be viewed here.