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AA Professional Practice and Practical Experience Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 3)

At its meeting of 19 May 2021, the Board decided that the above qualification should continue to be prescribed until 20 November 2024* under Section 4(1)(a) of the Architects Act 1997 for the purposes of entry onto the United Kingdom Register of Architects.

Prescription is subject to the Standard Conditions set out in the Board’s Procedures, namely:

    1. The Architectural Association School of Architecture’s AA Professional Practice and Practical Experience Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 3) (six months, part-time) qualification should be prescribed for the period 1 July 2021 to 20 November 2024.*
    2. Prescription of the qualification shall be by reference to the Programme Specification – submitted with the application on 22 November 2019 – for the AA Professional Practice and Practical Experience Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 3) (six months, part-time) qualification.  No change may be made to the title of any qualification, or material change to the content so defined within a programme specification (allowing for normal course development) without first obtaining the written permission of the Board.
    3. Annually by 1 December – commencing on 1 December 2021 – the institution will be required to provide the Board with information of the nature set out in Appendix 2 of its Procedures to enable the Board to see that: 
      1. All its Criteria and the relevant requirements set out in Article 46 (or Article 47) of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive [2005/36/EC] have been attained by all candidates awarded the prescribed qualification; 
      2. Adequate systems are in place to ensure that all the Board’s Criteria will be met by candidates for the period of prescription; 
      3. The institution’s resources remain as set out in the application and are adequate; and 
      4. All of the factors referred to in Sections 10.2 and 10.3 of the Procedures continue to be demonstrated, and any conditions of prescription continue to be met.
    4. The institution will ensure that appropriate procedures will be maintained so that all candidates undertaking a prescribed qualification are fully informed of the extent of the application of that qualification to entitlement to registration as an architect in circumstances in which the candidate lacks a required antecedent qualification, e.g. Part 2 without Part 1.
    5. Following each and every set of examinations, the institution shall be required to submit to the Board its pass lists of graduating cohorts who have received the prescribed award.

In addition to the Standard Conditions of prescription, the Board agreed that the following additional condition would be applicable to the qualification under Section 13.2 of the Board’s Procedures:

  • The institution is required to submit explicit statements from the Part 3 chief external examiner every year confirming whether they were satisfied or not that all passing candidates receiving the qualification had met all of ARB’s Criteria at the relevant level.


The Board was confident that:

  1. All candidates awarded the qualification since the qualification was prescribed or last renewed had met all the Criteria;  
  2. The systems used by the institution to ensure that all candidates awarded the qualification have met all the Criteria are adequate, and will continue to ensure that the Criteria are met for the future period of prescription; and
  3. The institution’s future plans and commitment are such that the institution will maintain its ability to ensure that all candidates awarded the qualification meet all the Criteria.

Not all external examiners expressly confirm standards have been met in their reports.  In the event that the external examiners do not make explicit reference to candidates meeting ARB’s Criteria (General Criteria, Graduate Attributes, Professional Criteria as appropriate) in their annual reports, the confirmations required by the additional condition will provide assurance of this to the Board.


* At its meeting of 27 February 2023, the Board agreed to extend prescription until 31 December 2028.