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MHCLG Guidance: The system for recognising EU qualified architects in the UK in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

January 24, 2019 | News Release

Today, Government has issued guidance on the recognition system for architects holding European Economic Area (EEA) qualifications.  The guidance does not change current law.  It is intended to provide advice for business and other stakeholders on the system planned in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The guidance explains that in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the current system of reciprocal recognition for EU nationals would cease and a new interim system of recognition for those with EEA qualifications would take its place.  EEA professionals, including UK nationals, who are already established and have received a recognition decision in the UK would not be affected.

We appreciate many will want to understand what this means for the profession and we are committed to providing definitive, practical information where possible, now and in the future as we learn more.  We will be having discussions with Government in order to gain the information we need to fully understand the expectations and practical implications for the profession.

The current system
Recognition decisions currently operate under the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC (MRPQD), a reciprocal arrangement which enables the automatic recognition of professional qualifications for EEA nationals in other EEA Member States.

The new system
In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, Government has decided to maintain a system of recognition for individuals with relevant EEA qualifications and access to the profession in their EEA home state, subject to immigration policies which may be in place.  Under this new system, those applying for a recognition decision could be of any nationality.

The Architects Act 1997, which sets out our statutory duties, would be amended via a Statutory Instrument in order to facilitate the new system.  In the event the Statutory Instrument does not come into force by exit day, we would continue to operate under the current Act for a short time.

Key changes in the event of a no deal

  • The MRPQD system would cease
  • The existing list of MRPQD qualifications will be ‘frozen’ on exit day and used as an initial reference source for relevant decisions
  • Individuals seeking recognition under the new system would no longer need to be EEA nationals
  • The section of the Architects Register known as Part 2 (for temporary and occasional services) would be withdrawn
  • The route to registration in UK known as the General System would be withdrawn

Further advice from ARB on this guidance can be viewed on our website here.  We will add to this information as we learn more.

Our dedicated Brexit content can be found on our website here – arb.org.uk/brexit



 Notes for Editors

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest.

Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:

  • Maintain the Architects Register
  • Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect
  • Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
  • Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
  • Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect

ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council.  This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.

For further information, please contact Kate Howlett, Communications Lead on 020 7580 5861 or by email at KateH@arb.org.uk.