Architects: Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA)

If you intend to apply for migration to Australia under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the Skilled Occupations List at the time you apply. In order to make a valid application, you must have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

AACA is the assessing authority for the following occupation:

  • Architects

Generally, all qualifications in architecture obtained outside Australia must be assessed in terms of equivalence with an Australian qualification.

Provisional Assessment

Many intending migrants receive a provisional assessment of their qualification from the AACA as part of the evaluation of their migration application before they come to Australia. The provisional assessment is for guidance only and is not sufficient for registration purposes. A final assessment, known as a Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE), must be made by AACA after you have arrived in Australia and it may differ from the provisional assessment.

If you have not received an AACA provisional assessment before arriving in Australia you will be required to obtain one after arrival in order to be eligible for a RAE.

Final Assessment (RAE)

The final assessment of an overseas architectural qualification is undertaken by AACA, using a system of Competency Based Assessment. This assessment is only available in Australia.

Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE)

The Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE) is the assessment of overseas academic qualifications through an interview process, in which the interviewers examine in detail the content of the course leading to the qualification to determine the extent to which it delivers the competencies required.

If you have professional qualifications in architecture obtained overseas, and have obtained an AACA provisional assessment you may undertake the RAE which is only available in Australia.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to undertake the RAE, you may apply for the National Program of Assessment.

Procedure

If you wish to apply for a RAE assessment, you will need to provide certified copies of all documents listed below:

  • The degree or diploma in the original language;
  • Official transcripts of educational courses completed (or student book or mark sheets) in the original language;
  • A transcript listing the subjects studied by the individual student each year and marks obtained;
  • Evidence of employment experience after graduation;
  • References relating to professional work experience from employers;
  • Evidence of registration/licensure, if any;
  • Evidence of change of name (where applicable); and
  • Evidence of residence status in Australia.

All documents not in English must be translated and certified copies attached to the documents to which they refer.

The RAE requires you to attend an interview with a RAE Panel. The interview is usually held at the office of the Architects' Registration Board in the State/Territory in which you are living.

Interview

AACA will notify the Board when the preliminary evaluation of documentation forwarded with the application has been completed. The Board in turn will advise you of the time and place of the interview. (The interview normally takes place about 8 weeks after AACA receives the assessment application.)

It is important that you bring to the interview an adequate portfolio of academic work completed as a student. If the work presented is insufficient for an assessment to be made, a final decision will be deferred until additional work is obtained.

The recommendations of the interviewing panel are referred back to AACA. AACA will write directly to you with its decision, normally within 2 or 3 weeks of the interview.

English Language Ability

An adequate knowledge of English, including the technical aspects relevant to Architecture, is a requirement for registration. If you are not confident of your knowledge of English you are advised to defer your application for a RAE until you have had time to improve.

Equivalent Qualification

If your qualification is found to be equivalent, therefore meeting the academic requirements for registration as an architect, you must complete a minimum of 2 years acceptable practical experience and obtain a pass in the AACA Architectural Practice Examination before you may seek registration. One year of the practical experience must be post-graduate and undertaken in Australia.

Non-equivalent Qualification

If AACA finds that your qualification does not meet the required standard for registration, you will be advised by letter of the subject areas which are deficient so that you may undertake further study in these subjects at an Australian school of architecture.

Alternatively you may apply to undertake the National Program of Assessment which allows you to demonstrate equivalence through experience. Please refer to the "No Recognised Qualification" page for further information on this process.

No Recognised Qualification

If you do not have a formal qualification in architecture or your qualification has not been assessed as equivalent to an accredited qualification, but you have substantial skill and experience in the architectural profession, you may wish apply to undertake the National Program of Assessment (NPrA).

The National Program of Assessment (NPrA)

The NPrA is project based. You are required to submit a report and companion design drawings in response to a detailed brief for a specific project on a particular (hypothetical) site. In making the submissions, you are required to demonstrate to the assessors the possession of core skills and competencies.

Eligibility

To enrol for the National Program of Assessment, you must satisfy academic, English language and work experience requirements.

These requirements are:

  • Academic Requirement - Pass in Year 12 or accepted equivalent OR minimum of Year 10 plus a minimum of 2 years full time (or part time equivalent) tertiary study.
  • English Language Requirement - Year 12 standard or accepted equivalent (i.e. an overall score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scale or other recognised equivalent, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Work Experience - Minimum of 7 years work experience (architectural, planning, building or other related fields). 3 of the 7 years must be in an architect's office and a minimum 1 year of the 3 must be in an architect's office in Australia. A partially completed qualification is not recognised as work experience.

Where candidature is refused on the grounds of eligibility, you may seek review of the determination upon the submission of additional evidence.

Additional notes on the NPrA

It should be noted that this Program has been established to assess fully and comprehensively the architectural competency of each individual candidate.

Admission to the Program cannot be taken as an indication of a successful outcome of the assessment process.

Before embarking on the Program, you should carefully assess the abilities and knowledge you have gained during your eligibility period and make a judgement as to their appropriateness as background to complete wha is a demanding and rigorous task.

The current success rate is less than 50% of the total number of candidates admitted to the Program.

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