New fast-track mutual recognition agreement signed between Australia and UK architect registration boards
Mutual recognition agreement for Australian and UK Architects. Image: Canva.
  • Landmark deal signed between Australian and UK architect registration boards
  • Architectural qualifications to be recognised between both countries
  • Mutual recognition agreement will save architects time and money compared to other registration pathways

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (ACCA) and the Architectural Registration Board United Kingdom (ARB UK) have announced a watershed mutual recognition agreement allowing Australian and United Kingdom-registered architects to move more easily between countries.

ACAA Chief Executive Officer Kathlyn Loseby said the newly minted agreement would facilitate more architectural collaboration and innovation.

“Our mutual recognition agreement is a significant step to strengthen the professional ties between our countries and create a global network of architects committed to delivering outstanding architectural solutions.”

Kathlyn Loseby, CEO of ACAA

“For individual architects, it reduces the complexity and time previously required for recognition.”

Faster, cheaper, and less painful path to recognition

From 25 May, the agreement, which took form after six years of dialogue, will fast-track the recognition of architectural qualifications between both nations, involving less administrative work while still upholding high standards.

Architects will need to sit through fewer examinations when applying for registration in the partner country, having their qualifications immediately acknowledged upon successful application.

Before the arrangement, Australian-qualified architects looking to get qualified in the UK were required to go through the Alternative Route to Registration. The fees for the examinations through this recognition pathway were a staggering UK£1,950 for parts 1 and 2 each, with high failure rates for each exam.

Additionally, architecture graduates with a master’s degree from either country can complete their training in the other. For instance, an architectural graduate from Australia can have their degree recognised and obtain registration without the need for further certification.

Architects registered in the UK will be required to learn the 13 specific competencies for Australian requirements before applying for registration through the mutual recognition agreement pathway—comprehensive notes will be made available on the ACCA website before the interview, where they will be quizzed on their understanding of the competencies.

In addition, UK-registered architects are not required to be in Australia before starting the mutual recognition agreement process for registration.

Another perk of the new agreement is that UK-based architects have the option to apply for a skilled migration visa under the occupation “architect” upon kickstarting the mutual recognition agreement process.

ARB UK Chief Executive Officer High Simpson says: “The agreement builds on the close links between our countries and has been made possible because of the constructive engagement between regulatory bodies and our confidence in the integrity of regulation and assurance of standards across Australia.

“We’re delighted that as well as helping eligible architects to register, saving them time and money, the new and more proportionate process will also create opportunities for tomorrow’s architects to study internationally.”

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