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There is more than one pathway you can follow to become a registered architect. See below for explanations of each pathway and the relevant form you must complete to apply for initial registration in NSW.

Australian accredited qualification in architecture

The most common pathway to registration as an architect is to complete an Australian accredited qualification in architecture. A list of currently accredited qualifications is available here.

In addition to holding an accredited qualification you must also undertake relevant practical experience and successfully complete the Architectural Practice Examination (APE).

Upon successful completion of the APE you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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Overseas qualifications in architecture

If you completed your architectural qualification overseas you will need to have that qualification recognised by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

The AACA Overseas Qualifications Assessment (OQA) process determines whether an overseas academic qualification compares with a current Australian accredited qualification in Architecture.

For more information about the OQA and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

Once your overseas qualification has been deemed comparable to an Australian qualification, you will be eligible to apply for the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), subject to eligibility criteria (including practical experience).

Upon successful completion of the APE you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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UK qualification in architecture (UK MRA)

If you completed your architectural qualification in the United Kingdom (UK), the Mutual Recognition Arrangement in place between the UK and Australia (UK MRA) enables your UK qualification in architecture to be recognised in Australia.

The UK qualifications recognition process is administered by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

For more information and to apply, please visit the AACA website here and select the tab “UK Qualifications Recognition for Australia”.

After receiving your AACA Statement of Recognition, you will be eligible to apply for the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), subject to eligibility criteria (including practical experience).

Upon successful completion of the APE you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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National Program of Assessment (NPrA)

For those without an approved qualification in architecture

If you do not have an approved academic qualification in architecture, the National Program of Assessment (NPrA) provides an alternative pathway to registration as an architect in Australia.

The NPrA is a competency based 'assessment by project' process and is administered by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA). The NPrA is recognised by registration authorities in all Australian states and territories.

For more information and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

Upon successful completion of the NPrA you can apply for the Architectural Practice Examination (APE).

Upon successful completion of the APE you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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NSW Portfolio Program of Assessment (NSW PPA)

For those without an approved qualification in architecture

If you do not have an approved academic qualification in architecture, the NSW Portfolio Program of Assessment (NSW PPA) provides an alternative pathway to registration as an architect in NSW.

The NSW PPA is a competency based 'assessment by portfolio' process and is administered by the NSW Architects Registration Board. The NSW PPA is only recognised in NSW.

For more information, please read the factsheet here.

Upon successful completion of the NSW PPA you can apply for the Architectural Practice Examination (APE) in NSW (only).

Upon successful completion of the APE you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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Experienced Practitioner Assessment (EPA)

The Experience Practitioner Assessment (EPA) is a fast-track pathway to registration for practitioners with an approved academic qualification in architecture and significant, relevant professional experience. The EPA is administered by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

The Local EPA is for graduates of Australian accredited architecture programs. The Overseas EPA is for those with overseas professional qualifications in architecture allowing them to practice as an architect in their country of origin.

For both the Local and Overseas EPA, applicants must have at least 7 years' relevant professional postgraduate experience providing architectural services on complex projects at an Executive Level (principal decision-maker). At least 12 months’ relevant professional experience must be in Australia within the last 3 years. For more information and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

Upon successful completion of the EPA you can apply for initial registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 01 - Application for Initial Registration as an Architect in NSW.

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Temporary registration of overseas architects

If you are an overseas architect who intends to practice in NSW for a limited period and you are not normally a resident of NSW, you may be eligible for temporary registration.

Your application must include evidence of your architectural qualifications and practical experience in another country to demonstrate that you are capable of practising architecture in NSW with the same level of competence and skills as expected of architects with full registration.

For more information and to apply, please complete Form 03 – Temporary Registration of Overseas Architects.

Note that temporary registration is not designed for those seeking recognition of their overseas qualifications for registration as an architect in Australia or for immigration purposes. For more information about the Overseas Qualifications Assessment process administered by the AACA and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

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New Zealand architect registration under Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition (TTMRA)

Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA), an architect registered in New Zealand can apply for registration as an architect in NSW without additional experience or examinations.

To apply for registration as an architect in NSW under the TTMRA, please complete Form 02 - Application for Registration in NSW by Architects Registered in New Zealand.

With your application you must upload a finalised Form 02B - TTMRA Confirmation Request completed by the New Zealand Registered Architects Board, together with a copy of your academic qualification and current NZ Practising Certificate.

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United States architect registration under Mutual Recognition (US/AUS/NZ MRA)

The Mutual Recognition Arrangement in place between the United States of America (US), Australia and New Zealand (US/AUS/NZ MRA) enables US architects registered in one of the 30 US jurisdictions to apply for registration as an architect in NSW without additional experience or examinations.

US signatories include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The first step is to complete the US eligibility process administered by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

For more information and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

After receiving your AACA US/AUS/NZ Mutual Recognition of Registration Arrangement document you can apply for registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 02 – Application for Registration in NSW by Architects Registered in USA/AUS/NZ.

With your application you must upload a copy of the AACA US/AUS/NZ Mutual Recognition of Registration Arrangement document.

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UK architect registration under Mutual Recognition (UK MRA)

The Mutual Recognition Arrangement in place between the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia (UK MRA) enables UK registered architects to apply for registration as an architect in NSW without additional experience or examinations.

The first step is to complete the UK eligibility process administered by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

For more information and to apply, please visit the AACA website here.

After receiving your AACA Statement of Recognition you can apply for registration as an architect in NSW by completing Form 02 – Application for Registration in NSW by Architects Registered in UK/AUS.

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Nominating a responsible architect for a corporation or firm

Businesses that provide architectural services in NSW are required to nominate a responsible architect to oversee the provision of those services.

Find more information for business requirement to nominate a responsible architect.

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For more information, please click here to download the factsheet on nominating a responsible architect for a corporation or firm.

Download here

To nominate an architect to be responsible for the provision of architectural services in NSW on behalf of a business entity please complete Form 04 - Nomination of Responsible Architects for Corporations and Firms for the Provision of Architectural Services.

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Registration as a non practising architect

If you have retired from the practice of architecture or are not likely to provide architectural services for the foreseeable future, you can apply to change your registration status to non practising. Changing your status from practising to non practising is best done when you are renewing your registration.

To apply to transfer to the non practising category, please complete Form 07 - Application for Registration as a Non-Practising Architect in NSW.

With your application you must upload a completed Non Practising Undertaking and a letter confirming that you have retired from the practice of architecture or providing the reason why you are not likely to practise as an architect for the foreseeable future.

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