The use of the title 'Architect' is strictly regulated in every State and Territory in Australia, as well as many countries overseas. It is reserved by law in New South Wales and penalties apply for individuals, corporations and firms who misrepresent as architects or offer architectural services while not registered.
There are a number of pathways to register as an Architect. See below for explanations of each pathway and the required forms for completion, including how to register a Corporation or Firm.
Australian Accredited Qualification
This is the most common pathway for architects registering in NSW. To be eligible you must first receive the university qualification in architecture prescribed by the Board or qualifications that the Board deems equivalent. In addition to an accredited qualification, a person must have a minimum of 3,300 hours of work experience covering the mandatory elements of competency and pass the Architectural Practice Examination (APE). Successful completion of the examination qualifies a person to apply for enrolment as an architect in New South Wales and other registration jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand.
Mutual Recognition for architects registered in other States and Territories
Architectural education and registration is consistent across Australia - so it is easy for any architect currently registered in another State or Territory in Australia to apply for registration in New South Wales under the Mutual Recognition Act (MRA). Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a certification from the Registrar of a State Registration Board where a person is currently registered, and payment of the prescribed registration fee.
Non-NSW State Registration Boards To Complete: Form 02A - Mutual Recognition Request
New Zealand - Mutual Recognition
Under the terms of the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement, architects registered in New Zealand are eligible to apply for registration as architects in New South Wales. Applicants are required to submit a completed application form, present the current Practising Certificate from NZRAB and payment of the registration fee. No additional experience or examinations are required.
New Zealand Architects Registration Board to Complete: Form 02B - TTMRA Confirmation Request
Temporary Registration of Overseas Architects
The Board may register an individual who intends to practice in NSW for a limited period and who is not normally a resident of NSW. The Board must be satisfied that the individual has architectural qualifications and practical experience in another country that demonstrates that they are capable of practising architecture in this State with the same competence and skill expected of architects with full registration.
For permanent registration with an overseas qualification, contact the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.
Built Work Program of Assessment (BWPrA)
If you want to become an architect, but do not have the academic qualification in architecture you can become eligible by successfully completing the Built Work Program of Assessment. If you have at least 10 years experience in the architecture industry and have authored the conceptual and schematic design of a complex architectural project in Australia; and undertake work in construction and management services similar to those offered by an architect, then this pathway may be suitable for you.
For more information read our Information Sheet on the BWPrA.
Corporations/Firms & Nominated Architects
Corporations and firms must nominate at least one architect in the practising category to be responsible for the provision of architectural services. Nominated Architects must be aware of their responsibilities outlined in the Architects Act 2003, and the NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct.
For all companies wishing to be published on our public register, a small publication fee applies.
Architects may choose to change their status to non-practising - especially when retiring, or taking time out to care for family or loved ones. Changing your status from practising to non-practising is best done at annual renewal time.