For updates on the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), including opening and closing dates for applications, monitor the Board's APE webpage here.
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 NSW 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.
If you have an overseas qualification, or are interested in the Overseas or Local Experience Practitioner pathway to registration, contact the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.
For further information, listen to our podcasts on registration.
To learn more about the pathways to registration, join one of our free webinars. Register here.
Pathways to Registration
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.
The Overseas Qualifications Assessment Process is facilitated by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA). It is conducted in 2 stages, and determines if individual overseas academic qualifications compare with a current Australian accredited qualification in architecture.
If an applicant’s qualification has been deemed comparable to an Australian qualification, he or she is eligible to undertake the Architectural Practice Examination.
Applicants may also use the outcome of the AACA’s assessment of their qualification to support applications for the purpose of migration to Australia under the Australian Government Skilled Migration Program, for the occupation ‘Architect’, ANZSCO code 232111.
For more information, link here.
NSW Portfolio Program of Assessment (NSW PPA)
This assessment process is administered by the NSW Architects Registration Board.
Register here for an online Candidate Briefing on the NSW PPA, on Wednesday 13 April, 4.30 - 6.00pm. This webinar will be presented by Dr Kirsten Orr, Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board. Candidates submit a portfolio of three to four complex architectural projects from the last ten years for which they have been primary decision maker for the project initiation, conceptual design, detailed design and construction documentation. At least one of the projects should have been built in Australia in the last ten years, or overseas in the last five years. In addition to the portfolio submission, candidates submit supporting written material and are interviewed about their skills and experience in the architectural services profession. The NSW PPA is a challenging registration pathway for exceptional people with exemplary skills and substantial industry experience in the architectural services profession, but no approved architectural qualification. Eligible candidates will have led the design and delivery of high-quality, complex architectural projects. The NSW PPA should not be regarded as a shortcut to registration as an architect in Australia. If a candidate is successful, they will be granted access to the next available Architectural Practice Examination in NSW, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Before applying, please ensure that you have consulted the Information Sheet for the NSW PPA, which is available to download here. Download the Application Form (Form 11) here. 2022 Timetable for NSW Portfolio Program of Assessment Stage 1
- Applications open Monday, 2 May 2022
- Applications close Monday, 30 May 2022
- Results for Stage 1 emailed Friday, 8 July 2022
- Invitations for interview emailed Friday, 15 July 2022
- Interviews conducted Monday, 1 August - Friday, 12 August 2022
- Results for Stage 2 emailed Friday, 19 August 2022
- Applications open Tuesday, 4 October 2022
- Applications close Monday, 17 October 2022
- Interviews conducted Monday, 7 November - Friday 18 November 2022
- Results for Stage 3 emailed Friday, 25 November 2022
National Program of Assessment (NPrA)
The National Program of Assessment (NPrA) is a competency based assessment for those who have substantial skills and experience in the architectural profession, but do not have a recognised architectural qualification.
This assessment is facilitated by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA)
The NPrA involves a design exercise that tests candidates’ competency in architecture on the basis of their acquired knowledge and experience. The focus of the design exercise is to design a complex building in response to a hypothetical design brief.
If a candidate is successful, he or she is eligible to undertake the Architectural Practice Examination.
Overseas or Local Experienced Practitioner Assessment
There are two fast-track pathways to registration for experienced local or overseas trained practitioners. This process is facilitated by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).
The Local Experienced Practitioner Assessment program provides an alternate fast-track pathway to registration for graduates of Australian accredited architecture programs with relevant experience at executive level in complex projects.
Similarly, the Experienced Practitioner Assessment (overseas) provides a fast-track pathway to registration in Australia for overseas qualified architect practitioners with experience at the executive level in complex projects who are not eligible for registration under existing mutual recognition agreements.
Successful completion of either of these assessments allows candidates to bypass the Architectural Practice Examination and apply directly for registration as an architect with their state or territory architect registration board.
For more details, visit here.
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.
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
Automatic Mutual Recognition (JobPass)
Once JobPass commences in NSW on 1 July 2022, architects from all Australian states and territories apart from Queensland will be able to work in NSW under JobPass. Under JobPass, you do not become registered in NSW. JobPass merely allows you to work in NSW because you are registered in your home state. Thus, if your registration in your home state ceases, your entitlement to work in NSW under JobPass will likewise cease.
Interstate architects intending to work in NSW under JobPass must notify the NSW Architects Registration Board via the notification form that will be published from 1 July 2022 on the Board’s website.
If you do not provide this notification, you will not be eligible to work in NSW under JobPass.
For more information, please consult the Information Sheet for Architects Working Interstate here.
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
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.