Getting Registered

In order to be registered with the NSW Architects Registration Board, a person must have the prescribed university qualification in architecture, or other qualifications that the Board deems equivalent.  This can include overseas qualifications in architecture accredited by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, or successful completion of the pathway for anyone who has gained the competencies through experience. In addition to an accredited qualification, a person must have a minimum 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 with other registration jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand. 

The use of the title "architect" is strictly regulated in every State and Territory.  It is reserved by law in NSW as well as in many countries overseas.  Only persons who are registered as architects may use the title "architect", or descriptions such as "architectural" which derive from it. See Information Sheet - Illegal Use of the Title Architect

Architects pay an annual registration fee each year to maintain their registration.  Non-payment of the registration fee results in suspension of registration.  Upon renewal, the architect receives a statement of currency which shows the individual's registration number and verifies the status as an architect registered in NSW. 

The registration status of a person can be checked by logging on to the Board’s website or by contacting the Board’s office. The full name of a registered person is included on the Register of Architects, together with the person's registered address and date of enrolment.

In NSW, corporations and firms must nominate at least one architect to be responsible for the provision of architectural services. Registration compels architects to act professionally, ethically and with integrity.  Architects are bound by an enforceable NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct embodied in the Regulations under the Architects Act.

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. 

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. 

See Form 03– Temporary Registration of Overseas Architects

Non-Practising Status

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.

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.

Built Work Program of Assessment

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.

Download the Forms and Information sheet here

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