Pathways to registration as an architect

There are many pathways to register as an architect in NSW. Common to all the pathways is the principle that candidates should meet the competencies detailed in the National Standard of Competency for Architects - the standard developed by the profession and accepted by all Architects Registration Boards in Australia as defining the threshold level of knowledge and experience necessary for a person to practice as an architect.

Architectural Practice Examination 

The Architectural Practice Examination (APE) is a national examination developed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) in conjunction with Architects Registration Boards. It is coordinated nationally by AACA which provides all examination documents and monitors implementation and examination results. 

Successful completion of the APE gives candidates eligibility to apply for registration as an architect with any Registration Board in Australia.

The APE consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 -   Assessment of Eligibility for Admission
  • Part 2 -   National Examination Paper
  • Part 3 -   Examination by Interview

The NSW Architects Registration Board conducts two sessions of the Architectural Practice Examination each year. See the APE Calendar on this website.

Read  INFORMATION SHEET - Architectural Practice Examination

Applicants for the Examination are encouraged to use the online facility to apply for the examination and can be accessed here


 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 if you have successfully completed the Built Work Program of Assessment. If you have 10 years experience in the architecture industry and has 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 the process may be suitable for you.

For further details, you can download the Forms and Information sheet here


Locally Experienced Practitioner 

This program provides an alternate pathway to registration for graduates of accredited Australian architecture programs with relevant experience at executive level in complex projects. Successful completion of this program allows applicants to bypass the Architectural Practice Examination and apply directly for registration as an architect to the Architect Registration Board in the relevant State or Territory.

For further details go to


Overseas Architect Assessment 

The Overseas Architect Assessment Program provides a ‘fast-track’ to registration in Australia for overseas architects who have the appropriate skills and knowledge and are not eligible for registration under existing mutual recognition agreements. Successful completion of this program allows applicants to bypass the Architectural Practice Examination and apply directly for registration as an architect with their state or territory architects registration board.

Applicants must demonstrate an applied understanding of the required Performance Criteria from the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). Through a portfolio of complex projects, applicants will demonstrate appropriate experience and practice of architecture at an Executive Level, as well as capacity to exercise professional skill as an architectural practitioner in Australia

Read further information and download forms from

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