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AACA - Architects

Architects Accreditayion Coucil of Australia


Information for Architects regarding visas and immigration to Australia.

Obtaining a visa to reside permanently in Australia made easy.

On this page you will find all forms and information documents pertaining to Architects. All documents are listed under "Downloads," top right corner of this page.


Generally, all qualifications in architecture obtained outside Australia must be assessed in terms of equivalence with an Australian qualification.

Provisional Assessment
Many intending migrants receive a provisional assessment of their qualification from the AACA as part of the evaluation of their migration application before they come to Australia. The provisional assessment is for guidance only and is not sufficient for registration purposes. A final assessment, known as a Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE), must be made by AACA after you have arrived in Australia and it may differ from the provisional assessment.

If you have not received an AACA provisional assessment before arriving in Australia you will be required to obtain one after arrival in order to be eligible for a RAE.

Final assessment (RAE)
The final assessment of an overseas architectural qualification is undertaken by AACA, using a system of Competency Based Assessment. This assessment is only available in Australia.

The Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE)
The Review of Academic Equivalence (RAE) is the assessment of overseas academic qualifications through an interview process, in which the interviewers examine in detail the content of the course leading to the qualification to determine the extent to which it delivers the competencies required. These are contained in The Competency Standards - NCSA 01, and form the basis for accreditation for Australian courses, as well as the assessment of overseas qualifications.

If you have professional qualifications in architecture obtained overseas, and obtained an AACA provisional assessment you may undertake the RAE which is only available in Australia.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to undertake the RAE, you may apply for the National Program of Assessment.  Please refer to the No Recognised Qualifications page for further information on this process.

The Procedure

If you wish to apply for a RAE assessment you should obtain an application form from the relevant Architects' Board or by contacting AACA. In support of the application, you will need to provide certified copies of all documents listed below.

  1. The degree or diploma in the original language;
  2. official transcripts of educational courses completed (or student book or mark sheets) in the original language. A transcript lists the subjects studied by the individual student each year and marks obtained;
  3. evidence of employment experience after graduation;
  4. references relating to professional work experience from employers;
  5. evidence of registration/licensure, if any;
  6. evidence of change of name (where applicable);
  7. evidence of residence status in Australia.

All documents not in English must be translated and certified copies attached to the documents to which they refer.

The RAE requires you to attend an interview with a RAE Panel. The interview is usually held at the office of the Architects' Registration Board in the State/Territory in which you are living.

The Interview

AACA will notify the Board when the preliminary evaluation of documentation forwarded with the application has been completed. The Board in turn will advise you of the time and place of the interview. (The interview normally takes place about 8 weeks after AACA receives the assessment application.)

It is important that you bring to the interview an adequate portfolio of academic work completed as a student. If the work presented is insufficient for an assessment to be made, a final decision will be deferred until additional work is obtained.

The recommendations of the interviewing panel are referred back to AACA. AACA will write directly to you with its decision, normally within two or three weeks of the interview.

Knowledge of English

An adequate knowledge of English, including the technical aspects relevant to Architecture, is a requirement for registration. If you are not confident of your knowledge of English you are advised to defer your application for a RAE until you have had time to improve.

Equivalent Qualification

If your qualification is found to be equivalent, therefore meeting the academic requirements for registration as an architect, you must complete a minimum of 2 years acceptable practical experience and obtain a pass in the AACA Architectural Practice Examination before you may seek registration. One year of the practical experience must be post-graduate and undertaken in Australia.

Non-equivalent Qualification

If AACA finds that your qualification does not meet the required standard for registration, you will be advised by letter of the subject areas which are deficient so that you may undertake further study in these subjects at an Australian school of architecture to satisfy the academic requirement needed for registration.

Alternatively you may apply to undertake the National Program of Assessment which allows you to demonstrate equivalence through experience. Please refer to the "No Recognised Qualification" page for further information on this process.

No Recognised Qualifications

If you do not have a formal qualification in architecture or your qualification has not been assessed as equivalent to an accredited qualification, but you have substantial skill and experience in the architectural profession, you may wish apply to undertake the National Program of Assessment (NPrA). Information on the NPrA is provided below:


The NPrA is project based. You are required to submit a report and companion design drawings in response to a detailed brief for a specific project on a particular (hypothetical) site. In making the submissions, you are required to demonstrate to the assessors the possession of skills (competencies) taken from The Competency Standards - NCSA 01.

The NPrA is centrally coordinated by AACA; currently one program is offered per year. Applicants accepted into the program will be required to complete a project submission within 6 months of the date of commencement.

The National Competency Standards in Architecture
These Standards are listed fully in the document The Competency Standards - NCSA 01 issued by the AACA. Further information is available in NCSA 02 � Guide for Applicants. Please refer to the "Publications" page of this website for details on these booklets.

Competency Standards Relevant to the NPrA
The particular Competency Standards that NPrA submissions must address and satisfy are:

Unit 1 Design

Context 1.1

To create a design, which is capable of realisation, through the exercise of knowledge, imagination, judgement and professional responsibility.

Context 1.2

To formulate an initial response to a project brief sufficient to obtain endorsement, of overall objectives and concept, by a client and other interested parties.

Context 1.3

To develop a design proposal from an initial concept.

Context 1.4

To resolve a Schematic Design sufficient to obtain agreement and authorisation to proceed to documentation for its translation into built form.

Context 1.5

To continuously comply with the brief and meet contractual agreements throughout the course of implementation of a design project.

Unit 2 Documentation

Context 2.1

To communicate information, in the course of determining a brief and throughout the conceptual, design development, documentation and construction phases of the engagement.

Unit 3 Project Management

Context 3.1

To confirm objectives and conditions at inception of the project.


To enrol for the National Program of Assessment, you must satisfy academic, English language and work experience requirements as follows:

  1. Academic Requirement - Pass in Year 12 or accepted equivalent OR minimum of year 10 plus a minimum of two years full time (or part time equivalent) tertiary study.
  2. English Language Requirement - Year 12 standard or accepted equivalent (ie an overall score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scale or other recognised equivalent, eg Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  3. Work Experience - Minimum of 7 years work experience (architectural, planning, building or other related fields); 3 of the 7 years must be in an architect's office. A minimum 1 year of the 3 must be in an architect's office in Australia.

A partially completed qualification is not recognised as work experience.

Where candidature is refused on the grounds of eligibility, you may seek review of the determination upon the submission of additional evidence.


The number of candidates is generally limited to 20, admitted in order of receipt of application.


Each program is advertised in 'The Australian' newspaper. For information on the date of the next advertisement, please contact the AACA.

Once a Program has been advertised, Candidates must forward the NPrA application form, together with all the required documentation.

Currently, the total fee for the Program is $4,000

Additional notes on the NPrA

  • It should be noted that this Program has been established to assess fully and comprehensively the architectural competency of each individual candidate.
  • Admission to the Program cannot be taken as an indication of a successful outcome of the assessment process.
  • Before embarking on the Program, you should carefully assess the abilities and knowledge you have gained during your eligibility period and make a judgement as to their appropriateness as background to complete what is a demanding and rigorous task.
  • For your information, the current success rate is less than 50% of the total number of candidates admitted to the Program.


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