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ACE Member Organisations

Conseil National de l'Ordre des Architectes (CNOA)

Tour Maine Montparnasse - 33 Av. du Maine, BP 154
F-75755 Paris Cedex 15
Phone: + 33 1 56 58 67 00
Fax: + 33 1 56 58 67 01
Email: internat(at)cnoa(dot)com

Syndicat d'Architecture (SA)

24 rue des Prairies - F-75020 Paris
Phone: +33 1 4361 02 91
Fax: +33 1 40 30 59 77
Email: contact@<wbr />

Union Nationale des Syndicats Français d'Architectes (UNSFA)

53 avenue Victor Hugo – 4e étage, 75116 Paris
Phone: + 33 1 45 44 58 45
Fax: + 33 1 45 44 93 68
Email: [email protected]

The Order oversees the organisation of the profession. It is made up of 26 Regional Councils and a National Council and its main purpose is to:
• Maintain the Regional Registers of architects in order to protect and supervise the use of the title and the function architect;
• Guarantee that the Disciplinary and ethical codes of the profession are respected;
• Oversee the legal forms and conditions of practice of the profession, notably as regards compulsory professional liability insurance;
• Arrange conciliations in the event of conflicts between architects or between architects and clients;
• Take legal action to protect the title architect, and also in the event of infringements to the rules of the planning or procurement law;
• Represent and promote the profession via-à-vis regional public authorities.

The two French architects unions - UNSFA and SA - are recognized by the Ministry of Labour. They each have a national representative and regional offices. Responsible for the defense of the interests of architects, they also work in favor of the defense of architecture as a social and cultural value


Professional title

Protection of the title of architectYes
Protection of the function of architectsYes
Professional title Architect (HMONP) 
Mandatory RegistrationYes
If yes, Where ? The architect cannot use his title and practice unless he/she is registered with a regional Council of the Order of Architects which is composed of a National Council (CNOA) and 17 regional Councils.
Competent authority Conseil National de l'Ordre des Architectes (CNOA) 

Access to the profession: How to become an architect in this country ?

Show the legend

Academic training 


- Entrance at the school after selection/interview by a jury
- Licence of 3 years (= Bachelor, of 180 ECTS)
- Master’s degree of 2 years (of 120 ECTS)

Qualified as


State Diploma in Architecture (Diplôme d’Etat d’Architecte, DEA) evaluated at Master’s level.

Professional training needed?


If yes How much time


- Compulsory professional experience of 6 months,
- Professional course of 150 hours 
- Compulsory professional examination: Authorisation of Command of Work under Own Name (Habilitation à la Maîtrise d’Oeuvre en Nom Propre, HMONP). An academic jury accords this licence (but with a representative of the Order)
- Compulsory professional registration with the Conseil régional de l'ordre des architectes.


- The 1977 Law on Architecture imposes the intervention of an architect for houses of more than 170 m2, for agricultural hangars of more than 800 m2 or for greenhouses of more than 2000 m2.
- 20 schools, which are under the control of the Ministry of Culture, number at 20+1 private school recognized by the French State (ESA), 1 public recognized by French State (INSA), both under the control of the Ministry of "Enseignement supérieur". The schools’ curriculum must be endorsed by the CCST, a committee of experts (composed of university lecturers in architecture) but there is no control in the schools to see how this curriculum is applied: notable differences are thus observed between training programmes.
- Professional authorities deem that a two-year period of professional experience is necessary (in order, notably, to be able to follow an entire project) but, following protests by students, the state reduced this to one year, with only 6 months of practical work (normally carried out under the status of “employee”. This led to a reaction by professional associations). The UNSFA drafted a “Professional Booklet” which received the backing of the Syndicat des Architectes and the CNOA and which constitutes a kind of contract. This Professional Booklet that ties into practical internships and courses continues, however, to be the subject of debate over its content, between the profession and the DAPA, while the school continue to resist.


Additional compulsory practical training- internship1 year 
Requirement for undertaking a period of traineeship Final diploma
Period of traineeship supervised (overseen)
By who ?
Practical training period
Where ?
To which conditions
In an architecture company, under the supervision of an architect
Number of hours per month required
Compulsory Professional examinationYes
Complementary professional education150 hours
Remuneration of the TraineeshipYes
Trainee accompaniedYes
Specific supplementary courses organisedSometimes
Model form of contract availableNo
Traineeship and practical experience undertaken abroad taken into account YES after the consent of the School
Evaluation of the TraineeshipNo
Evaluation method used

Liability and insurance

2 years for equipment and 10 years for defects affecting the stability of the work (counted from acceptance). Decennial liability is based on the presumption of fault: the finding of injury is sufficient to establish liability.
Insurance is compulsory: lack of insurance may result in suspension or even removal from the roll of the Order.

Read the insurance sheets

Continuous Professional Development

Does a system of CPD for architects exists in your country ?Yes
If yes:
- Is it compulsory ?
- Is it encouraged ?
- Is it free ?
If it is compulsory,
is it required by law,
or by a Code of Conduct ?

Provided by the code of conduct and by-laws which specify this obligation and the conditions to be met to answer them

If it is regulated, who regulates the system:
a professional body,
a governmental body,
a combination of the two ?
Is it organised ?

YES / At least, 20h/year or 60h on 3 years.

Who provides the courses: Training organizations entitled to practice in France
What level of training is provided: From development to expertise
Are certain subjects mandatory ?No
What types of activities or provisions are accepted :  From MOOC, blended learning to class-room format and to a lesser degree, exhibitions, trade-fair, conferences…
Do you have any evaluation criteria for the CPD material ? YES quality criteria developed by the market
Who recognize (accredits) these trainings : CNOA + regional councils
Development of the trainings :
A. Estimated number of courses / year
B. Estimated number of participants / year
C. Estimated lesson hours / year
From the beginning to the end 2016: 3700 training organized and 4200 architects trained
Level of requirements for the architects :

At least, 20h/year or 60h on 3 years.

Is this required level validated or checked and how:
A. Not requested,
B. Self-assessment of value,
C. Attendance tracking,
D. Self-assessment using self-test,
E. By regular checks,
F. Examination,
G. Thesis,
H. Others means (e.g. electronic monitoring) ?
B. Self-assessment of value,
E. Every 3 years, regular checks by regional councils of the Ordre
Is training (provision) delivered abroad accepted ?Yes
What kind of sanction is applied for the non-compliance with CPD obligation:
A. None,
B.  Reprimand,
C. Expulsion from the register,
D. Other ?
The failure of the architect to observe these rules must in the last resort result in a disciplinary sanction (reprimand)
Do you have a database of the content of your CPD Programme ?


Requirements to practice in this country

What requirements must a European architects fulfil to practice in this country ?

Qualifications recognized by 2005/36 Directive ?



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