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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: syndarch(at)gmail(dot)com

Union Nationale des Syndicats Français d'Architectes (UNSFA)

29, Boulevard Raspail - F-75007 Paris
Phone: + 33 1 45 44 58 45
Fax: + 33 1 45 44 93 68

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 can not practise unless he/she is registered with a regional Council of the Order of Architects which is composed of a National Council (CNOA) and 26 regional Councils.

Conseil National de l'Ordre des Architectes (CNOA)
Competent authority Conseil National de l'Ordre des Architectes (CNOA) 

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

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• Before 1969 (the Fine Arts system):
- Preparation for competitive entrance examination: 4 to 5 years (The novice learning drawing techniques from the “veterans”)
- Competitive entrance examination
- 4 to 5 years of studies (working by agency of lecturers)
- Qualification
- Possible ‘Prix de Rome’ (for the best student)

• Until 2007:
- 2x2 years
- 2 years supplementary for those wanting to become DPLG
- Government qualified (Diplômé Par Le Gouvernement, DPLG)
- Two-year internship (?)

• Today:
- Numerus clausus (fixed by the schools)
- Licence of 3 years (= Bachelor, of 180 ECTS)
- Master’s degree of 2 years (of 120 ECTS)
- State Diploma in Architecture (Diplôme d’Etat d’Architecte, DEA) evaluated at Master’s level.
- To be able to practise under one’s own name: + 1 year comprising:
- 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 des ordres des architectes.
- Continued training: Mandatory, 20h/year and 60h on 3 years.

- 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
Number of hours per month required
Compulsory Professional examinationYes
Complementary professional education150 hours
Remuneration of the Traineeship
Trainee accompanied 
Specific supplementary courses organised
Model form of contract available 
Traineeship and practical experience undertaken abroad taken into account
Evaluation of the Traineeship
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 ?
If yes:
- Is it compulsory ?
- Is it encouraged ?
- Is it free ?
Not yet compulsory but very encouraged 
If it is compulsory,
is it required by law,
or by a Code of Conduct ?
Provided by the code of conduct which specifies the architect maintains his competencies
If it is regulated, who regulates the system:
a professional body,
a governmental body,
a combination of the two ?

Is it organised ? 
Who provides the courses:
What level of training is provided: 
Are certain subjects mandatory ?
What types of activities or provisions are accepted : 
Do you have any evaluation criteria for the CPD material ?
Who recognize (accredits) these trainings :
Development of the trainings :
A. Estimated number of courses / year
B. Estimated number of participants / year
C. Estimated lesson hours / year
Level of requirements for the architects :
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) ?

Is training (provision) delivered abroad accepted ? 
What kind of sanction is applied for the non-compliance with CPD obligation:
A. None,
B.  Reprimand,
C. Expulsion from the register,
D. Other ?
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 ?



architects in europe

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