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ACE Member Organisation

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

8, Weymouth Street – London
W1W 5BU - United Kingdom

Phone: + 44 20 7580 5861

Fax: + 44 20 7436 5269

Email: info(at)arb.org(dot)uk
Website: www.arb.org.uk

The Architects Registration Board is the UK Regulator for the profession of architects. ARB is an independent, public interest body which:
• prescribes the qualifications and practical experience needed to become an architect in the UK,  
• keeps the UK Register of Architects,
• provides a Code of Conduct and Practice for architects,
• investigates complaints about architects’ conduct or competence, and
• regulates the use of the title architect.

ARB is also the UK Competent Authority for architects under the Professional Qualifications Directive and the Services Directive.

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

66 Portland Place - London
W1B 1AD - United Kingdom
Phone: + 44 20 7580 5533
Fax: + 44 20 7323 2309
Email: international(at)riba(dot)org

Website: www.architecture.com

The RIBA is the architects’ professional body, established by Royal Charter in 1834. The RIBA’s purpose is to champion better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and its members. The RIBA is recognised internationally as the leading authority on architecture and the built environment, and is also known for excellence in the promotion of architecture, setting standards, stimulating innovation, sharing knowledge and demonstrating the economic, social and environmental benefits of good architecture. The RIBA:
• Validates UK and international schools of architecture which achieve the standards necessary to prepare students for the professional practice of architecture and provide the qualifications and practical experience needed to become an RIBA chartered member.
• Provides a Code of Professional Conduct, Disciplinary Procedures, and Good Practice Guides for chartered architects and other RIBA members.

With government, the RIBA works to improve the design quality of public buildings, new homes and new communities in the UK. More information can be found at www.architecture.com.


Professional title

Protection of the title of architectYes.
Only the title of “architect” is protected (only architects registered with the ARB obtain the right to the title).
Protection of the function of architectsNo 
Professional title Architect
Mandatory RegistrationYes
If yes, Where ? Architects Registration Board (ARB) - Compulsory registration to be able to use the title but not to practise the profession 
Competent authority for architects under the Professional Qualifications Directive and the Services Directive (2006/123/EC
UK Statutory Regulatory Body
Architects Registration Board (ARB)
Professional membership body Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

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

Individuals seeking to register in the UK have typically undertaken the following ARB-prescribed and RIBA-validated qualifications:

BSc/BA – undergraduate level
(“Part 1”)
3 years, full-time (or part-time equivalent)
Diploma/Masters* (“Part 2”) – postgraduate level2 years, full-time (or part-time equivalent)

The Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications collectively meet the requirements set out in Article 46 of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive. An individual holding Part 1 and Part 2 will hold 2 of the 3 qualifications required for registration in the UK. In addition, individuals are required to hold the following Certificate:

Architects Registration Board Part 3 Certificate in Architectural Education A minimum of 24 months practical experience, followed by a Part 3 qualification (part-time/distance learning)Requirement for registration in UK (Access to Market)

Accordingly, in order to register with the ARB and practice using the title ‘architect’, an individual must additionally gain a Part 3 qualification which is prescribed by ARB and, typically, validated by the RIBA.  To be eligible to undertake a Part 3 qualification an individual must have gained a minimum of 24 months practical experience.  A Part 3 qualification typically involves the assessment of the practical experience gained by an individual, as well as the assessment of written submissions and examinations, and an oral examination to determine whether the individual has met the UK’s Part 3 Criteria.

Practical experience is usually recorded on the RIBA’s Professional Experience Development Record (PEDR) found at www.pedr.co.uk

An individual who, in addition to a Part 1 and Part 2 qualification, successfully gains the Part 3 qualification will be eligible for registration in the UK.  Where ARB is satisfied that the appropriate qualifications have been gained, an individual will be issued with a Part 3 Certificate in Architectural Education, which will also confirm that the individual holds a Part 1 qualification and a Part 2 qualification. 

Obtaining the ARB Part 3 Certificate in Architectural Education is an administrative process and only those who hold a Part 1, a Part 2 and a Part 3, which have been prescribed by ARB, will be eligible for such a Certificate.

The typical pattern that a student will follow to registration is as follows:

(Part 1)
3 years, full-time
(or part-time equivalent)
12 months professional practical experience 12 months professional practical experience
Diploma/Masters* (Part 2) 2 years, full-time
(or part-time equivalent)
12 months professional practical experience12 months professional practical experience
Part 3 qualificationPart-time/Distance Learning

- Institutions set their own entry requirements for entry to their qualifications. Typically institutions require individuals to hold three A levels (often, AAA; AAB; ABB but these will vary from school to school) to gain entry to a Part 1 level qualification but other routes are available for mature students and/or individuals with relevant experience
- There are currently in excess of 40 schools of architecture and examination centres in the UK; are typically (but not exclusively) based in universities or similar organisations across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland
- The duration of full time academic study is normally 5 years, with part time modes taking up to 3 years longer
- In addition to mainstream university-located programmes, the RIBA offers its own distance learning programme at parts 1 and 2; this is the RIBA Office-Based Examination found at http://www.architecture.com/EducationAndCareers/RIBAOffice-basedExamination/RIBAOfficebasedExamination.aspx
- The completion of at least 2 years of appropriate professional practical experience is mandatory before registration in the UK.  Further advice about the professional practical experience requirements can be found at the following link: http://www.arb.org.uk/practical-training-requirements and http://www.pedr.co.uk/
- It is compulsory to register with the ARB in order to use the title ‘architect’ but not to practise the profession (membership of the RIBA is voluntary, although the majority of registered architects elect to join the RIBA.)

Liability and insurance

6 years for ordinary contracts (5 years in Scotland), 12 years for secured contracts (20 years in Scotland) counted from the appearance of damage.


Compulsory practical training An individual must have recently completed a minimum of 24 months’ practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry which should include at least 12 months working in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man under the direct supervision of an architect.

Definitions and further information and can be found at: http://www.arb.org.uk/practical-training-requirements and http://www.pedr.co.uk/ 
Requirement for undertaking a period of traineeship There are no specific requirements for undertaking a traineeship.
Typically students will undertake the first 12 months’ experience on completion of their undergraduate qualification; since a minimum of 12 of the 24 months should be undertaken within the 24 months immediately preceding the Part 3 examination, students will typically complete the second 12 months after taking the Part 2 qualification.
Period of traineeship supervised (overseen) Practical training must be undertaken under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry. This will typically be an architect registered in the UK or the country within which the experience takes place or a chartered or similarly qualified member of an appropriate professional body.

The 12 months’ experience undertaken in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man should be directly supervised by an architect.
Practical training period 12 of the 24 months should be undertaken within the EEA, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. The remaining 12 months may be undertaken within these areas or the rest of the world.
Number of hours per month required The requirement is for 24 months of full time experience. Full time is defined as a minimum of 20 hours a week; Those whose placement is less than 20 hours per week are expected to complete a commensurately longer period of training.
Compulsory Professional examination Yes; compulsory professional examination by a mixed jury (academics +professionals) validated by the RIBA (with Professional Examiners selected from the RIBA list) and/or prescribed by ARB. The examination is designed to ensure that all those who are awarded the qualification (Part 3) meet the ARB/RIBA Part 3 Criteria.
Remuneration of the Traineeship The trainee will typically work as an ‘employee’ to which national minimum wage legislation applies and the RIBA produces guidance for students and employers on appropriate levels of remuneration and terms and conditions of employment.  Eligibility criteria for RIBA Chartered Practices include an undertaking to pay employees at least the National Minimum Wage.
Please find here the RIBA statement about unpaid professional traineeship and internship.
Specific supplementary courses organisedStudents typically attend a course at a school of architecture or other institution to prepare for the Part 3 examination
Model form of contract availableThe RIBA produces guidance and a standard contract for trainees who are employed by a practice
Traineeship and practical experience undertaken abroad taken into accountYes; see section ‘Practical training period’ above 
Evaluation of the TraineeshipProfessional evaluation of the traineeship takes place as part of the Part 3 examination. When individuals use the PEDR, it must be monitored by Professional Studies Advisors (PSAs).PSAs consider, and advise on, the quality and quantity of practical experience experience logged on the PEDR. 
Evaluation method used Several elements are taken into account:
- the relevance of the practical experience undertaken,
- the candidate’s CV
- a case study folder (personal project or other followed by the candidate)
- responses to a questionnaire or a written paper (prepared in advance) containing technical and professional problems

Continuous Professional Development

Does a system of CPD for architects exist in your country Continuing professional development is compulsory in order to meet ARB’s Code of Conduct and is also compulsory for continued membership of the RIBA.
The RIBA requires its members to carry out the minimum required CPD every year.

The ARB issues guidelines on the competencies that must be held by registered architects.
Further information can be found at : http://www.arb.org.uk/maintaining-competence
If yes:
Is it compulsory?
Is it encouraged?
is it free?
CPD is compulsory. The RIBA offers many free CPD opportunities.
If it is compulsory:
is it required by law,
or by a Code of Conduct?
See above

RIBA CPD Requirements below apply only to members of the RIBA.  Whilst membership of the RIBA is not required to apply for registration or to practice in the UK a majority of registered architects chose to join the RIBA.

If it is regulated, who regulates the system:
a professional body,
a governmental body
a combination of the two?
The RIBA monitors compliance with CPD every year through contacting a random sample of members and asking for evidence of CPD undertaken, checking that members have attained the minimum we require of them.
Is it organised?Please refer to www.architecture.com
Who provides the courses? RIBA CPD Providers Network; the RIBA itself; RIBA Enterprises; NBS; other partners; universities and other bodies
What level of training is provided? Training falls into one of three categories depending on duration: general awareness, detailed knowledge or advanced knowledge.
Are certain subjects mandatory? The ARB issues guidelines on the competences that must be held by registered architects.

The RIBA requires members to attain at least two CPD hours in each of these ten core curriculum topics every year (i.e., 20 hours per year):

1. Health and safety
2. Compliance and the statutory framework
3. Accessibility/universal design
4. Climate/sustainable architecture
5. Internal management of the practice
6. Clients, users and delivery of services
7. Design, technology building and engineering
8. Planning, urban and rural design
9. The historic environment
10. Procurement and contracts
What types of activities or provisions are accepted? The RIBA accepts a very wide variety of activities as CPD, both structured/formal and self-directed/informal and we also allow members to access CPD and training from any non-RIBA source.
Do you have any evaluation criteria for the CPD material? The RIBA has rigorous written guidelines for its CPD Providers Network material and an exhaustive assessment process; there are more informal criteria in place for our regional seminars.
Who recognises (accredits) these trainings : The RIBA accredits training for all of its CPD.
Development of the training:
A  estimated number of courses/year
B estimated number of participants/year
C estimated lesson hours/year
The RIBA itself delivers at least 5,000 courses each year to around 45,000 end users. It is difficult to estimate the number of hours.
Level of requirements for the architects RIBA members are required to attain the following minimum every year:

At least 35 hours, 20 of which must come from the CPD Core Curriculum
At least 100 learning points, which act as a means of self-reflection
Two hours in each of the 10 topics
At least half should be structured, where possible
The CPD should be recorded online
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)
The CPD is self-assessed but tracked on a CPD record sheet online. As mentioned previously, the RIBA monitors compliance each year on a random sample basis. We do not check attendance or comprehension.
Is training (provision) delivered abroad accepted? As members can access CPD from any source, then yes, training delivered abroad is acceptable.
What kind of sanction is applied for non-compliance with CPD obligation?
A. None
B. Reprimand
C. Expulsion from the Register
D. Other
Members who persistently refuse to offer evidence of CPD undertaken can, after a series of warnings, be referred to the RIBA’s professional conduct team. They may then refer the matter to a disciplinary panel. The disciplinary panel may decide to suspend the member for a year or until the required evidence is supplied. Members who have been suspended and who do not provide the evidence after one year may then be expelled. It should be noted that these cases are rare and pastoral care, help and guidance from RIBA staff usually helps the member to avoid this.
Do you have a database of the content of your CPD Programme? Yes, only of RIBA programmes but not of external suppliers. This is found in the RIBA CPD Directory at www.architecture.com

Requirements to practice in this country

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

The UK has transposed the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC); therefore EU rules on the mutual recognition of qualifications apply in the UK.
Non-EU nationals, and those not covered by the scope of the Directive need to comply with UK training and registration rules. Their application is examined on a case-by-case basis.
If individuals don’t hold qualifications listed under the Directive, their qualifications may be assessed for equivalence.

More information can be found here: http://www.arb.org.uk/i-want-to-register

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