NSCA Performance Criteria Post Registration (working doc)

This unit of competency encompasses a holistic understanding of the organisation of the profession and business of architecture, with the objective of providing value through sustainable, timely and effective professional services in accordance with the ethical and legal obligations of an architect to clients, colleagues, employees and to broader communities.   

PC1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.
PC2 Implement practice resources and apply ethical employment practice methods and quality assurance systems to facilitate efficient, consistent and timely delivery of architectural services.
PC3 Apply principles of project planning, considering implications for Country, environmental sustainability, communities, stakeholders and project costs.  
PC4 Be able to apply principles of project and staff planning and resource costs to establish realistic and achievable timeframes.
PC5 Be able to apply essential elements of a client architect agreement across the range of procurement methods in relation to their appropriateness to the scale and type of the project, including alternatives for partial services and the engagement of secondary and sub-consultants.
PC6 Be able to apply appropriate processes for reporting and varying the scope of services provided by an architect.
PC7 Apply and follow processes for clear and consistent communication with clients and relevant stakeholders throughout the project, including obtaining approvals from clients and stakeholders.
PC8 Be able to implement culturally responsive and meaningful engagement processes that respect the importance of Country and reciprocal relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples across architectural services.
PC9 Be able to apply contemporary and emerging building procurement methods. This involves identifying the most appropriate form of delivery for a project, including risks, mitigation and adaptation strategies, and integrating appropriate construction contracts and consultancy contracts and/or agreements.

Demonstrate understanding of the whole life carbon implications of procurement methods, materials, components and construction systems.

Whole life carbon includes both operational and embodied carbon impacts.

PC11 Be able to assess, recommend and/or select an appropriate procurement process, with consideration for its impact on all phases of a project – including design, documentation and project delivery – and provide advice to the client in terms of the level of scope of service for consultants. 

Provide independent, culturally responsive and objective advice in accordance with relevant building codes, standards, technical specifications and guidelines, and planning regulations, including climate change implications, across all aspects of architectural practice.

Climate change implications includes both climate change mitigation (minimizing/eliminating the risk) and climate change adaptation.


Be able to identify and apply strategies, programming and processes for documentation through all project stages to facilitate project delivery, as appropriate to selected procurement processes.

PC14 Be able to identify and apply construction services provisions and/or construction administration systems needed to fulfil all obligations appropriate to the procurement process in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
PC15 Comply with legal and ethical obligations relating to legislated requirements in relation to copyright, moral rights, authorship of cultural knowledge and intellectual property requirements across architectural services.

Be able to apply risk management and mitigation strategies – including safety in design, project risk, requirement for resilience from the impacts of climate change and appropriate insurances – across architectural services.

Resilience from the impacts of climate change: risk management could involve both climate change mitigation (minimizing eliminating the risk) and climate change adaptation.

This unit of competency encompasses the intelligent, creative, iterative and culturally responsive processes of initiating a project and the early stages of design. This involves research, analysis and the exploration of approaches, design ideas and alternative solutions. It leads to a design concept that meets the client’s brief, respects Country and is capable of compliance with planning controls and construction codes.


Have an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ aspirations to care for Country and how these inform architectural design.


Be able to apply creative imagination, design precedents, research, emergent knowledge and critical evaluation in formulating and refining concept design options, including the exploration of three dimensional form and spatial quality.


Be able to identify, analyse and evaluate client project requirements and objectives using qualitative and quantitative methods and, where required by the terms of engagement, to assist cost estimators in determining project feasibility/viability.


Be able to assess project budget and timeframe against project requirements and objectives, relevant legislation, statutory planning requirements, building codes and standards.


Be able to apply project budgets, or work with quantity surveyor to establish project budgets, based upon understanding of cost planning, value management and factors influencing project cost relevant to the project type and scale.


Identify and manage risks arising from real or perceived conflict of interests.


Be able to prepare a return brief for approval by the client and relevant stakeholders in response to a client brief and any areas of deviation or non-compliance.


Be able to prepare and analyse project development options in response to a project brief – its objectives, budget, user intent and built purpose, risk and timeframes, including environmental sustainability considerations.


Be able to draw on knowledge from the history and theory of architecture as part of preliminary design research and when developing the conceptual design.


Be able to undertake site, cultural and contextual analysis as part of preliminary design research.


Understand how to embed the knowledge, worldviews and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, shared through engagement processes, into the conceptual design in a meaningful, respectful and appropriate way.


Be able to draw on knowledge from building sciences and technology, environmental sciences and behavioural and social sciences as part of preliminary design research and when developing the conceptual design to optimise the performance of the project.


Be able to develop and evaluate design options in terms of the heritage, cultural and community values embodied in the site, and in relation to project requirements.


Be able to explore options for siting a project, including integrating information and analysis of relevant cultural, social and economic factors.


Be able to identify, analyse and integrate information relevant to environmental sustainability – such as energy and water consumption, resources depletion, waste, embodied carbon and carbon emissions – over the lifecycle of a project.


Be able to apply planning principles and statutory planning requirements to the site and conceptual design of the project.


Be able to investigate, coordinate and integrate sustainable environmental systems – including water, thermal, lighting and acoustics – in response to consultants’ advice.


Communicate conceptual design proposals and associated information to client, stakeholders and communities using appropriate and culturally responsive methods appropriate to different audiences.


Be able to assess operational and embodied carbon implications of materials, components, construction systems and supply chains (including transport) to achieve net zero whole life carbon when developing design concepts. This includes integrating relevant consultant expertise and advising on the impact of chosen materials, components and systems on carbon outcomes.  


This unit of competency encompasses the process of developing the design through research, detailed assessment of options and the integration of technical solutions, value and cost control processes to maintain or enhance the design intent. The final design proposal is cohesive, fully described and resolved to achieve value and cost objectives, and compliance with planning controls and construction codes.


Be able to apply creative imagination, design precedents, emergent knowledge, critical evaluation and continued engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to produce a coherent project design. This should be resolved in terms of supporting health and wellbeing outcomes for Country, site planning, formal composition, spatial planning and circulation as appropriate to the project brief and all other factors affecting the project.


Be able to produce timely, accurate, complete and comprehensible documentation of the design so that it can be constructed.


Be able to work within budget and time constraints while maintaining the defined project design intent. This includes participating in value management processes where engaged to do so.


Be able to integrate the material selection, structural and construction systems established in the conceptual design into the detailed design and documentation.


Be able to resolve and present a coherent detailed design solution within necessary timeframes to obtain client and stakeholder approvals.


Be able to coordinate and integrate input from specialists and consultants into the detailed design and documentation.


Be able to prepare planning applications that comply with planning regulations.


Be able to collaborate with nominated contractors early in the documentation process to identify key construction methodology opportunities and constraints.


Maintain effective and clear communication in the coordination of relevant consultants, manufacturers and suppliers as required under the terms of engagement.


Be able to nominate and integrate quality and performance standards with regard to selected materials, finishes, fittings, components and systems, considering the impact on Country and the environment, and the whole life carbon impact of the project. This includes integrating life cycle assessments and other 

expertise and advice from consultants.


Be able to produce project documentation that meets the requirements of the contract and procurement process and complies with regulatory controls, building standards and codes, and conditions of construction and planning approvals.


Be able to complete and communicate on-time, accurate documents for relevant stakeholders, including drawings, models, specifications, schedules and construction documentation.


This unit of competency encompasses the provision of services to support the process of project execution through construction. This may occur through a variety of building procurement methods and construction contracts. The form of construction contract may establish different expectations and obligations upon the architect and may include contract administration services. Typically, all contract types include the timely and cost-effective management of design delivery, review and inspection processes.


Be able to select and implement project administration systems, based upon an assessment of the selected procurement method and its implications on project delivery.


Be able to implement project team structures necessary to deliver a full suite of professional services or partial services appropriate to the selected procurement process.


Be able to continue engagement with relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples throughout all stages of the project and its delivery in a meaningful, respectful and appropriate way.



Be able to provide advice to clients and lead (or contribute to) the process of selecting a qualified contractor in accordance with the agreed procurement method and construction contract.


Be able to apply the principles and mechanisms implicit in the selected procurement method and associated construction contract(s), based on an understanding of the implications of differing contractual relationships.


Be able to provide advice to clients on the impact of a selected procurement method on cost, time, life cycle implications and quality control during the construction phase.


Be able to monitor construction progress and quality as required under the provisions of the construction contract, which may include site visits.


Be able to apply appropriate and consistent systems for record keeping, document control and revision status during the construction phase.


Be able to apply appropriate and consistent systems for identification of defects, rectifications and approval of substitutions.


Be able to apply relevant processes required for certification of monetary progress claims, project variations, extensions of time, project instructions, and requests for information, practical completion or other administrative functions explicit in the selected procurement method and associated construction contract. 


Complete documentation – including specifications, drawings, schedules, reports, certification and approvals – and other project information for issue to the client and relevant authorities, as required under the construction contract and relevant building and planning codes.


Understand and mitigate risks associated with preparing and recording documentation.


Apply appropriate methodologies for undertaking post occupancy evaluations and life cycle assessment where required under terms of engagement.


Previous NSCA Performance Criteria at Registration (working doc)
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Located on Gadigal Country, the AACA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.