Author Archive

Update Report for Stakeholders of the Accreditation of Architecture Programs – January 2021

The latest Stakeholder Update Report on the Accreditation of Architecture Programs has been released.

You can access the January 2021 Stakeholder Update Report here: Accreditation of Architecture Programs – Stakeholder Update Report – January 2021

The Report includes updates on:

  • Updates to the Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure – published December 2020
  • Managing the impact of COVID-19 on the accreditation of architecture programs
  • 2021 Provider Annual Reporting – submit by 15th April 2021
  • Accreditation Management Committee update
  • Annual Report on 2019 Accredited Architecture Programs in Australia
  • Updates to the listing of accredited architecture qualifications
  • Nominations to join the Australian Accreditation Standing Panel – submit by 31st March 2021
  • Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects
  • Leadership changes at AACA – Appointment of new CEO

The Report has been distributed to all key stakeholders.

This and earlier Stakeholder Update Reports, as well as all other Architecture Program Accreditation documents can be found on the AACA Publications web page.

Any inquiries on the Update Report should be directed to the Accreditation Secretariat C/AACA via [email protected].

AACA appoints new CEO

The AACA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathlyn Loseby as incoming CEO effective 8 March 2021. 

Kathlyn brings to the role significant leadership and relationship management expertise developed over her career in architectural practice and business, and her advocacy within the Institute of Architects and the construction industry more broadly.

President of the AACA, Catherine Townsend says: “We ae delighted that Kathlyn will be joining the AACA as CEO. Kathlyn is an accomplished leader and brings an excellent skillset to the AACA team ready to lead us in to the future. This year will focus on the implementation of the revised National Standard of Competency and the changing regulatory frameworks in the construction industry”.

Moving into the role as CEO of the AACA would be exciting at any point but it is particularly engaging at this point in time with broad changes afoot across the profession and the industry in general. I feel it has clear synergies with my recent roles in practice, as an assessor, in advocacy and in regulatory development. In these roles, I have become ever more aware that the AACA underpins all aspects of the profession and is a fundamental, critical player in the future development of the industry and our profession’s ability to shape this future in a positive way, says Kathlyn.

Kate Doyle is stepping down from the role of CEO on 5 March. The AACA acknowledges Kate’s great contribution to the AACA, and thanks her for outstanding leadership and unfailing professionalism over her tenure.

Kathlyn’s appointment as CEO ensures the continuing relevance and role of the AACA across the profession and the construction more broadly”, says AACA’s President Catherine Townsend.


Catherine Townsend 20 January 2020

Amendments to the Accreditation Procedure Published

A small number of amendments have been incorporated and the updated Procedural documents published in December 2020.

A summary of the amendments can be read here.

The amendments include a small number of corrections and a small number of procedural clarifications.  There has been no material change to the underpinning focus of the Procedure, which is to assess that architecture programs are designed to enable a graduate to achieve the required 37 Performance Criteria of the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

The complete updated procedural document set can be downloaded from this link.  This 58 page PDF contains the main procedural document and all supporting guidance documents in a single PDF.

For further information see:

Have Your Say on the revised National Standard of Competency for Architects

The AACA has released the revised National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA)  for consideration by Stakeholders.

Background information can be read in the Consultation Guidance – access here.

The Revised NSCA (Consultation draft) can be accessed here.

Written comment on the revised standard must be received by AACA at [email protected] by no later than 1st March 2021.

Extensions to the submission date will not be possible.

An overview of the project, project stages and timeframes, and links to all project communications can be found on the 2020 NSCA Review webpage here.

Review of the NSCA Project – Progress update as at mid November 2020

Stage 4 of the Review is progressing well and is close to completion. The Expert Reference Group (ERG) continues to guide the direction of the review, whilst further expertise from outside of the AACA is engaged to inform the detailed re-drafting. The process has been iterative, with continual reference back to the ERG’s early agreed direction and the key themes from the first round of feedback on the Issues Paper.

Inputs and considerations during this current stage of work have included:

  • A review of the regulatory and legislative framework impacting federally and all states and territories
  • A review of the terminology and analysis of the material differences in content in relation to stages of architectural services and key industry reference documents
  • Consultation with subject matter experts familiar with all of the AACA assessment programs
  • Consultation with nominees from AIA’s First Nation’s Advisory Group
  • Consultation with nominees from AIA’s Climate Action Taskforce Advisory Group
  • Editorial review for consistency.

The Issues Paper released in June 2020 noted five key recommendations. All Recommendations received general support from the majority of submissions received (many submissions noting that support was dependent on seeing the final details of the proposed changes). An update on plans to address those recommendations is noted in the table below.

Recommendations noted in the Issues Paper, 1 June 2020

Current plans to progress these recommendations in the revised NSCA

Recommendation 1. Conceive the NSCA as a Framework of Professional Competency viewed through specified Professional Capabilities.

This recommendation continues to be progressed. The structure and coverage of the Professional Capabilities influence the re-worded Performance Criteria. The Professional Capabilities are being developed in a manner that will allow their inclusion in all AACA Assessment Programs.

Recommendation 2. Retain four units of competency with a refocus on the architect’s primary responsibilities in design and in design project delivery.

This recommendation continues to be progressed, with a focus on grouping the Performance Criteria specific to each area of focus within the units.

Recommendation 3. Revise Performance Criteria to reduce repetition – focussing less on the linear project phases and more on the core component of professional obligations of the architect in relation to design services to clients; acknowledging that the functional aspects of these obligations may apply differently across projects depending upon the project type, scale and context of risk and liabilities.

This recommendation continues to be progressed though the extent of the level of reduction in the number of Performance Criteria.

Recommendation 4. Remove Elements, the current subgrouping of Performance Criteria under the four units of competency, in order to reduce linearity and repetition in the NSCA


Recommendation 5. Review language and organisation of the Performance Criteria in order to improve user understanding of how Performance Criteria are applied at differing levels across the contexts of the competency profiles of the Architectural Graduate, the Architectural Graduate at Registration and the Registered Architect.

This recommendation continues to be progressed. Performance Criteria linked to the Architectural Graduate and the Architectural Graduate at Registration will underpin the basis of AACA Assessment Programs. Use of the Performance Criteria linked to the Profile of the Architect post registration may be used to inform Boards’ regulatory functions.  


The Project Timeframes have been reviewed. The current Stage has been extended to support the broad consultation that has occurred, as well as the iterative process of review and refinement.

Work is underway to commence the next stage in early December, with the release of the revised draft of the Standard and the draft implementation strategy. The consultation stage will remain open until the end of February.

All important details, including the revised project timeframes, can be found on the 2020 Review of the NSCA webpage here.

2020 Christmas Closure Notice

The AACA office will be closed over the holiday period from COB Tuesday 22 December 2020 and re-open on Monday 11 January 2021. If there are any enquiries during this time please email [email protected] and you will receive a response shortly after the office resumes.

Applications for National Program of Assessment 2021 open on 7 December 2020

The National Program of Assessment provides an alternative entry to the Architectural Practice Examination for practitioners who have not completed an accredited architectural qualification.

The National Program of Assessment is recognised by all Australian Architect Registration Boards as an alternate entry to the Architectural Practice Examination, successful completion of which is required prior to applying for registration as an architect.

The National Program of Assessment is a design exercise that tests candidates’ competency in architecture on the basis of their acquired knowledge and experience. The focus of the design exercise is to design a complex building in response to a hypothetical design brief.  See here for information about the program, including assessors and past applicant talking about the program.  

Timetable for the program is here. Applications for Stage 1 Eligibility open on 7 December 2020 and close on 1 March 2021.  

ACA Pulse Check #4

The Association of Consulting Architects (ACA) has conducted a series of surveys since  March 2020 to check the effect of COVID-19 on architecture business.

ACA launched the final pulse check for the year (Pulse Check 4). This time in addition to the existing data they are collecting to enable a longitudinal knowledge base from the previous pulse checks a focus on the Federal Budget is included as part of this survey.

The information collected by the ACA has been shared across the profession. Please complete Pulse Check 4 by close of business Friday 16 October 2020.

Leadership changes ahead for the AACA

Kate Doyle will step down as CEO in March 2021 after six years in the role. Prior to her role as CEO for the AACA Kate spent ten years as the Registrar for the NSW Architects Registration Board.

Under Kate’s leadership, all assessment programs on the path to registration have been reviewed and updated in line with best practice; agreements to facilitate professional mobility of architects between Australia and Canada and Australia and the USA have been developed, and similar agreements with the UK are also being negotiated.

AACA’s position as a key influencer in the profession has been strengthened. Over the last few years AACA has published a range of research and reports about the architectural profession that are recognised as primary sources by industry stakeholders – including  Architectural Education and the Profession (2019), the first research project in this space involving all industry stakeholders.

Kate is stepping down in March 2021 at the completion of the review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects, a critical project as the Standard is the benchmark for registration as an architect in Australia.  

“Kate has led enormous changes in the AACA over the past six years”, says Catherine Townsend, AACA President. “The AACA has become more relevant and Kate leaves the AACA in a respected position at this critical time of focus on regulation in the construction industry. On behalf of the Board I thank Kate for her outstanding leadership and unfailing professionalism.

The AACA has commenced a recruitment campaign for the new CEO working with Six Degrees Executive. Contact Nick Hindhaugh E. [email protected]

Catherine Townsend, President AACA

13 October 2020

Report for the August 2020 APE National Examination Paper

AACA has published the public report for the August 2020 APE National Examination Paper. 

The report explains how the Examination is developed.  Separately, you can see a national summary of how candidates performed in each scenario by questions and relevant performance criteria in the August 2020 National Examination Paper. 


October 2020


Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
Suite 3, Level 5
75 Castlereagh Street

PO Box A2575

(612) 8042 8930
[email protected]

Follow Us