Author Archive

New Temporary Skilled Visa Takes Effect

New Temporary Skilled Visa Takes Effect

The Temporary Skilled (457) Visa has been abolished from 18 March 2018, replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (482) Visa. This gives effect to the Government’s policy announcement in April 2017, which seeks to ensure that temporary work visas are more closely aligned with skill needs.

In 2016-17, 129 Temporary Skilled Visas were issued to applicants nominating the occupation “architect”. (AACA Profile of the Profession in Australia, 2018)

The new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa has two streams: the Short Term Stream and the Medium Term Stream. Architects are in the Medium Term Stream, which means they remain eligible for four year renewable Visas.

The most significant changes for Medium Term Stream applicants are the requirement for two years’ relevant work experience and an increase in the English language standard. Applicants now require an overall IELTS score of 5.0 (with a minimum score of 4.5 in any element) or the equivalent in other testing systems.

There are a number of other detailed changes which are described in full on the Department of Home Affairs website

See here for more information about AACA’s Overseas Qualifications Assessment processes.

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Profile of the profession – updated data released

Australia’s architecture sector is becoming more internationalised, according to the Industry Profile released by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.

“Mechanisms like the new Mutual Recognition Arrangement with the USA mean increased talent flows between Australia and other leading economies,” said AACA CEO Kate Doyle.

In 2016-17, the Department of Immigration issued 129 temporary skilled visas issued to architects and 284 permanent skilled visas, a significant increase on previous years. The AACA also increased its international activity, conducting 255 successful overseas qualifications assessments and 48 successful overseas architect assessments (for highly experienced architects) in 2016-17.

Overall numbers of registered architects in Australia have remained largely unchanged at 11,800 (taking into account architects registered in more than one jurisdiction) in December 2017, with increased registrations in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia offset by falls in other jurisdictions.

The Industry Profile document also contains new insights from the 2016 Census of Australia:  31% of architects are women (up from 28 % in 2011), 80% work full time, 52% work more than a 40 hour week, and 34% are business owners or sole traders,” said Ms Doyle.

According to the Industry Profile, there were approximately 1300 graduates from professional masters programs offered by 18 Australian universities in 2017 (of whom around a third are international students).

Read the full Report. Industry Profile

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Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand now available in an interactive format

The Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure, updated as a result of an extensive review, provides a robust system of evaluation of architecture programs at the Master of Architecture level. This Procedure complements institution-level government regulation as detailed in the Higher Education Standards Framework. Due to the importance of professional education on the pathway to registration as an architect, accredited architecture programs must be designed to enable a graduate to achieve the required 37 performance criteria of the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

The Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure contains important changes to previous accreditation procedures. These include:
• the introduction of the Accreditation Management Committee comprised of representatives of the five stakeholders with responsibility for policy advice and overall quality assurance of the Procedure
• introduction of Annual Reporting
• a new financial model that divides the costs of the Procedure equitably across the regulators and the providers of accredited programs in architecture

The Architecture Program Accreditation Procedure has been developed following consultation with the profession, industry and higher education including extensive consultation with stakeholders: the Australian State and Territory Architect Registration Boards, the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australian Deans of the Built Environment and Design, the New Zealand Registered Architects Board, and the New Zealand Institute of Architects. The Procedure has also taken note of the Principles of Professional Accreditation, as prepared by Professions Australia and Universities Australia.

This Accreditation Procedure takes affect from the beginning 2018. See Transition guidance published in December 2017.

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Improvements to the Architectural Practice Examination in 2018

Candidates sitting the Architectural Practice Examination in 2018 will benefit from improvements introduced as a result of a review conducted by the AACA in 2017.

The Architectural Practice Examination is the nationally consistent competency based assessment used by the architect registration boards around Australia to determine eligibility for registration as an architect.

AACA commissioned the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), one of the world’s leading education research centres, to conduct the review focussing on Part 2 of the Architectural Practice Examination, the National Examination Paper. 

“We want to ensure that the National Examination Paper is in line with best practice assessment of professional knowledge in other professions”, says Kate Doyle, CEO of the AACA.  “The architect registration boards drove the review – conscious of the need to assure themselves, the profession and the general public that the primary assessment prior to registration as an architect meets best practice”. 

The changes to the National Examination Paper focus on improving both the method of assessment and the exam process.  The content tested in the exam remains the same, benchmarked against the National Standard of Competency for Architects, as does the scenario basis of the exam. The exam moves from a paper based format to computer based testing.


“The formatting of questions to allow each answer to attract marks, removal of penalties for incorrect answers, and introduction of feedback showing each candidate how they performed both in relation to the exam cohort as a whole and to each question means improved consistency and transparency”, said Kate Doyle. “Candidates can find out more about the Architectural Practice Exam from our website, or contact their local architect registration board to find out about 2018 submission dates and briefings conducted at the local level.”


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NEW: Online payments

From the 1st of December 2017 AACA only accepts online credit card payments, by VISA or Mastercard. 

Applicants who paid their application fee through bank transfer or other payment methods before 1st of December 2017 should send us their application form, supporting documentation and proof of payment within 14 days after the payment was made.

To make an online payment please go to the Forms and Fees page.

If you have any queries regarding your payment please contact AACA.

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The 2017 Griffin Lecture with George Megalogenis, journalist, political commentator and author

On 9th November, journalist, political commentator and author, George Megalogenis delivered the 2017 Griffin Lecture* at the National PressClub. His lecture made the case for a big Australia without a big Sydney and Melbourne, and explained why decentralisation is our number one policy challenge for the 21st century. Our thanks to Tim Horton, Registrar, NSW Architects Registration Board for his review of the lecture for Foreground which can be read here

To read a full transcript of the 2017 Griffin Lecture, please click HERE

Photo: Tim Horton, Registrar NSW Architects Registration Board


*The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia has been a supporter of the Griffin Lecture for a number of years. Named in honour of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, the aim of the lecture is to address big issues in architecture and design; to examine national matters of interest in the built environment. The lecture is delivered by individuals of the time – commentators, politicians and the profession. Previous speakers include Gough Whitlam, John Gorton, architects Roy Grounds and Romaldo Giurgola, Manning Clarke, Lucy Turnbull and Clover Moore.

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APE Exam dates for 2018

Dates for the 2018 National Examination Paper have been announced:


Session 1:            17th April 2018

Session 2:            21st August 2018


For further information please contact the Architects Registration Board in your state or territory.


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Draft Architecture Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand available for comment

The Draft Architecture Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand has been distributed for comment. The Procedure is based upon the Final Recommendations of the ANZAP Review Development Group of July 2017.  

The Architecture Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand will come in to effect in 2018.

We invite comments from all stakeholders on the Procedure and the Guidance Notes developed thus far. Reporting Templates and further Guidance Notes  will be developed over the coming months in response to feedback.

The Accreditation Procedure in Australia and New Zealand is administered by the AACA on behalf of the Architect Registration Boards. The Australian Institute of Architects, as the key professional association, is a major stakeholder in accreditation and will sit on the Accreditation Management Committee responsible for oversight of the Procedure.

The Accreditation Management Committee will meet for the first time in mid-November 2017.

All programs, regardless of where they are in the accreditation cycle, will move to Annual Reporting in 2018 (due in September each year).

The first Accreditation Review Panels to be held under the revised Accreditation procedure are expected to begin rolling out from September 2018. The Secretariat will work closely with Providers who are due for an Accreditation Review Panel Visit in 2018.

The costs of implementing the procedure over the 5 year cycle will be shared between the AACA (on behalf of the Architect Registration Boards) and the Program providers.

Calls for expression of interest to join the Standing Panels will be issued shortly. A Training package will be developed for Providers and Training panel Members and implemented by 31 May 2018.

To facilitate reporting by the programs we are looking to develop a portal on AACA’s website by 30 June 2018 for providers to:

  • access information and guidance
  • access reporting templates
  • communicate with the Secretariat
  • submit annual reports
  • submit the Provider Accreditation Statement prior to the 5 yearly Accreditation Review Panel

       Please provide any comments to [email protected] by 3 November 2017. 

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

PO Box A2575

(612) 8042 8930
[email protected]

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