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Major study into architectural education and the profession in Australia and New Zealand

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) is leading a major study of Architectural Education and the Profession in Australia and New Zealand with the support of all architectural stakeholder organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

The AACA is the major funder of the Study with additional funding provided by the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, the Australian Institute of Architects and New Zealand architectural stakeholder organisations.

This aim of this study is to help understand and identify ways to improve the experience of architecture students, graduates and academics, and, importantly, to support greater connections between schools of architecture and the architectural profession. It will look at how both the architectural practice environment and the university teaching environment have evolved in recent years, and how the two sectors can best work together to offer meaningful education and career pathways.

The Study will include a literature review, collection of data from a range of sources, surveys of the opinions of architecture academics and practitioners, interviews with key stakeholders such as Architect Registration Boards and architectural representative bodies, and focus groups with architecture academics, students, graduates, practitioners and employers.

The research team will be running surveys, focus groups and interviews in different locations across Australia and New Zealand from November 2018 to March 2019. The Study is expected to report mid-2019. 

More information here.  

If you are interested in participating in the research, please email [email protected] 

For occasional updates about the study, please “like” our Facebook page:  

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Architectural Education and the Profession in Australia: Call for Expression of Interest

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia  is launching a landmark study of Architectural Education and the Profession in Australia, in collaboration with architectural stakeholder organisations. The AACA is calling for expressions of interest (EoIs) from researchers seeking to work part-time with us on this exciting project from August 2018 to April 2019. EoIs are welcome by 10 August 2018 from freelance researchers, university architecture academics, and other suitably qualified professionals. Working to the AACA project director, researchers will work on tasks including survey and interview design, literature review, fieldwork and report writing. Please consult the Call for Expressions of Interest document for further information on the study and details on what to include with your EoI.

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Applications close 25 May 2018 for AACA’s alternative entry to the APE for applicants without architectural Qualifications

The National Program of Assessment is a competency based assessment allowing entry to the Architectural Practice Examination for practitioners with have substantial skills and experience in the architectural profession, but do not have a recognised architectural qualification.

Taking the form of a complex architectural project, successful completion of 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 necessary before applying to a State or Territory registration board to become registered as an architect.

The National Program of Assessment 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.

For more information see here for more information, links to the application form and timetable for 2018/9 program; or contact us at [email protected]

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AACA Online Applications

AACA is moving to online application for Overseas Qualifications Assessment.  During this transition phase, if you intend submitting an application for Overseas Qualifications Assessment – Combined Stage 1 & Stage 2, please contact AACA direct on [email protected] or (02) 8042 8930 for further advice.

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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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Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
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PO Box A2575

(612) 8042 8930
[email protected]

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