Stage 5 of the Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) concluded at the start of March. This stage sought comment from Stakeholders on a Consultation Draft of the proposed revised Standard. 25 submissions were received, with the majority of stakeholder feedback:
Supporting the restructuring of the Standard
Supporting the open and transparent process that had been undertaken to-date.
Following review and analysis of the submissions by the AACA and consideration of the issues by the Expert Reference Group, the following work is being undertaken on the proposed revised Standard:
Review for consistency of terminology and language
Clearer delineation between the three competency levels, and clarification that the third competency level will only be used by Architect Registration Boards as they see fit within their local jurisdiction
Inclusion of critical areas of practice required at the graduate competency level
Clarity around language and requirement for contract administration, project management, and cultural and environmental requirements
A re-ordering of the organisation of the Performance Criteria within each of the 4 Units
Further review of all Performance Criteria to ensure that they are all framed in a manner that allows them to be assessable
The AACA thanks the members of the Expert Reference Group for their involvement in the review process from March 2020 to March 2021:
Dr Tanja Glusac (WA) – AASA Nominee
Ms Charmaine Kai (QLD) – ACA Nominee
Mr Bill Krotiris (VIC) – nominated by the ARBs as having current practice experience
Dr Kirsten Orr (NSW) – nominated by the Registrars of the ARBs as having experience with regulation
Emeritus Professor Alec Tzannes AM (NSW) – AIA Nominee
The following work continues in support of the finalisation of the review and publishing of the revised 2021 NSCA by mid-year:
The proposed revised Standard is being prepared for referral to the eight Australian Architect Registration Boards for their detailed consideration and endorsement.
A detailed Implementation Plan is being developed, inclusive of the need to prepare updated Program, Assessor and Candidate Guides and other relevant documentation.
A further update will be provided by mid 2021, inclusive of more detailed information on the Implementation Plan and associated timings.
The National Program of Assessment (NPrA) provides an alternative entry to the Architectural Practice Examination for practitioners who have relevant experience under the supervision of an architect but have not completed an accredited architectural qualification.
The National Program of Assessment is a design exercise that tests candidates’ competency in design based on their acquired knowledge and experience. Candidates must design a complex building in response to a hypothetical design brief. See here for information about the program, including assessors and past applicants talking about the program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.