Survey: Work and Wellbeing – Australian architecture and the COVIOD-19 pandemic

Help us understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people of Australian architecture and the built environment. 

This survey is a collaboration between Parlour, the Architects Champions of Change groups and the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia. We need your help to identify significant changes in work arrangements and circumstances, to explore which new aspects are valued, and to understand what people would like to take forward into the workplaces of the future. Please complete the survey and encourage those in your network to do the same.

Accreditation of architecture programs: Changes approved due to COVID-19

With the evolving COVID-19 situation, AACA has analysed COVID-19 impacts on the accreditation of architecture programs. During March and April AACA has taken comments and advice from a number of sources including advisory committees and panels, and representatives from a number of Providers of tertiary architecture programs. In light of the current situation and the impact of COVID-19 disruptions to normal program delivery, in April the AACA referred recommended changes to the accreditation of architecture programs to the Architect Registration Boards.  By the end of May AACA had received unanimous support to the adoption of the proposed changes from the seven Architect Registration Boards that are the accrediting bodies for the 20 accredited architecture programs in Australia.

The approved changes are adoption of a 12 month “pause” of key accreditation activities and the application of a 12 month extension to all accredited programs. The “pause” to accreditation activities incorporates a one year deferment of all Accreditation Review Panels for accredited programs (and an associated extension to the period of accreditation of each program by one year) and adjustments to Provider Annual Reporting in 2020. New programs scheduled for an Accreditation Review Panel are being considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Key details of the changes have been communicated directly to impacted Providers, and are outlined here: Accreditation of Architecture Programs – Stakeholder Update Report – June 2020

The Stakeholder Update Report is distributed to the Executive of the ARBs, AACA, AIA, AASA and ADBED; the AACA Head of School listing for architecture programs; and the NZ RAB.

The Stakeholder Update Report includes updates on:

  • COVID-19 Impacts: changes to the accreditation of architecture programs
  • Reduced Provider Annual Reporting requirements in 2020 – requested for submission 30th June 2020
  • Accreditation Standing Panel
  • Accreditation Management Committee
  • Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects

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 should be directed to [email protected].

Review of the NSCA: Release of Issues Paper – Update 1 June 2020

Stage 2 of the review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) is now complete and an Issues Paper has been released to inform further consultation with stakeholders.

The Issues Paper can be accessed here.

The purpose of the Issues Paper is to:

  • Outline the methodology and consultation framework for the project
  • Provide the initial position from the NSCA Review Expert Reference Group on the threshold matters to be considered
  • Provide the basis for stakeholders to respond to the views and recommendations proposed in the paper

Responses to the Issues Paper must be received by AACA by no later than Friday 31st July.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback using the guidance described at Enclosure 5 of the Paper. Support in using the requested structure will assist the AACA and Expert Reference Group in analysing all feedback, identifying the relative merit of recommendations, and the drafting of revisions to the Standard. Respondents are encouraged to favour concise statements of support and/or alternative views and recommendations rather than general comment.

Feedback received in this consultation phase will inform the drafting of revisions to the NSCA.  A final consultation stage is planned for feedback on the revised NSCA in October and November.

All important details, including updates on progress, can be found on the 2020 Review of the NSCA webpage here.

Change to the delivery platform for the National Examination Paper in 2020

The platform for the 2020 National Examination Paper will change to an on-line remote proctored platform via candidates’ individual devices.

Given the continuing challenges posed by COVID 19 AACA determined, in consultation with the Architect Registration Boards, that the most practicable and fair way of implementing the NEP in 2020 is to move from the computer testing centre platform to online delivery via remote proctoring.

What is online remote proctoring?

Remote proctoring involves sitting the exam under live supervision using the computer’s webcam in a suitable location with internet connectivity.  We will partner with, ProctorU*, who will provide the technical basis for each candidate to provide their own platform for the exam.  ACER continues their services in professional advice on the exam and works with ProctorU to implement the exam.

*ProctorU is a US based company providing their services across the world.

Watch this SHORT VIDEO for an understanding of how remote proctoring works.

How will online remote proctoring work for the August NEP?

  • There is no change to the role of the Architect Registration Boards in reviewing the logbooks and Statement of Practical Experience to determine eligibility for the exam.
  • There is no change to the content and format of the exam. Candidates will see the exam in the same format as they would if they were sitting the exam in an examination centre.
  • There will be no change to the way in which the exam results are issued to candidates.

 What happens if candidates experience IT problems during the exam?

ProctorU and ACER have systems in place to deal with IT issues before and during the exam, and the system has the capacity to allow extra time for candidates to complete the exam depending on the problem.

What are the provisions in place to minimise the risk of cheating in the exam?

The exam will be conducted by remote proctoring under secure examination conditions pre-examination, during the exam and post exam through documentation review. 

ProctorU’s ‘Live+’ option is the best option for high-stakes programs looking to maintain integrity and credibility.  Candidates download an app that allows ProctorU to download the exam at the specific time and to allow keystroke monitoring and active live proctoring throughout the session via the candidate’s camera on their device.  This system facilitates active intervention if any cheating behaviours are noted during the exam and also allows post examination intervention if necessary as all interviews are documented.

Before starting the exam, candidates will be connected to a live proctor who will take them through an extensive checking and security process including, but not limited to, ensuring a workspace that is free of prohibited materials, such as reference texts or mobile devices.  The online live proctor and AI programs that support them will monitor candidate activity at all times throughout the test.

 What happens next?

All candidates who are already enrolled in Session 1 of the NEP will be contacted by the Architect Registration Board where the application was made with detailed information on how the process will work.

Candidates who are successfully enrolled in Session 2 of the NEP which closes mid-June will receive detailed information on how the process will work with their letter of offer.

The AACA will provide updates in the Procedure for Candidates via the APE section of the AACA website and Architect Registration Board websites.  PALs and PARC co-ordinators and other interested stakeholders will also be kept informed of the changed process. 



Free interactive information sessions on AACA programs

Looking at alternative paths to registration as an architect?  In these unsettling times due to COVID-19 we are looking at a range of strategies to support applicants by:

If you want to find out more about Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 2 / Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 1 & Stage 2 Combined Assessment or Experienced Practitioner Assessment after reading the Guide for Applicants please contact us at [email protected]

If you want to attend the free interactive session on:

please send us an email at [email protected]

Update COVID 19 and the APE (21 April 2020)

AACA, in consultation with the Architect Registration Boards, is monitoring the COVID-19 situation.  We continue to follow the guidance of the Commonwealth and State Health Departments in relation to gatherings of people; and advice on the examination from our expert consultants.

As per the advice issued to successful candidates by Architect Registration Boards, candidates who  were scheduled to sit the National Examination Paper on 21 April have been enrolled in the National Examination Paper to be held at Cliftons Venues on 18 August 2020.  Exam details and/or alternative arrangements will be issued through your local Architect Registration Board closer to the date.

Candidates who intend applying for Session 2 of the 2020 APE, should submit their Logbook and Statement of Practical Experience to their local Architect Registration Board as per the published timetable on the AACA website.  Successful Part 1 candidates will be enrolled in the National Examination Paper to be held at Cliftons Venues on 18 August 2020.  Exam details and/or alternative arrangements will be issued through your local Architect Registration Board closer to the date. 


Review of the NSCA – Update 20 April 2020

Since the first general update on the Review published in January 2020 (see here) the following tasks have been completed:

  • Stage 1 Research and Data Collection completed
    • The Expert Reference Group was established. The Group is comprised of the following 5 members as nominated by the identified stakeholder groups:
      • Dr Tanja Glusac (WA) – AASA Rep
      • Ms Charmaine Kai (QLD) – ACA Rep
      • Mr Bill Krotiris (VIC) – nominated by the ARBs as having current practice experience
      • Dr Kirsten Orr (NSW) – nominated by the Registrars as having experience with regulation
      • Mr Alec Tzannes (NSW) – AIA Rep
    • Survey completed that gathered views from across the profession on threshold issues for consideration. You can read high-level survey results here.
    • The ERG conducted their first meeting and reviewed background papers in order to inform the Issues Paper to be developed as part of Stage 2.
  • As a result of COVID-19 impacts, Project timeframes have been reviewed and updated – see details on the 2020 Review of the NSCA webpage here.

Stage 2 of the Review is currently underway:

  • Analysis of survey outcomes and relevant national and international research and data
  • Development of issues paper to inform consultation with stakeholder groups

A further update is planned once the Issues Paper is released, anticipated by late May.

COVID 19 Update for Applicants for AACA Assessments (6 April 2020)

We are responding to the COVID 19 situation in response to Government directions with the aim of keeping applicants, assessors and staff safe while providing minimal disruptions to our normal course of business.  The AACA office is closed until the advice from Government regarding the COVID 10 situation is amended. All staff are working from home and will answer your emails as soon as possible.

Stage 1 Overseas Qualifications Assessment (OQA)

No change to assessment procedure or period of time for assessment of applications. Outcome letters for the purpose of applying for a skills assessment dated after 31 March 2020 will be issued as a secure on-line document.

Combined Stage 1 and 2 Overseas Qualifications Assessment (OQA)

No change to submission requirements. There have been some initial delays in finalising applications while we move towards the conduct of the required interviews in video format.

Experienced Practitioner Practitioner Assessment (EPA)

No change to submission requirements. There has been some in initial delay in finalising applications while we move towards the conduct of the assessment interviews in video format.

National Program of Assessment (NPrA)

No change to the components of the submission, however all candidates working towards completion of their final design will be advised of minor changes for submission of the on-line submission of the final response. AACA is also providing additional time for candidates to submit their final proposal.

Architectural Practice Examination (APE)

Session 1 of the National Examination was postponed due to the Government restrictions on the gathering of people. Currently, the timeframe for 2020 Session 2 of the APE stands. The AACA is working with the Architect Registration Boards to minimise the disruption to the 2020 APE and will provide updates when the situation changes.

Please contact us on [email protected] if you have any questions or require advice about our programs.



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

PO Box A2575

(612) 8042 8930
[email protected]

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