Experienced Practitioner Assessment FAQs

Am I eligible for the Experienced Practitioner Assessment?

Applicants for the Experienced Practitioner Program must have completed a professional qualification in architecture of 5 years or equivalent and have experience as a primary decision maker in at least 4-6 complex projects. See the Guide for details.  If you do not meet these eligibility criteria, please check here for more information on all the pathways to registration as an architect in Australia.  

I have an overseas professional qualification in architecture, which is less than 5 years in duration. Am I eligible to apply for the Experienced Practitioner program?

You are eligible as long as your completed professional qualification at the time of your graduation was the professional qualification required for you to practice as an architect in your home country.

What is the definition of executive level experience?

Most commonly, you would have worked as a project leader in a primary decision making role, not-withstanding that you may have reported back to the director or other senior staff members, especially in a larger firm.

I undertook 2 years of my 7 years work experience after I completed my Bachelor degree and before I commenced my Master of Architecture qualification. Do these 2 years count towards the required seven years of work experience?

No. Only work experience gained post completion of the five years of professional study counts towards the required seven years of post-graduation experience in the Experienced Practitioner Assessment.

I have worked on large single houses. Can these projects be considered as complex projects?

Generally, single dwelling residential projects would not be considered a complex project. Single residences and other projects that do not meet the definition of complex projects in the Experienced Practitioner Assessment can be submitted as a fifth or sixth portfolio project in addition to the four complex projects.  See the Guide for more information.

Most of my complex project experience was completed overseas, and in Australia I have been mainly working on smaller scale buildings. Is there a time limit for a complex project to be submitted in the portfolio?

The complex project experience in at least four projects should not be older than ten years. You can submit older projects for the two additional projects.

Do all of the portfolio projects have to be completely built?

One or two projects that have at least passed the DA stage, or are under construction can be submitted in the portfolio as long as the majority of projects (four projects out of six) has been built.

Do both of my referees have to be Australian registered architects?

The primary reference needs to be from an Australian registered architect. The secondary reference could be prepared by a consultant, builder or client who was involved in one or more of your portfolio projects.

Can one of the references come from an architect registered overseas?

The secondary reference could be from an architect registered overseas providing they can comment on your professional involvement in overseas projects.  The primary reference needs to be from an Australian registered architect who can comment on your professional capacity to operate to the standard expected of an architect in Australia. See here for more information.

One of my references is older than three years. Can I submit this reference?

To ascertain the currency of the professional work experience, it is important that both required references are within the three year period unless exceptional circumstances apply.  In some cases, an older reference could be considered as a third reference, provided it is not more than ten years old.

Can one of the referees be a non-practising architect?

The registered architect should be a practising architect. We would accept a non-practising architect only if he/she has moved into the non-practising category no longer than 6-12 months ago and their name is still on the register.

I set up my own practice a few years ago working as a sole practitioner and I can’t obtain a reference from a registered architect from my current place of work.

One of your referees has to be a registered architect in Australia. This referee might not come from your current place of work, but the referee needs to be in a position to comment on your professional capacity to operate to the standard expected of an architect in Australia.

Do I have to have experience in every performance criteria within one project?

At least one box needs to be ticked against each Performance Criteria and may relate to any of the projects listed in the Checklist.

I work together with my partner, who is a registered architect in Australia. Can I use my partner as a referee?

No, the AACA does not accept references from family members.

I am not sure if my projects can be regarded as complex projects.

Please refer to the definition of complex projects in the EPA Guide. You can send us a brief email with a few photos of the projects you are unsure about.

I have mainly been involved at the design phases but I have no executive experience during the project delivery stage of my complex projects. Would I be eligible?

To be eligible for this pathway, we expect you to have project delivery experience on at least one of the complex projects submitted in your portfolio.

Is it acceptable to prove one of the criteria without having the experience directly?

This is not acceptable, as the level of application in the EPA program requires the application of knowledge and skill.

Does all the work experience have to be under the supervision of a registered architect?

No, you do not have to have worked under a registered architect. However, one of your referees needs to be a registered Australian architect who is required to comment on your professional capacity to operate to the standard expected of an architect in Australia on one or more of your portfolio projects.

If I have a previous Stage 1 Assessment and then fail the Experienced Practitioner Assessment, can I go straight through to the APE?

You will have to pass a modified version of the OQA Stage 2 first.

Previous AACA On-line Briefing Sessions on the Experienced Practitioner Assessment (EPA) and the Overseas Qualifications Assessment (OQA)
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