2020 Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects


The AACA commenced a project in January 2020 to review the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). Regular updates will be included on this page.  An Expert Reference Group comprised of nominees from stakeholder organisations will provide professional advice to the project. 

Initial plans were for a draft report of the review to be considered at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Architect Registration Boards in Perth on 15 October 2020. Given the evolving Coronavirus COVID-19 situation, project timelines are being adjusted as required, and will continue to be reviewed throughout the year.

Terms of Reference

The Review of the NSCA will focus on the extent to which the NSCA:

  • broadly reflects the role of an architect across the diversity of modes of practice
  • represents the needs of regulators and reflects current and emerging risks across the profession as a whole
  • is fit for purpose as the benchmark for AACA assessment programs.

Project stages and timeframes

Stage 1: January–March 2020: Research and data collection (complete)

  • Comparison of relevant national and international performance benchmarks
  • Survey to gather views from across the profession on threshold issues for consideration. The survey opened in late January and was promoted through all stakeholders before being closed on 27 February.  You can read survey results here (updated 1 June 2020 following further analysis).
  • Expert Reference Group established and first meeting conducted

Stage 2: April-May 2020 (complete)

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

Stage 3: Jun-Jul 2020 (complete)

  • Formal input from stakeholders based on review of the Issues Paper

Stage 4: August-mid December 2020 (complete)

  • Option analysis
  • Drafting of detailed revisions to the Standard
  • Development of an implementation strategy for the revised Standard across AACA programs

Stage 5: mid December 2020 – 1st March 2021 (in-progress)

  • Release of the revised draft of the Standard for comment by stakeholders – access here.

Stage 6: March to June 2021

  • Consideration of consultation feedback and preparation of a Project Report
  • Presentation of Project Report and draft revised Standard to the Architect Registration Boards
  • Acceptance of draft revised Standard by the Architect Registration Boards
  • Revised Standard prepared for publishing
  • Revised Standard published with implementation schedule

Expert Reference Group

The Expert Reference Group was established during March 2020. Membership includes:

  • 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

Communications and updates

All opportunities for input or comment will be advised via project updates, published to the News section of the AACA Home Page, and noted on this Review Page. Project updates are communicated widely to a variety of stakeholders.

Advice about the commencement of Stage 5 and release of the revised draft of the Standard for comment by stakeholders has been advised to:

  • All Australian State and Territory Architect Registration Boards
  • Executive of the AIA, AASA, ACA, and ADBED
  • AACA Program Assessor Panel membership
  • Australian University Head of School and accreditation contact listing maintained by AACA
  • Accreditation Standing Panel membership
  • All stakeholders and individuals that made a submission on the Issues Paper during Stage 3
  • A number of individuals that have requested to be kept informed of progress with the Review Project.

Project updates:

  • Initial update: Have your say January 2020 – see here
  • Update 20 April 2020 – see here
  • Update 1 June 2020 – release of Issues Paper – see here
  • Update end Sep 2020 – progress update – see here
  • Update 18 Nov 2020 – progress update – see here 
  • Update 15 Dec 2020 – release of the revised NSCA for stakeholder comment – see here

If you wish to be informed when project updates are published, please send an email to [email protected] and we will send you an email link when project updates are published.


Updated 17 December 2020


Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
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