Overseas Qualifications Assessment

How can I have my overseas qualifications in architecture assessed for migration purposes?

Details about the AAAC’s Overseas Qualifications Assessment process is found here.

Can you tell me whether my overseas qualification is recognised by AACA?

The AACA considers applications on a case by case basis. Therefore, we cannot provide advice on a qualification until a full application together with supporting documentation and payment of the fee has been received. See here for information on AACA’s overseas assessment process and links to application forms.

If my overseas qualification is assessed as not suitable for the occupation architect for migration purposes, will AACA advise me how I can upgrade my qualifications to be able to meet the requirements? 

The assessment of overseas qualifications is a two-stage process. Stage 1 – Provisional Assessment is a desk based assessment of academic qualifications obtained by coursework. Once resident in Australia and regardless of the outcome of the Stage 1 assessment applicants can apply for Stage 2. The Final Assessment is a detailed assessment of applicants’ experience gained through academic or professional practice. If unsuccessful in Stage 2, advice is provided on areas of deficiencies and top up studies are recommended as a requirement for the offer of a second interview. 

I had a Provisional Assessment a few years ago but my qualifications were found to be not suitable. Now that I have more experience I’d like to apply again. 

If you are a resident in Australia and you have completed a Provisional Assessment regardless of the outcome you should undertake the Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 2 – Final Assessment. In the portfolio required for this assessment you may provide through academic or professional practice.

If you are not a resident in Australia, you may only re-apply if you have completed additional qualifications in studies related to architecture.

I’d like to have my qualifications assessed but am waiting for my university to provide one of the required documents. Can I submit my application now and send the remaining documents later?

Applications must be complete when submitted, with all supporting documents in the required format. See here.

How long is my skills assessment valid for?

For the purpose of migration, assessments are valid for three years. If your assessment is older than that and your need an assessment for your visa application we are able to re-issue the outcome statement for a small fee. See our forms and fees page here.

What is the level of English language competency required by AACA?

For a Provisional Assessment AACA has no English language requirement. For a Final Assessment a standard English proficiency test is required if the qualification obtained was not undertaken in English. An IELTS Test Certificate (scoring 6.5 or above), or equivalent or a letter from an employer certifying English language proficiency is sufficient evidence.

Can I apply for Stage 2 when my OQA Stage 1 outcome was unsuccessful?

Yes, you can apply for Stage 2 when you reside in Australia and hold a valid visa for at least 12 weeks.

Can I include more than 4 projects?

You can refer to additional projects under the final section ‘Miscellaneous’ (no project title to be included). This section can only refer to knowledge-based (K) criteria (not A or S criteria that have to be mapped against one of your projects).

Do I have to map each of the 37 performance criteria (PC) against each of the included projects?

You only have to include one reference for each of the criteria, or two – as outlined in the NSCA criteria list – for A and S criteria under the section E3 (Conceptual Design) and E4 (Schematic Design). Altogether, the minimum amount of examples is 50 (one for each of the 37, plus a second example for the 13 A and S criteria of section E3 and E4).

Do I need to provide two examples for K criteria of units E3 (Conceptual) and E4 (Schematic Design)? 

No, we ask for only one reference for criteria referring to knowledge acquisition (K).

What can we present under the final portfolio section ‘Miscellaneous’?

You can reference additional project extracts or sketches (including projects that are not your own), figures or screen captures of web pages where we can source building regulations, a code of conduct, standards for contracting; basically anything that would be in general applicable to projects. You can map K criteria either against one of your projects or refer to these to Miscellaneous examples.

Can I include more examples for some of the performance criteria (PC)?

You can include more references, but there is no need to include more than what is listed in the NSCA performance criteria checklist. Assessors prefer brief but specific responses. Avoid repetitive responses. 

Do I have to include a student project?

We recommend to include one student project (for example, the final design project) as basis for a discussion during the Stage 2 interview, however, it’s also fine to include professional projects only.

Can I include in the portfolio my CV? What else do you need or can I include?

Please don’t include any additional content (e.g. a CV, certificates or a list of computational skills.) However, you can include design awards or any publications that are relevant to your architectural designs. 

Can I address more than one performance criterion on a portfolio page?

Some of the performance criteria (PC) are similar and can be addressed with the same figure and a joined response. We recommend to include not more than 2 or 3 PC on one portfolio page. When grouping responses, allow for white space and identify/label the relevant figure and written response.

Do I need to enter in the Project Proforma form for how long I’ve worked on each of the professional projects?

Please enter in which calendar year(s) you’ve worked on each of the projects (e.g. 2018; 2019-current), we do not ask for the duration.

What level of English language competency is required? Does it have to be an IELTS test?

AACA accepts an IELTS test (Academic or General) with an overall band score of 6.5 or higher (we don’t ask for a minimum score for each band scale), or of comparable level including other typical tests such as PTE Academic, TOEFL IBT, Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency. The test reports shouldn’t be older than 3 years. As per guide we also accept a letter from your current employer.

What happens after my portfolio has been approved?

After receiving positive feedback on your portfolio and other documents, you will receive an invitation for the OQA Stage 2 assessment interview. When passing the interview you will receive a positive outcome letter from us (and a Skills Assessment letter if you would need it for immigration purposes). You are then eligible to apply for the three-part Architectural Practice Examination (APE) with the relevant architect registration board to register as architect. The APE is offered twice per year, please be aware of the deadlines.

How long does it take to process an application for skills assessment?

Generally it takes a maximum of 12 weeks to process applications once complete applications are received. If documentation is not complete, not properly certified or translated, or the fee is not paid in the prescribed way the assessment may take longer as assessments cannot be completed until all documentation requirements have been fully met.

I’ve recently completed an accredited Australian architecture qualification, having previously completed a Bachelor of Architecture overseas. I’d like to have my qualifications assessed for migration purposes. What documents should I provide?

You do not have to provide the Bachelor degree documents if your Master’s qualification is listed as an Accredited Australian Architecture Qualification. You should apply for a verification of your Australian qualification, see here.

How long does it take to process an application for verification of an Australian qualification for migration purposes?

Applications for verification of Australian qualifications for migration purposes usually take no more than four weeks to complete, provided the fee and complete documentation is provided in accordance with AACA’s requirements. See here

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