Stage 2 Final Assessment 

OQA Stage 2 is the final stage and completes the Overseas Qualifications Assessment. Through the submission of a project portfolio and participation in a panel interview, applicants have the opportunity to demonstrate how their qualifications have equipped them with the skills, knowledge and competencies required to satisfactorily meet the relevant criteria of the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). This is the minimum standard required of a graduate from an accredited program of study in Australia.

The outcome is determined by the applicant’s ability to convincingly demonstrate that they possess the competencies required to adequately meet the relevant performance criteria. Successful participants are eligible to sit the Architecture Practice Examination to register as architect in Australia.

The information on this webpage is a summary only and applicants must follow the detailed information in the Guide for Applicants below.

See here for an Online Briefing on the OQA Stage 2. 

Key Documents


To be eligible to submit an Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 2 application, you must:

  • Have completed the Stage 1 Provisional Assessment of the Overseas Qualifications Assessment, regardless of the outcome.
  • Be a lawful resident of Australia* with work rights holding a visa that is valid for at least 3 months. Applicants in Australia on a tourist visa are not eligible for Stage 2.
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency.

*While Australia’s borders are closed due to COVID-19, we can accept applications submitted by Australian citizens and permanent residents who currently reside overseas.

Assessment Criteria

  • Knowledge acquisition; applicant demonstrates a clear understanding, no requirement for application or demonstration of skill.
  • Skill acquisition; applicant demonstrates skill, no requirement for application in practice.
  • Application of Knowledge and Skill in architectural practice; applicant demonstrates a clear understanding and can demonstrate where they have applied it in architectural or practice scenario.

A portfolio including two to four Architectural Design projects (academic and/or professional work), mapped against 37 performance criteria of the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) that are set as benchmark for the accreditation of Australian architecture programs. An applicant has to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through the mapping of project examples and written responses against each of the performance criteria.

When a portfolio meets the submission requirements, an applicant will be invited to the OQA Stage 2 assessment interview with two external assessors to articulate the ways in which their responses in the portfolio as well as their overall knowledge and skills meet these competencies.

Submission Checklist

  • Project Portfolio
  • NSCA Performance Criteria Checklist
  • Project Summary Proforma
  • Proof of Residency Status (Australian passport or VEVO notification)
  • English Proficiency
  • Statutory Declaration Form
  • Payment of fee
  • Evidence of registration as an architect (if applicable)
  • Evidence of change of name (if applicable)
  • English translations (if applicable)
  • Authorsing letter for agent (if applicable)
  • Three documents for identification (two photo IDs), for example, a scan of your passport, ID card, Driver license, social security card, VEVO notification, IELTS web portal access

Application Process

Applications are generally finalised within 12 weeks. Feedback on the portfolio will be sent (depending on AACA’s internal deadlines) within 2-4 weeks. The assessment interview will be scheduled within the 12 week’s timeframe, depending on the applicant’s availability. An outcome letter is issued within one week of the interview date.

Results & Appeals


Successful applicants are eligible to apply for the Architecture Practice Examination (APE), and can, after passing the exams, register as architect with a state or territory architect registration board. On request from the applicant, also a Skills Assessment letter for immigration purposes can be issued.


Unsuccessful applicants will receive feedback including performance criteria they have not met, and will receive a recommendation how to improve their skills and how to proceed the pathway to registration.


Applicants may appeal a decision made by AACA. The appeal must be lodged in writing to the CEO of AACA within 28 days from the date of notification of the result. Applicants must state clearly the grounds for their appeal and provide a record of payment of the fee.


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).

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).

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

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.