The National Standard of Competency for Architects

The National Standard of Competency for Architects establishes the standard for architectural education and assessment of professional competency prior to registration as an Architect in Australia.

The Standard identifies the primary activities that are fundamental to the practice of architecture and in relation to which an architect is expected to demonstrate competence in the delivery of professional services.

Competency standards are occupational functions (expressed as Performance Criteria) that a candidate should be able to perform effectively in an ordinary work environment. The National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) sets out functions important to the profession of architecture, rather than simply measuring knowledge in isolation from skills, or time spent in formal education. 

The Standard applies to the accreditation of Australian university programs, Overseas Qualifications Assessment, theNational Program of Assessment, the Architectural Practice Examination and the Assessment of Overseas Architects. It consists of 4 Units of Competency covering Design, Documentation, Project Delivery and Practice Management, which contain 70 individual Performance Criteria and 5 Knowledge Domains which underpin all performance criteria.

The AACA has maintained the NSCA (previously known as the National Competency Standards in Architecture) since 1990, in collaboration with the architectural sector and Australian state and territory Architects registration boards.


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

+61 (2) 8042 8930
[email protected]
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.

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