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Bespoke Careers

05 July 2023

05 July 2023

Navigating the Application Process for Architects Seeking Registration under the MRA

Last week, Bespoke Careers partnered with the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) to celebrate the signing of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between Australia, the UK, and New Zealand. We had the privilege of hosting guest speakers Emma Matthews from the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Kathlyn Loseby from the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) who shared their insights on the agreement and its benefits for architects across these nations. Hosted by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), the event brought together a diverse group of architects and industry professionals, all sharing a common passion for architecture and excitement about the opportunities this will provide.

What does the MRA mean for architects in NZ, Australia and the UK?

Under the ambit of the MRA, architects from Australia, the UK, and New Zealand will now enjoy streamlined pathways to professional recognition and licensure in each respective country. Through close collaboration between the ARB, the AACA and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB), the MRA provides architects with the chance to expand their professional horizons across borders and engage in global architectural opportunities.

The signing of the MRA marks a significant milestone in the architectural community, ushering in a new era of collaboration, growth, and shared expertise. By recognising the qualifications of architects from the three nations as comparable and equivalent, the agreement establishes a framework for seamless professional mobility. Architects can now more easily navigate the complex realm of international registration as the MRA streamlines the process and eliminates unnecessary barriers.

Eligibility Criteria

Architects seeking registration in foreign jurisdictions under the MRA must fulfil a few specific eligibility requirements and follow a structured application process.

UK architects applying to Australia or New Zealand must have completed the ARB prescribed qualifications at Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 levels and be registered with the ARB. They may also be eligible if they have accredited Australian or New Zealand qualifications, equivalent to UK Part 1 and Part 2, and an ARB-prescribed qualification at Part 3 level. Additional requirements set by AACA or NZRAB must be met.

Australian or New Zealand architects applying to the UK must have completed an accredited qualification in architecture from a school of architecture in Australia or New Zealand, hold current registration, and pass ARB's UK Adaptation Assessment.

Recognition of Masters Level qualifications is also included in the agreement, allowing for the recognition of AACA-accredited masters-level qualifications from Australia and New Zealand in the UK. Similarly, ARB-accredited UK Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications can be recognized in Australia and New Zealand.

The application process involves contacting the respective architecture boards, obtaining certificates of eligibility, and completing additional assessments as required. Fees are applicable for certification and assessments.

It's important to note that the agreement does not cover architects who have joined the UK register through the EU route or through the ARB Prescribed Examination route with non-accredited qualifications.

Application ProcessĀ 

The application process will differ depending on your circumstances. Architects from Australia or New Zealand seeking registration in the UK must initiate the process by contacting AACA or NZRAB respectively, to verify eligibility. A certificate confirming eligibility is then issued and sent to ARB. Next, the applicant must complete the UK Adaptation Assessment conducted by ARB to demonstrate competence in the UK context.

UK architects seeking registration in Australia or New Zealand must contact ARB to initiate the process. Upon issuance of the certificate from ARB, the architect needs to fulfil additional requirements set by AACA or NZRAB, followed by successful completion of the respective assessment. For more information on the application requirements, head here:


The MRA between the three nations not only facilitates the cross-border exchange of qualifications and expertise but also encourages architects to embrace new cultural contexts, explore fresh perspectives, and contribute their skills to diverse architectural landscapes. Architects now have the means to obtain recognition on an international scale, contributing to diverse architectural environments and enriching the global community. By eliminating unnecessary barriers to international registration, the MRA empowers architects to pursue exciting professional journeys while safeguarding the quality and standards of the architectural profession.

Sincere thanks Allford Hall Monaghan Morris for graciously hosting this event, andĀ  Kathelyn and Emma for providing their insights. A big thank you too to all the guests for joining us. Your participation and engagement have added immense value to this event, and we are grateful for your contributions.

Author: Micah Davis-Rae, Bespoke Careers

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