Important update for graduates seeking registration and the practices supporting them
The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) Architectural Practice Examination (APE) is a nationally consistent three-part NSCA Competency-based assessment process. APE applications are open two seasons per year. All candidates seeking registration as an architect in Australia are required to successfully complete the APE unless exempted through an eligible overseas assessment process or the Experienced Practitioner Assessment.
A number of changes relating to the APE will come into effect from 2024.
Summary of Changes in 2024
- In 2024 the APE will implement the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA), which introduces First Nations cultural competencies and expands sustainability competencies.
- The Procedure document has been updated and is now the Architectural Practice Examination Handbook (aaca.org.au)
- Candidates will no longer log experience as Observer, Participant and Executive
- The logbook is now online
- The Statement of Practical Experience needs to be verified by a registered architect
- Candidates must complete the APE Performance Criteria Report
- Candidates must review the AACA APE study guide and online resources
- The National Examination Paper (part 2) will increase to an 80 question and 120-minute exam
Transition Between 2015 NSCA and 2021 NSCA
APE Part 3 candidates who submitted 2023 (or prior) documents, may need to resubmit Part 1 documents using the 2024 APE format.
Refer the below table and confirm details with your local board:
- ACT: No transition must resubmit Part 1 with 2024 format.
- NSW: No transition must resubmit Part 1 with 2024 format.
- NT: No transition must resubmit Part 1 with 2024 format.
- QLD: 24-month transition, expires end 2025. Refer QLD Board for conditions.
- SA: No transition must resubmit Part 1 with 2024 format. Refer SA Board for special consideration.
- TAS: 12-month transition, expires end 2024. Refer Tas Board for conditions.
- VIC: No transition must resubmit Part 1 with 2024 format.
- WA: 12-month transition, expires end 2024. Refer WA Board for conditions.
Candidates seeking to register in 2024 are urged to seek out the information available from the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (aaca.org.au) and their local registration boards.
Practices who run registration education sessions for their graduate staff should also seek to update themselves on these new requirements to ensure adequate preparation for the new requirements.
The Institute’s 2023 PALs program is designed to prepare graduates for the APE and practice beyond registration. PALS has been enhanced with three new online modules of extensively researched and up to date material complete with accompanying Acumen practice notes to make sure our registration education is the best and most up to date on offer.
Graduates enrolling in PALS should be aware that their 12-month subscription will equip them with the knowledge required to prepare for registration in 2023 (2015 NSCA competency structure) or 2024 (2021 NSCA competency structure).
Under the Architects Award 2020, employers must assist graduates’ progress towards obtaining the mandatory experience required for registration (see clause 13.3) and allow up to four days’ leave of absence with pay to study for and attend the APE exam and interview (see clause 13.6)