Practice of
Learning Series

Cloister House indoor garden
The 2019 National Award for Residential Architecture | Cloister House | MORQ | WA | Photographer: Givlio Aristide

Practice of Architecture Learning Series (PALS)

Set yourself up for registration exam success with the new and improved PALS program

At the Institute, we’ve been helping graduates prepare for and pass the Architectural Practice Exam (APE) for over 20 years.

Developed by expert Institute members, PALS has now been updated for the next generation of graduates. With more modules, full online access and case study webinar sessions, the comprehensive course provides the tools to help you succeed in your practice.


Register for PALS here


Why use PALS?

  • The program includes 21 pre-recorded online modules that you can complete in your own time
  • The final module is on preparing for the exam, and is presented by an APE examiner
  • The main reference material for the program is the Institute’s highly regarded Acumen practice notes, and the course includes access to Acumen for 12 months (please note further charges will be incurred for access past the 12 month period)
  • The program also includes access to case studies facilitated by experienced architects. You’ll be able to ask questions, explore case studies and learn how to apply your new knowledge in a virtual classroom
  • You’ll have access to the PALS program for 12 months, ensuring those who want to study at a slower pace, or need to re-sit the exam, have the flexibility to do so
  • The program is the perfect refresher course if you are coming back to the profession or moving to Australia from another country.

2022 case study dates

Session 1 dates:
Thursday 24 Feb 2022
Thursday 03 March 2022
Thursday 10 March 2022
Thursday 17 March 2022
Thursday 24 March 2022
Thursday 31 March 2022
Thursday 7 April 2022

Session 2 dates:
Thursday 30 June 2022
Thursday 7 July 2022
Thursday 14 July 2022
Thursday 21 July 2022
Thursday, 28 July 2022
Thursday, 4 August 2022
Thursday 11 August 2022

Exam dates 2022:
1 – 12 April
2 – 13 Sep


Multi-user pricing and FAQs

Multi user pricing is available. Read the FAQs and contact Knowledge Services at for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? Find the answer here

If you still can’t find the answer to your question, get in touch with our friendly PALS team via and they’ll help you out.

The PALS program draws together a number of learning resources to give you the best preparation for the APE. At its heart are the 21 Module videos. Each video contains a pre-recorded seminar provided by our team of industry experts focusing on an essential topic area both for your successful completion of the APE and to be the best practitioner you can be.

Here’s a little sample of what you can expect.

To reinforce what you’ve learned in the Modules, we provide regular Case Study livestream events. These are fully interactive webinars convened by an unsurpassed range of senior professionals and topic area experts. Each Case Study applies the theories into complex, real-world scenarios, and tackles the hard questions faced by architects in practice every day. These rigorous and dynamic sessions will sharpen your ability to evaluate, consider and act in any situation.

Have a quick look at sample of what you can expect here.

Once purchased, graduates have access to the PALS program for 12 months, ensuring those who want to study at a slower pace, or need to re-sit the exam, have the flexibility to do so.

Your full year’s access includes access to:

  • The full program of 21 pre-recorded online module presentations that you can view, absorb and complete in your own time, along with recordings of recent Case Study sessions.
  • Opportunity to join us for our live Case Study sessions

This in-depth program includes a final module which focuses specifically on preparing for the exam, and is presented by an APE examiner.

The main reference material for the program is the Institute’s highly regarded Acumen practice notes, and the course includes full access to Acumen for 12 months.

The program also includes access to Case Study sessions facilitated by experienced architects. You will be able to ask questions, explore case studies and learn how to apply your new knowledge in a virtual classroom.

Approximately one and a half hours long.

No, they are not compulsory, but they are strongly recommended to get the most out of the program. We will also be recording the session and making them available after the session.

Yes, to get the most out of the online tutorials we suggest you cover the relevant modules. There are 21 modules, each online tutorial session is set up to cover case studies and questions to specific modules (e.g. 1-3).

Of course we hope all PALS subscribers will pass, but you will have access to the PALS program for one year.

You will have access to the recordings of the online tutor sessions. The online learning modules and Acumen access have been designed to make available to everyone the tools and resources to prepare for the exam.

To buy PALS, simply head over to our PALS registration page and follow the instructions. If you already have a membership or user record, please have your login and password details handy.

If you are currently a member of the Institute you can buy PALS straight away at the special discounted rate by logging into the PALS registration page with your Australian Institute of Architects member number (e.g.: 54321) and your usual password.

That’s great! As an Institute member, you’ll receive some great benefits and discounted pricing for PALS too. Find out more about becoming a member or you can join online now.

Yes. In addition to the other member discounts and benefits, you can buy PALS for $863 pp instead of $1346. If you are eligible for A+ membership, PALS is discounted even further to $561 pp. Additional discounts also apply for multi-user purchases. For more information and to check out the benefits of becoming an Institute member, head over to our Memberships Page.

Yes, and the amount will vary according to the number of users. For example, A+ members get approximately 35% off for 2-5 users. Multi-user options are great for larger firms. Please email for multi-user discounts.

Please contact Knowledge Services at, stating the number of users required and your contact details. The person you nominate will then be contacted to begin the registration process.

You can still buy PALS as a non-member and pay the full price. Keep in mind that, depending on your graduate level, it may actually cost less to become an Institute member and then purchase PALS than it does to buy PALS as a non-member.

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) administers Governments legislation regulating architects under the Architects Act.

They regulate and oversee the exams, logbooks, registrations or submission and APE dates. For any APE questions please refer to the AACA website.

The Australian Institute of Architects, that delivers the PALS course, is a membership organisation and represents the industry and practice of the architect. PALS prepares graduates for the APE exams and develops their pathway in practice.

The Institute’s PALS course does not regulate or oversee the exams, logbooks, registration or submission and APE dates.

Acumen is the Institute’s online database of architectural practice advisory material. Acumen content is structured under Practice, Project and Resource streams. Each stream enables the user to ‘drill down’ to the level of information required to satisfy their inquiry. Purchase of the PALS program includes 12 months subscription to Acumen.

Each module contains links to supplementary Acumen material on the main topics to give you more in-depth knowledge. Once the PALS module takes you to the relevant Acumen entry, you will need to log in using the same login details you use for PALS.

Yes, the PALS modules cover all the essentials of architectural practice, so they make an ideal refresher course for architects returning to work.

Yes, because the PALS modules are an excellent, self-paced and easily accessible learning tool for architects and other design professionals who want to familiarise themselves with the essential aspects of Australian architectural practice.

No. PALS and Acumen are sold as a fully integrated package that is set up to give you personal, convenient and at-home access.

Log into the PALS site with your member ID and password. Click on the “Buy now” button in the top right corner. You should see this message:

“You have already purchased the PALS program and cannot purchase it again for the 12-month duration for which it is active. For support, please contact Click here to view your receipt.”

Click on the link in the last line to view your invoice.

Member Testimonials

PALS Experience

In Part 1, members talk about the key benefits of doing PALS, the online modules and Acumen Practice Notes, and the collegiate experience of the face-to-face tutorials when grappling with the Architectural Practice Exam together. They finish off by relating some of their most memorable moments from the course.


To register for PALS, simply head over to our PALS registration page and follow the instructions.


In Part 2, they talk about how they used PALS to prepare for the APE and all aspects of the registration process, such as the logbook. They conclude by discussing the greater value of PALS; insights for day-to-day practice, confidence for starting your own practice and a greater knowledge base.


To register for PALS, simply head over to our PALS registration page and follow the instructions.