International validation

RIBA validation is an internationally recognised benchmark for excellence in architecture. Schools of architecture all over the world invite the RIBA to consider their programmes for validation because the process offers a high quality, robust and objective peer review service, the result of over 100 years at the forefront of validating architectural education.  

The RIBA aims to offer a rigorous and systematic inspection of architectural courses to ensure parity on an international scale, whilst respecting the local systems within which schools operate. This is a key factor in the Institute's mission to advance architecture and promote excellence in the profession.

The breadth and depth of current architectural teaching and practice is represented in our Validation Panel, whose members are highly experienced educators and practitioners. Over 90 courses in 23 countries worldwide are now recognised by the RIBA (sometimes in collaboration with the Commonwealth Association of Architects) and this number is increasing. See RIBA recognised courses.

Services we offer

RIBA Visiting Boards

RIBA Visiting Boards review course content and the work of students to determine whether the course can be granted exemption from the RIBA examinations.*

RIBA Exploratory and Monitoring Visits

Members of the Validation Panel will explore with the school the possibility of the school hosting a Visiting Board. It will give advice on appropriateness of standards, or monitor and advise on appropriateness of standards to an already recognised course, beyond standard visiting board procedure. 

RIBA International Education Consultancy

Our Validation Panel members are also available to undertake consultancy work, offering schools advice on general education issues, for example standards, course structure, curriculum and so forth. This operates beyond the standard visiting board procedure and is available to all schools, whether they are recognised by the RIBA or not. 

More information on this service will be supplied on request.

Validation procedures and criteria

Overseas schools are validated according to the same criteria as UK schools. From 1 September 2011, the following procedures and criteria will apply. Please note it is not possible for non-UK programmes to apply for Part 3 validation.

Overseas validation charging

With effect from 16 September 2010, the costs associated with this process are as follows:

  • Consideration of a new course through an RIBA Exploratory Board: £7,500.
    This will be invoiced immediately after a decision to convene an Exploratory Board has been made by the RIBA New Courses and Course Changes Group, and must be paid before the visit takes place. Exemptions may apply – for further information please contact the validation team using the details below. This does not cover Board members' costs.
  • International educational consultancy (per person): £500 per person, per day.
  • Full cost recovery of members' (and consultants') expenses at cost for all visits.

In all cases, schools will be encouraged to make the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements for the visiting board in advance of the visit.

VAT will be applied where appropriate at the prevailing rate. 

Contact details

We welcome validation enquiries from all schools of architecture. If you are interested in inviting an RIBA Visiting Board to your school, or wish to discuss the process with us, please contact

Non-EU qualified architects are still required to fulfil the requirements of the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) if they wish to register and practise in the UK.

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