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RIBA and ARB issue revised practical experience requirements for architecture students


10 June 2011

Press office contact:

Mina Vadon
T: +44 (0)207 307 3761
E: mina.vadon@riba.org

In conjunction with the Architects Registration Board (ARB), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has revised the criteria governing the practical experience that must be undertaken by architecture students prior to sitting the Part 3 examination.

The RIBA and the ARB have worked together to develop a common practical experience requirement which will satisfy both the RIBA's Part 3 examination regulations and the ARB's requirements for registration.

The changes, which have been implemented with immediate effect, seek to reflect the global nature of the practice of architecture by allowing for greater flexibility in terms of the types of placement that students can undertake during their professional experience in terms of location, timing and supervising professional. The new requirements place an increased emphasis on the quality of the experience itself, and how it contributes to competence against the Part 3 criteria.

Speaking today, RIBA Director of Education David Gloster said:

'In agreeing these revisions to the practical experience requirements, the RIBA acknowledges that graduates can benefit from exposure to, and understanding of, different disciplines operating in varied construction locations. The changes to practical experience eligibility criteria will facilitate graduates' capability to accumulate the necessary experience for their PEDR, and enrich their grasp of the connections between all members of the professional design team.  We would also like to thank our colleagues at the ARB for their valued input to another constructive collaboration between the RIBA and the statutory body.'

David Jones, Chair of ARB’s Prescription Committee said:

'This has been an excellent opportunity to work closely with the RIBA and to develop a common rule in this area which will benefit students, schools of architecture and ultimately, the profession.’


Notes to editors

  1. For further information, please contact Mina Vadon in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3761/mina.vadon@inst.riba.org or Sue Young, ARB on +44 (020) 7580 5861/suey@arb.org.uk.
  2. The RIBA’s previous requirements stated: the minimum period of professional experience is 24 months, which normally must be completed after the start of an architectural course and before sitting the RIBA Examination in Professional Practice and Management (Part 3).  Normally 12 months of professional experience must be undertaken in the United Kingdom, under the direct supervision of an architect, after passing or gaining exemption from Part 2 of the RIBA Examination in Architecture and prior to sitting the RIBA Examination in Professional Practice and Management, (Part 3).
  3. The ARB’s previous requirements for registration stated: [an individual has] completed at least two years’ practical training experience working under the direct supervision of an architect registered in the EEA, 12 months of which must be undertaken in the UK under the direct supervision of a Part 1 Registrant. A minimum 12 months of the prerequisite practical training experience must be undertaken after completion of a five-year course of study and award of a [prescribed] qualification.  The practical training requirement can be varied by the Board in relation to the supervising person set out in that paragraph, acting within guidelines published by the Board from time to time.
  4. The revised joint requirements state: candidates should have recently completed a minimum of 24 months' practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry, which should include at least 12 months working in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, under the direct supervision of an architect.
  5. Definitions:
  • months: these will be calendar months of full time working (at least 20 hours a week). Reasonable time off for holidays and illness may be included in this period. (Where the work is less than 20 hours per week, applicants will be expected to complete a commensurately longer period of experience)
  • practical experience: experience which consists of activities which would typically be undertaken by an architect in practice. (The Part 3 Criteria are helpful in setting out in broad terms, some of the activities which are likely to be required to be undertaken).
  • recently: at least 12 of the 24 months' experience should have been undertaken in the two years immediately before taking the Part 3 exam.
  • direct supervision: the person supervising should have responsibility for and control over the work being undertaken.
  • professional working in the construction industry: will be an architect registered in the territory where the experience is being undertaken or a chartered or similarly qualified member of an appropriate professional body. The ‘construction industry' will include qualified professionals typically involved in the procurement, design and management of the built environment.


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