Validation procedure and criteria


Validation procedures and criteria

RIBA Validation is a peer review process that monitors compliance with internationally recognised minimum standards in architectural education and encourages excellence and diversity in student achievement. 

Visiting Boards visit schools of architecture to assess the output standard of courses for exemption from the RIBA's examinations in architecture. The boards are composed of practising architects, academics, architecture students, and construction team co-professionals. Until 1 September 2011 courses in architecture were validated on a four-year cycle. Schools validated from 1 September 2011 onwards will revert to a five-year cycle.  

The RIBA validation procedures and validation criteria were revised on 1 September 2011. A revised version of the procedures, approved by the RIBA Education Committee on 2 May 2014, comes into immediate effect. This supersede all previous versions of the Procedures document.

The validation criteria are jointly held by the RIBA and Architects Registration Board (ARB).


RIBA education review

In autumn 2013 the RIBA launched a review of the structure of architectural education in the UK.

Through the Education Review group, representing stakeholders from academia and practice, the RIBA is keen to act as a catalyst for the development of new models for architectural education, which can be taken forward and established by schools of architecture and other course providers.  Several other reviews are taking place concurrently, and the outcome of these will also need to be considered diligently. 

Further information on the RIBA Education Review - August 2014 update

validating new programmes of architecture

The procedures for seeking validation for an existing or projected programme of architecture are described in full in the Validation Procedures document.

UK 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.
  • UK educational consultancy (per person): £500 per person, per day.
  • Full cost recovery of members' (and consultants') expenses at cost. 

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. 

If you wish to discuss the process with us, please contact

International validation

The RIBA also validates courses outside the UK. Find out more about our  International Validation courses .