IMPORTANT Read the RIBA's latest COVID-19 advice and information | Website terms of use and cookie statement

Validation procedures and criteria

Peer-reviewed process that monitors compliance with internationally recognised minimum standards in architectural education and encourages excellence and diversity in student achievement.

RIBA Validation is a peer-reviewed 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 and architecture students.

The validation criteria are jointly held by the RIBA and Architects Registration Board (ARB) and can be viewed in the validation procedures below.

Please note

From September 2021, RIBA visiting boards will use a new set of procedures, with Themes and Values for Architectural Education (T+V4AE) as an entirely rewritten validation framework reviewing the skills of architecture graduates. T+V4AE forms part of the new procedures document, and provides a structure for knowledge, skills, and understanding extending across study at RIBA parts 1, 2, and 3. Our new procedures can be viewed below alongside the current procedures. Schools should note the following timeline:

  • 1 September 2021: RIBA Procedures for Validation [for UK and international courses in architecture] is introduced to allow schools to consider the changes to curricula, course content, and delivery needed to meet the requirements of T+V4AE
  • the new procedures refer to all RIBA-validated schools both in the UK, and outside the UK
  • from the start of the second semester of the academic year 2021-22 (around 1 February 2022), the new procedures will be mandatory
  • all schools visited after this point will need to demonstrate to RIBA visiting boards that their students’ work meets the requirements of T+V4AE
  • schools visited before this date can elect to be revalidated against the outgoing procedures or the new procedures

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. For all new schools seeking RIBA validation – or currently validated schools considering the introduction of a new course - the new 2021 RIBA Procedures for Validation [for UK and international courses in architecture] will apply.

Validating degree apprenticeship programmes

Degree apprenticeship programmes offered by current providers (universities, colleges and other institutions) of RIBA-validated programmes will be regarded by the RIBA as new pathways within an existing validated programme. These providers will submit documentation to the RIBA New Courses Group for consideration. If the NCG is satisfied, the degree apprenticeship pathway will be validated for Part 1 or Part 2 and 3 (as appropriate) with immediate effect. The RIBA Visiting Board will consider the degree apprenticeship pathways for continued validation alongside all other validated programmes at the providers’ next five-yearly visit.

Degree apprenticeships offered by other providers will be subject to the full new courses procedures

Validation and consultancy charges

Charges for validation were increased in June 2017. All new enquiries and applications will be charged the following:

Consideration of a new course through an RIBA Exploratory Board: £12,500* (UK and international).

This will be invoiced immediately after a decision to convene an Exploratory Board has been made by the RIBA New Courses Group (NCG), and must be paid before the visit takes place. Exemptions may apply - for further information please contact the validation team using the details below.

  • Full cost recovery of board members' expenses (international)
  • Educational consultancy (per person): £500 per person, per day (UK and international)* †
  • Full cost recovery of consultants’ expenses (UK and international)*

In all cases, schools will be required 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.

† This charge is currently being revised and is due to be increased.

If you wish to discuss the process with us, please contact validation@riba.org

Documents

Current mandatory procedures:

2011 RIBA Procedures for Validation [for UK and international courses in architecture]

All procedures, including those not yet mandatory:

2021 RIBA Procedures for Validation [for UK and international courses in architecture]

keyboard_arrow_up To top

Latest updates