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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.

New set of procedures

Please note: From September 2022, 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.

Please do not hesitate to contact us regarding questions over the transition from the old to new procedures using the details below.

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.

Engaging with RIBA

As part of our validation procedures we request information on the professional activities and qualifications of academic staff, but we do not have specific requirements for the number of academic staff who have RIBA membership.  However, we strongly encourage schools of architecture to support academic staff who wish to engage with the educational activities of the RIBA through membership, especially those staff with leading roles in validated programmes.

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 5-yearly visit.

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

Validation charges

Fees for RIBA validation will be introduced with the new procedures. All new enquiries and applications will be charged the following:

  • Consideration of a new course through a 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.

  • All UK and international schools must pay a retention fee of £1000+VAT/p.a.

This will be invoiced quinquennially i.e. £5000+VAT total and must be paid by the school, before the next validation visit is undertaken.

  • Full cost recovery of board members' expenses (international)

Schools will be required to make the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements for all international visiting boards (exploratory, full, revisits) 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


Current mandatory procedures:

2021 RIBA Procedures for Validation (PDF) - for UK and international courses in architecture

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