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Professional requirements for architects vary from place to place, but usually consist of three elements: a university degree or advanced education, a period of internship or training in an office, and examination for registration with a jurisdiction.
Professionals engaged in the design and supervision of construction projects prior to the late 19th century were not necessarily trained in a separate architecture program in an academic setting. Instead, they usually carried the title of Master Builder, or , after serving a number of years as an apprentice (such as Sir Christopher Wren). The formal study of architecture in academic institutions played a pivotal role in the development of the profession as a whole, serving as a focal point for advances in architectural technology and theory.
In Australia, the title of architect is legally limited to those registered through state and territory Architects Registration Boards. These boards are affiliated through the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA). The AACA also conducts assessments for architects with overseas qualifications for the purposes of migration and/or registration as an architect in Australia. University Schools of Architecture are accredited by state and territory boards, based on a procedure jointly agreed by the AACA and the Australian Institute of Architects.
There are three key requirements for registration: a professional degree from an accredited school of architecture; at least two years of practical experience; and the completion of the architectural practice examination.
Architects may also be members of the Australian Institute of Architects (formerly the Royal Australian Institute of Architects), which is the professional organization. Members use the post-nominal letters RAIA.
All states and territories have legislation to govern the use of the title architect and make it an offence for anyone other than a registered architect to use the title. As exact requirements can vary, it is essential to check the relevant legislation in each State.
In Canada, architects are required to meet three common requirements for registration: education, experience, and examination. Educational requirements generally consist of an M.Arch. degree and are certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). For degreed candidates, the experience requirement is typically the Intern Architect Program (IAP). The provincial associations of architects, by the authority granted under their respective provincial Architects Act, require that Interns gain a minimum of 5,600 hours of work experience. The fundamental purpose of the pre-registration/licensing employment period is to ensure that the Intern is provided with sufficient experience to meet the standards of practical skill and level of competence required to engage in the practice of architecture. This experience is diversified into four main categories and 16 sub-categories, and must be completed working under the direct supervision of a registered architect. At present, all jurisdictions use the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a series of seven computerized exams administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). As well, all jurisdictions recognize the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC), administered by the Pan Canadian ExAC Committee. Upon completion of the educational requirements, IAP, and examinations, one can apply for registration/license with their respective provincial architectural institute. Architects must pay an annual fee and meet continuing education requirements to maintain their license to practice.
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