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Non EU-admission appears to break the ARB's rules

There is widespread confusion over whether an Australian-born architect has undermined a central tenet of the ARB's work.

Charles Edwards, a University of Sydney graduate, has persuaded the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) to admit him, a move that means he doesn't have to take the ARB's external exams to join the British register.

These exams have always been compulsory for any non-EU trained architect that wants to join the board.

There has been increasing frustration in recent years at the cost charged by the board of taking the exams, which are administered by Oxford Brookes University.

The RIAI agreed that Edwards should be allowed to join as an associate because Sydney was judged to be a sufficiently good institution. The RIAI is also the register of architects in the Irish Republic and as such the ARB would be forced to admit Edwards in the UK as an EU architect.

However, there is some confusion as to whether Edwards was able to make use of this apparent loophole only because he is a naturalised British citizen.

by Ed Dorrell

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