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Architects welcome Part III requirements reform

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Student architects have welcomed a shake up to the requirements for Part III registration, while critics have warned it could undermine the profession

The RIBA and ARB last week issued a new unified set of the rules governing Part III registration, demanding only one year of professional practice under the supervision of an architect instead of two.

Aimed at introducing ‘greater flexibility’ and reflecting the ‘global nature’ of contemporary practice, the new rules recognise experience gained in Europe and under professionals ‘working in the construction industry’ who may not be on the ARB register.

UCL Bartlett School of Architecture Part III student Dan Slavinsky said: ‘This is great news. A large number of my fellow part 3 students are struggling for exactly that reason – they are perfectly capable and motivated to finish their qualifications, but are shot down when told that a perfectly plausible case study project based abroad is not suitable.’

Architecture Students Assembly co-ordinator Luke Butcher added: ‘In an increasingly globalised world the ability to complete your 12 month practical training stint in Europe has to have a positive impact. With the “free mobility of labour” within Europe I wonder why it has taken so long for something like this to come into effect.’

However, architect Ian Salisbury said the reform would ‘seriously diminish the quality of the profession’.

He said: ‘This is altogether a bad policy that is generated by the exigencies of our current economic climate. For preparing the profession, two years in practice is much more valuable than five years in college.’

SCHOSA chair Gordon Murray said: ‘The whole point about the 24 months experience is that it is supposed to be varied. If you were working for 24 months in an architect’s office doing door schedules that would be as bad as working in a contractor’s office folding drawings.’


Previous story (10.07.11)

RIBA and ARB revise students’ Part III requirements

The RIBA and ARB have slackened the experience requirements for students wanting to sit their Part III qualifications

Introducing ‘greater flexibility’ concerning practical experience, the reforms aim to reflect the ‘global nature’ of architectural practice – according to both bodies.

Greater emphasis has been placed on the quality of students’ experience prior to sitting the Part 3 examination.

RIBA director of education David Gloster said: ‘[Graduates] can benefit from exposure to, and understanding of, different disciplines operating in varied construction locations.

‘The changes to practical experience eligibility criteria will facilitate graduates’ capability to accumulate the necessary experience for their PEDR, and enrich their grasp of the connections between all members of the professional design team.’

A key change is that students will now be allowed to fulfil one of the 12-month long required periods outside of architectural practice.


The changes in detail

  1. The RIBA’s previous requirements stated: the minimum period of professional experience is 24 months, which normally must be completed after the start of an architectural course and before sitting the RIBA Examination in Professional Practice and Management (Part 3).  Normally 12 months of professional experience must be undertaken in the United Kingdom, under the direct supervision of an architect, after passing or gaining exemption from Part 2 of the RIBA Examination in Architecture and prior to sitting the RIBA Examination in Professional Practice and Management, (Part 3).
  2. The ARB’s previous requirements for registration stated: [an individual has] completed at least two years’ practical training experience working under the direct supervision of an architect registered in the EEA, 12 months of which must be undertaken in the UK under the direct supervision of a Part 1 Registrant. A minimum 12 months of the prerequisite practical training experience must be undertaken after completion of a five-year course of study and award of a [prescribed] qualification.  The practical training requirement can be varied by the Board in relation to the supervising person set out in that paragraph, acting within guidelines published by the Board from time to time.
  3. The revised joint requirements state: candidates should have recently completed a minimum of 24 months’ practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry, which should include at least 12 months working in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, under the direct supervision of an architect.



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