Architectural Practice Examination Format

Part 1: Submission of Logbook and Statement of Practical Experience

Eligibility: Professional Education

Candidates may be eligible for the Architectural Practice Examination Part 1 through successful completion of one of the following pathways:

Eligibility: Practical Experience

All Candidates must complete a minimum of 3,300 hours (approximately 2 years) usually under the supervision of an architect.

Candidates who have completed an accredited qualification; or with a qualification approved through AACA’s Overseas Qualifications Assessment process, must complete a minimum of 12 months experience subsequent to successfully completing this qualification in architecture.

Candidates who are successful in completing the AACA National Program of Assessment may apply for the next session of the APE providing they meet the requirements of a minimum of 3,300 hours of experience that ranges over all 15 mandatory Performance Criteria; and 12 months of logged experience in Australia.

Overseas Qualifications Assessment candidates required to complete top-up study may log the 12 months experience required post completion of professional education  from the date of completion of top-up study. 

Some or all experience of candidates may be gained as an employee of an architectural firm, or as an employee in a building design firm, or as an employee in a firm in an allied field in the construction industry, or in government agencies; or gained in a self-employed capacity.

However, experience gained by candidates when working independently or working as an employee of a non-architectural firm must be gained at Executive (decision making) level.


Candidates must log their experience in the AACA APE Logbook.

The purpose of the Logbook is to record in a condensed format, the Candidate’s fulfilment of the Practical Experience required for the Architectural Practice Examination. This experience is logged against 15 specific performance criteria in the National Standard of Competency (link to the APE section of the Standard).

Experience in the practice of architecture must have been obtained during the previous ten years and in the categories identified in the Logbook. Candidates with fewer than 3,300 hours of practical experience meeting the Performance Criteria will not be admitted to the examination. Check the Logbook section of the Guide for Candidates for detailed guidance on the required performance criteria and associated levels of experience, noting that experience gained by candidates when working independently or working as an employee of a non-architectural firm must be gained at Executive (decision making) Level.

See the Guide for Candidates and How to fill in the APE Logbook for detailed guidance on logging professional experience as a requirement in Part 1 of the APE. 

Statement of Practical Experience

The objectives of the Statement are to provide:

  • evidence of satisfaction of the practical experience requirements; and
  • Assessors with information on the Candidate’s practical experience, which will be referenced in the APE Part 3

The Statement should be well considered, precisely expressed and cross-referenced to the Performance Criteria included in the Logbook.

Candidates should select the project, or projects, that best illustrate the application of the Performance Criteria. This provides a basis for Assessors to explore the nature and level of experience in the Part 3 of the Examination by Interview.

The Statement should begin with a summary CV (maximum one page – exclusive of the Statement word limit) to given an overall view of the Candidate’s professional experience.

If all experience is logged under the supervision of an architect the Statement of Practical Experience is a maximum of 2,000 words. Where some or all logged experience is not under the supervision of an architect the maximum is 3,000 words.

See the Guide for Candidates for detailed guidance on preparing the Statement of Practical Experience.


Applications including the Logbook and Statement of Practical Experience are submitted directly to the State or Territory architect registration board in which the applicant wishes to practice. For submission and examination dates, see the timetable here.

Admission to the Architectural Practice Examination is conditional upon satisfaction of logging 3,300 hours of experience over the required 15 Performance Criteria at the required levels and submission of a Statement of Practical Experience. The decision on admission to the examination is made by the respective architect registration board.

Part 2:  National Examination Paper 

candidates who have met the eligibility requirements for APE Part 1 are eligible to sit the National Examination Paper.

Examination of professional knowledge is an important part of the APE as a whole. The objective of the National Examination Paper is to provide a reliable and valid test of knowledge and application of relevant performance criteria in the National Standard of Competency for Architects. Candidates must pass the National Examination Paper as a condition of admission to Part 3, the Examination by Interview.

The National Examination Paper is a 90 minute ‘closed book’ scenario computer-based exam.  

  • it consists of 9 scenarios with each scenario having 5 multiple choice questions making a total of forty-five questions to be answered in 90 minutes
  • each multiple choice question has 4 responses with one correct response
  • each question is worth one mark.
  • correct answers are scored as one mark and incorrect answers as a zero mark  
  • negative marking is removed
  • all candidates receiving feedback with their results based on the Performance Criteria tested in the exam.       

See the Guide for Candidates, Remote Proctoring FAQs, and the link below for detailed guidance about the National Examination Paper.

AACA NEP Sample Scenario

Part 3:  Examination by Interview

Candidates who successfully complete the National Examination Paper are invited by the relevant architect registration board to submit for an interview conducted by two experienced practising architects (known as Architectural Practice Examination Assessors). 

The objective of the Interview is to enable the Assessors to confirm that the candidate has demonstrated adequate knowledge and/or experience of the National Standard of Competency for Architects sufficient to enable him or her to perform to the standard expected of an architect in Australia.

The interview runs for 45 minutes to one hour and is informed by the Logbook and Statement of Experience submitted by the candidate in Stage 1. APE Part 3 Assessors will be provided with a copy of the candidates’ NEP Results Report

Candidates are examined on their range of work and experience and are expected to be familiar with topical professional issues. The Interview also considers candidates’ responses to practice situations that may be outside their personal experience. The Interview may test knowledge and experience in both actual and hypothetical situations.  Candidates may be examined across a variety of procurement issues and should be able to demonstrate competence in contracts that may be administered by an architect.

Candidates are not permitted to take any equipment, notes, reference materials, phones, recording or other devices into the Examination.

Success in Part 3 of the Architectural Practice Examination allows the candidate to apply for registration in any state or territory in Australia.

See the Guide for Candidates for detailed guidance on the Interview.

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