National Program of Assessment

Competency-based pathway to the Architectural Practice Examination 

The National program of Assessment (NPrA) is a competency-based assessment for those who have substantial skills and experience in the architectural profession, but do not have a recognised architectural qualification. 

Taking the form of a complex architectural project, successful completion of the National Program of Assessment is recognised by all Australian registration authorities as an alternate entry to the Architectural Practice Examination, successful completion of which is necessary before applying to a State or Territory registration board to become registered as an architect.

The National Program of Assessment is a design exercise that tests candidates’ competency in architecture on the basis of their acquired knowledge and experience. The focus of the design exercise is to design a complex building in response to a hypothetical design brief. 

The National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) describes what is reasonably expected of a person who can demonstrate the standard of skill, care and diligence widely accepted in Australia as a competent and professional Architect. 

The 2021 NSCA has been implemented across the National Program of Assessment from 2022.  

Applications for the 2025 NPrA will open 1st December 2024 and close late January 2025.


Stage 1 – Eligibility 

Candidates must satisfy academic, English language, work experience and residency requirements. Candidates who are successful in Stage 1, will be invited to participate in Stage 2. 

Stage 2 – Response to the Design Brief 

Candidates must respond to the Project Brief by addressing particular Performance Criteria in the context of the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

Submissions take the form of a report and companion drawings. Candidates work alone in responding to the Project Brief and are given one opportunity to submit questions to the Management Group on the Project Brief.

2024 Program Fees 

  • Stage 1 – Eligibility $1,260 (Non-refundable)
  • Stage 2 – Response to the design brief $4,130
  • Refund Stage 2 (before census date) – $1,050 (Notification of withdrawal)
  • Appeal Fee – $1,020 (Non-refundable)

All fees are GST free. AACA only accepts online credit card payments, by VISA or MASTERCARD. (1.6 – 2.9% surcharge applies to all online payments.)

2024 Timetable

Applications for the 2024 program will close at 11:59 pm (AEDT) on 29 January 2024.

  • Stage 1 Applications Open: 1 December 2023
  • Stage 1 Applications Close: 29 January 2024
  • Candidate Offers Distributed: 9 February 2024
  • Closing date for acceptance of offers: 23 February 2024
  • Stage 2 Program Brief Distributed: 15 March 2024
  • Q & A Period: 25 March 2024- 8 April 2024
  • Q & A’s distributed to candidates: 29 April 2024
  • Census Date (Closing date for withdrawal of participation): 17 May 2024
  • Part 1 – Candidate Preliminary Conceptual Design Deadline: 8 July 2024
  • Part 2 – Candidate Final Design Deadline: 13 September 2024
  • Results distributed to candidates: 18 November 2024

More information: contact the AACA at [email protected]                           

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Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
Gadigal Country
Suite 3, Level 5, 75 Castlereagh Street

Located on Gadigal Country, the AACA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.