2020 Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects

2020 Review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects


The AACA commenced a project in January 2020 to review the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). Regular updates will be included on this page.  An Expert Reference Group comprised of nominees from stakeholder organisations has provided professional advice to the project. The review was completed in June 2021, with the details of the new 2021 NSCA published on 1st July 2021.

Terms of Reference

The Review of the NSCA focused on the extent to which the NSCA:

  • broadly reflects the role of an architect across the diversity of modes of practice
  • represents the needs of regulators and reflects current and emerging risks across the profession as a whole
  • is fit for purpose as the benchmark for AACA assessment programs.

Project stages and timeframes

Stage 1: January–March 2020: Research and data collection 

  • Comparison of relevant national and international performance benchmarks
  • Survey to gather views from across the profession on threshold issues for consideration. The survey opened in late January and was promoted through all stakeholders before being closed on 27 February.  You can read survey results here (updated 1 June 2020 following further analysis).
  • Expert Reference Group established and first meeting conducted

Stage 2: April-May 2020 

  • Analysis of survey outcomes and relevant national and international research and data
  • Development of issues paper to inform consultation with stakeholder groups

Stage 3: Jun-Jul 2020 

  • Formal input from stakeholders based on review of the Issues Paper

Stage 4: August-mid December 2020 

  • Option analysis
  • Drafting of detailed revisions to the Standard
  • Development of an implementation strategy for the revised Standard across AACA programs

Stage 5: mid December 2020 – 1st March 2021 

  • Release of the revised draft of the Standard for comment by stakeholders – access here.

Stage 6: March to June 2021 

  • Consideration of consultation feedback and preparation of a Project Report
  • Presentation of Project Report and draft revised Standard to the Architect Registration Boards
  • Acceptance of draft revised Standard by the Architect Registration Boards
  • Revised Standard prepared for publishing – read more here

Expert Reference Group

The Expert Reference Group that guided the review was established during March 2020 and concluded their work in March 2021. Membership included:

  • Dr Tanja Glusac (WA) – AASA Nominee
  • Ms Charmaine Kai (QLD) – ACA Nominee
  • Mr Bill Krotiris (VIC) – nominated by the ARBs as having current practice experience
  • Dr Kirsten Orr (NSW) – nominated by the Registrars of the ARBs as having experience with regulation
  • Emeritus Professor Alec Tzannes AM (NSW) – AIA Nominee

Communications and updates

All opportunities for input or comment will be advised via project updates, published to the News section of the AACA Home Page, and noted on this Review Page. Project updates are communicated widely to a variety of stakeholders.

Project Updates are released to the following organisations and individuals:

  • All Australian State and Territory Architect Registration Boards
  • Executive of the AIA, AASA, ACA, and ADBED
  • AACA Program Assessor Panel membership
  • Australian University Head of School and accreditation contact listing maintained by AACA
  • Accreditation Standing Panel membership
  • All stakeholders and individuals that made a submission on the Issues Paper during Stage 3 or the Consultation Draft of the revised Standard during Stage 5
  • A number of individuals that have requested to be kept informed of progress with the Review Project.

Project updates:

  • Initial update: Have your say January 2020 – see here
  • Update 20 April 2020 – see here
  • Update 1 June 2020 – release of Issues Paper – see here
  • Update end Sep 2020 – progress update – see here
  • Update 18 Nov 2020 – progress update – see here 
  • Update 15 Dec 2020 – release of the revised NSCA for stakeholder comment – see here
  • Update 30 Mar 2021 – progress update – see here
  • New 2021 NSCA published 1 July 2021 – read more here


Updated 1 July 2021

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