Assessment for New Applicants

AACA’s Overseas Qualifications Assessment process, conducted in two stages, determines whether an individual overseas academic qualification compares with a current Australian accredited qualification in architecture.

Stage 1 Qualifications Assessment

Stage 1 of the Overseas Qualifications Assessment (OQA) is an assessment of tertiary qualifications in architecture that have been awarded outside of Australia and does allow a graduate to proceed to registration as an architect in the country of the awarding institution.

Stage 2 Competency-based Assessment

Stage 2 is a competency-based assessment that includes the submission of a portfolio of 2 to 4 architectural projects, summary statements to the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects in Australia (NSCA) and an assessment interview.

If you have completed a Provisional / Stage 1 Assessment with the AACA previously, please apply for Stage 2 only.

2022 Program Update

New submission requirements based on the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects are effective 1 March 2022. AACA will allow a grace period of 3 months for candidates to submit their application following the previous guidelines (Guide for applicants and other templates provided by the AACA). However, candidates must submit Stage 1 and 2 together and the AACA can no longer issue a Skills Assessment letter based on Stage 1 outcome alone.

This page hosts all previous guidance, forms and templates for various programs,  and please note access is due to expire on 31 May 2022.

All applications submitted after 11:59pm 31 May 2022 must follow the 2022 requirements.

Key Documents


  • Applicants must have completed a 5 year full-time equivalent architectural qualification awarded by an institution outside of Australia; or have been awarded a qualification that qualifies a graduate for registration as an architect in the country of the awarding institution.
  • Applicants must provide evidence for a minimum of 1 year of relevant professional experience, 6 months must be post-graduation.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Applicants may reside in Australia or overseas.

Assessment Criteria – Qualifications

  • Education system of the country in which the qualification(s) were obtained
  • Status of the awarding institution
  • Academic duration of the qualification(s)
  • Structure of the coursework program
  • Content of the individual units of study
  • Grading system
  • Design Studies and Design Integration
  • Documentation and Technical Studies
  • History and Theory Studies
  • Practice and Project Management, Implementation and User Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Communication Studies

Assessment Criteria – Portfolio and Work Experience

A portfolio of two to four architectural projects should be submitted according to the guidelines.  

You must include one complex project. It is recommended to include the final thesis project as it offers a good basis to also discuss your educational experience. 

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants for further details.

Reference letter from the employer on the firm’s letterhead describing the range of project experience the applicant has gained and his/her involvement in project phases, including the supervisor’s contact details.

Payment evidence as additional evidence for the minimum required work experience, for example, payslips, bank statements, taxation documents, records of superannuation or insurance.

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants for further details.

Submission Checklist


  • Scanned original of certificate/s
  • Scanned original of academic transcript/s
  • Cover letter 
  • Self-assessment matrix (use template)
  • Syllabus and program structure, if available

Project Portfolio & Work Experience 

  • Project portfolio including a short CV
  • NSCA statements (use template)
  • Project summaries (use template) 
  • Reference letter and payment evidence for work experience 

Other Documents 

  • 3 forms of ID
  • Payment of application fee
  • Applicant’s Declaration or Statutory Declaration (use template)
  • English language proficiency (if applicable)
  • Evidence of Registration as an Architect (if applicable)
  • Evidence of Name Change (if applicable)
  • Signed Authorisation Letter (if you are using an agent)

Application Fees

AUD $3,000. 1.6% surcharge applies to all online payments.

Application Process

After the Qualifications Assessment (OQA Stage 1), feedback will be provided on documents that are relevant for the competency-based assessment (OQA Stage 2) to allow applicants to revise any documents if required. When ready, an assessment interview will be scheduled.

Applications are generally finalised within 15 weeks.

Results & Appeals


Successful applicants are provided with a Skills Assessment letter for migration purposes (if required) and an outcome letter that acts as an authority to apply for the Architectural Practice Examination (APE) with a local registration board.


Unsuccessful candidates are provided written advice as to where they are deficient and how to upgrade their qualifications.*

* Having addressed the deficiencies identified by AACA, unsuccessful applicants may complete the specified study and then submit evidence to AACA. An amended Skills Assessment letter and outcome letter will be issued at no additional cost. Time limitations apply.

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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.