Overseas Qualifications Assessment – New Applicants

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 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, written 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.  All applications submitted must follow the 2022 requirements. Please refer to the guide and templates on this page before submitting your application. 

Key Documents


  • Applicants must have completed tertiary, architectural studies that allow a graduate to register as an architect in the country of the awarding institution; a 5-year qualification is the expected standard, a minimum of 4 years can be accepted when providing evidence from the university (e.g. a Diploma Supplement) or from the registration authority.
  • 6 months of relevant, paid work experience, excluding course integrated experience if replacing coursework time of a 5-year curriculum.
  • 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; AND

Payment evidence as additional evidence for the minimum required work experience, for example, payslips, bank statements, taxation documents, records of superannuation or insurance. The evidence should show at least two salary payments, first and last, the applicant’s name and the employer’s name.

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants for further details.

Submission Checklist

You can download the submission checklist under Key Documents.


  • Scanned original of academic transcripts *
  • Scanned original of certificate/s **
  • English translation of all required documents (if applicable)


  • A portfolio of 2-4 Architectural projects (academic and/or professional projects) includes:
  • Cover / contents page
  • short CV listing variety of academic / professional project experience (not skills)
  • complex project (academic or professional)
  • one project demonstrating design development stages, design led by applicant
  • NSCA Summary Statements – use template
  • Project Summaries – use template
  • Reference letter from employer (outlining 6 months of work experience and project involvement)
  • Payment evidence (e.g. payslips, bank statements, taxation documents, records of superannuation OR insurance)


  • IELTS English language test with a minimum score of 6.5 (or equivalent language test); OR
  • Letter from employer stating the applicant has a standard of English appropriate for professional practice in architecture (if residing in Australia)


  • Three forms of ID (at least one photo ID)
  • Applicant’s Declaration or Statutory Declaration – use relevant template


  • Evidence of registration as an architect
  • Evidence of name change
  • Signed Authorisation Letter, when using an agent 
  • Cover letter

Please note self-assessment matrix is no longer required.

* If the transcripts do not include credit points, ECTS, contact hours or maximum marks, please provide further evidence, for example, a letter from the university outlining the program structure as per the times of studies or graduation, or the relevant page from a syllabus.

** Evidence that the qualification allows to proceed to registration as an architect must be provided from the granting institution or the registration authority if the architectural program includes less than 5 years (e.g. for programs Pre-Bologna, provide a Diploma Supplement).

Application Fees

AUD $3,150. 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 16 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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