Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 2 – Final Assessment

Stage 2 Final Assessment 

OQA Stage 2 is the final stage and completes the Overseas Qualifications Assessment. Through the submission of a project portfolio and participation in a panel interview, applicants have the opportunity to demonstrate how their qualifications have equipped them with the skills, knowledge and competencies required to satisfactorily meet the relevant criteria of the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). This is the minimum standard required of a graduate from an accredited program of study in Australia.

The outcome is determined by the applicant’s ability to convincingly demonstrate that they possess the competencies required to adequately meet the relevant performance criteria. Successful participants are eligible to sit the Architecture Practice Examination to register as architect in Australia.

The information on this webpage is a summary only and applicants must follow the detailed information in the Guide for Applicants below.

See here for an Online Briefing on the OQA Stage 2. 

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

Eligibility

To be eligible to submit an Overseas Qualifications Assessment Stage 2 application, you must:

  • Have completed the Stage 1 Provisional Assessment of the Overseas Qualifications Assessment, regardless of the outcome.
  • 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 

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. 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

PORTFOLIO AND WORK EXPERIENCE

  • 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)

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY – if applicable

  • 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)

OTHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTS 

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

IF APPLICABLE

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

Application Fees

Stage 2 only: AUD $2,420. 1.6% surcharge applies to all online payments.

Application Process

Feedback will be provided on documents 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

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

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.

Appeal

Applicants may appeal a decision made by AACA. The appeal must be lodged in writing to the CEO of AACA within 28 days from the date of notification of the result. Applicants must state clearly the grounds for their appeal and provide a record of payment of the fee.

FAQs

You can refer to additional projects under the final section ‘Miscellaneous’ (no project title to be included). This section can only refer to knowledge-based (K) criteria (not A or S criteria that have to be mapped against one of your projects).

You only have to include one reference for each of the criteria, or two – as outlined in the NSCA criteria list – for A and S criteria under the section E3 (Conceptual Design) and E4 (Schematic Design). Altogether, the minimum amount of examples is 50 (one for each of the 37, plus a second example for the 13 A and S criteria of section E3 and E4).

No, we ask for only one reference for criteria referring to knowledge acquisition (K).

You can reference additional project extracts or sketches (including projects that are not your own), figures or screen captures of web pages where we can source building regulations, a code of conduct, standards for contracting; basically anything that would be in general applicable to projects. You can map K criteria either against one of your projects or refer to these to Miscellaneous examples.

You can include more references, but there is no need to include more than what is listed in the NSCA performance criteria checklist. Assessors prefer brief but specific responses. Avoid repetitive responses. 

We recommend to include one student project (for example, the final design project) as basis for a discussion during the Stage 2 interview, however, it’s also fine to include professional projects only.

Please don’t include any additional content (e.g. a CV, certificates or a list of computational skills.) However, you can include design awards or any publications that are relevant to your architectural designs. 

Some of the performance criteria (PC) are similar and can be addressed with the same figure and a joined response. We recommend to include not more than 2 or 3 PC on one portfolio page. When grouping responses, allow for white space and identify/label the relevant figure and written response.

Please enter in which calendar year(s) you’ve worked on each of the projects (e.g. 2018; 2019-current), we do not ask for the duration.

After receiving positive feedback on your portfolio and other documents, you will receive an invitation for the OQA Stage 2 assessment interview. When passing the interview you will receive a positive outcome letter from us (and a Skills Assessment letter if you would need it for immigration purposes). You are then eligible to apply for the three-part Architectural Practice Examination (APE) with the relevant architect registration board to register as architect. The APE is offered twice per year, please be aware of the deadlines.

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Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
Gadigal Country
Suite 3, Level 5, 75 Castlereagh Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000

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.