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.

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

Video Guide for Applicants

Please watch this video in preparation for your submission and the competency interview.


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.

Applicants must provide evidence for a minimum of 6 months full time equivalent of relevant work experience, (excluding course-integrated practical experience that would replace the minimum 5 years of coursework time). A detailed reference letter must be provided.

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants for further details.

Application Fees

  • Stage 2 only: AUD $2,590 
  • Optional Priority Processing Service: AUD $540
  • Appeal/Second Interview fee (case by case):  AUD $1,130

A card transaction surcharge applies to all payments (1.49% for Australian cards and 2.9% for international cards).

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.

Priority Processing Service for Applicants

The AACA now offers a Priority Processing Service for Overseas Qualifications Assessment Applicants (both new applicants and Stage 2 applicants). This service allows Applicants who require an urgent assessment outcome to receive priority processing.

Applicants can expect the application to be assessed within 10 business days* after completing both the submission of their OQA assessment and making an additional payment for Priority Service. The interview will typically be scheduled within 1 to 2 weeks after the 10-day period, making the whole process 3 – 4 weeks from application to outcome (compared to the 16 weeks standard processing period).

Deadline for 2023 Architectural Practice Examination: Applicants must submit their OQA and Priority Processing Service request by 11:59pm AEST on 31 May 2023, if they wish to undertake round 2 of the APE in 2023. 

*Applicants will need to ensure they have supplied complete supporting documentation with their application, and that they are reasonably available for interview. The AACA is not responsible for the delay in application processing as a result of incorrect/missing documents and lack of availability. If the AACA is unable to process an application within 10 working days, a refund of the Priority Service fee will be refunded.

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.


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.


We can only accept up to 4 projects.

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.

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

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.