The AIBC is responsible for registering architects (or members), three classes of associates, honorary members as well as firms and temporary licencees.
There are currently more than 2,100 Architects AIBC, 140 architectural technologists, 220 retired architects, 680 intern architects, 20 Honorary Members of the AIBC, 1150 architectural firms and 55 temporary licencees for a total of more than 4,300 members and other registrants.
The use of the professional title Architect AIBC is restricted to registered architects. Under the Architects Act and Bylaws, the words “member” and “architect” and the title “Architect AIBC” are reserved for architects: those applicants who meet the education, experience and examination requirements for engaging in the full range of activities defined as the practice of architecture in the province of British Columbia.
It is against the law for anyone who is not registered with the AIBC to use the titles “Architect AIBC”, “architect” or any similar title or use or to practise architecture or offer to do so as defined by the Architects Act.
There are several paths to register as an Architect AIBC. One of the most common ways is completion of the Intern Architect Program (IAP). To qualify an applicant must:
- Have a post-secondary education certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board.
- Acquire a minimum of 3,720 hours (two years) of prescribed internship work experience.
- Attend six mandatory professional development courses offered by the AIBC.
- Pass an oral, peer review process.
- Write and pass a series of registration examinations, either the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC), or the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) offered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Other equally rigorous paths to registration include completion of alternate qualifications programs as well as applying under reciprocity agreements. Read more.
The AIBC has three classes of associates under the Architects Act, each with a specific set of qualifications. The designations Intern Architect AIBC, Retired Architect AIBC and Architectural Technologist AIBC are restricted to those registered accordingly with the AIBC.
Associates must follow specific notification requirements to clients and authorities having jurisdiction when they are providing independent design services for projects that do not require the services of an architect.
Intern Architect AIBC
An intern architect is a person who has successfully completed a professional degree in architecture (M.Arch) and is undertaking the Internship in Architecture Program (IAP). The IAP is a pathway by which intern architects can become registered as architects.
Architectural Technologist AIBC
Those entitled to use the designation Architectural Technologist AIBC work closely with architects in the project documentation and administration phases of projects ranging from the more simple residential through to large and complex buildings.
To register as an architectural technologist, an applicant must have a diploma in Building Technology or related discipline from an accredited/recognized college or technical training institute. Applicants must also complete a minimum of 3,720 hours (two years) of broad-based internship work experience and successfully write registration examinations set and administered by the AIBC.
Retired Architect AIBC
This category recognizes those individuals who, while no longer practising architecture, have maintained a connection with the profession that recognizes their past career and expertise.
In addition to individuals, all businesses in the practice of architecture (firms) are required to be registered with the AIBC. An architectural firm is only permitted to offer or provide professional services through a valid Certificate of Practice.
In order to provide or to promote architectural services in British Columbia, architects registered in another jurisdiction (province, state or country) but not in British Columbia are required to meet certain terms and conditions under the AIBC’s Temporary License requirements.
Honorary Members of the AIBC are individuals who have made especially noteworthy contributions to the profession of architecture in British Columbia. They are put forth by council and honorary membership is voted on by AIBC members at AIBC Annual Meeting. Honorary Members are free voting members of the AIBC and referenced in the Architects Act.