The AIBC is committed to working with our counterparts to streamline cross-border registration, and increase the opportunities available for qualified architects.
US Reciprocal Registration
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) have signed a new Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for reciprocal registration of architects between the USA and Canada, effective January 1, 2014. Read the new MRA (PDF).
The MRA is based on licence/registration in ‘good standing’ in an individual’s home jurisdiction and one year post-registration experience. In addition, the licensed individuals principle place of practice must be in a jurisdiction that has signed on to the MRA. As of August 22, 2014 the following US states have signed onto the Agreement, plus all 11 Canadian jurisdictions;
US Reciprocal Registration States
The remaining US jurisdictions are continuing to consider implementation and the list of signatories will be updated accordingly.
If you are eligible and would like to apply, please complete the application form (PDF) ensuring you follow the instructions and request any additional documents necessary. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects (BEFA) Program
On September 21, 2012, Canada’s federal government officially launched the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects (BEFA) Program as a national initiative to facilitate the process for internationally-trained architects seeking to work in Canada. The BEFA Program streamlines the licensing of internationally-trained architects through a standardized three-step process that includes a review of eligibility, an on-line assessment, and an interview with registered architects. BEFA was developed and piloted in British Columbia through the AIBC. It is now in place for all 11 provincial and territorial architectural licensing authorities in Canada, and will be administered by the Canadian Architecture Certification Board (CACB).
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Architect Project is an initiative of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) and is intended, in the public interest, to facilitate the provision of architectural services by reducing the current barriers to the export of professional services among the fourteen participating economies of the Pacific Rim.
The economies participating in the project are Australia, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the United States of America.
The project provides a framework within which the participating economies can negotiate fast-tracking procedures for the registration of senior architects thereby entitling them to practise in other participating economies. Please be aware that APEC Architect designation applies only to individually registered architects, not to architectural practices or firms.
While the project and its benefits are not well known yet in Canada, in a number of participating economies being an APEC Architect carries significant prestige. Registered Canadian architects who are principals of architectural practices that do business in the Pacific Rim, or who wish to relocate to a participating economy, should seriously consider becoming an APEC Architect.
Canada’s role in the project
Canada has been a participating economy since the project’s inception by the Human Resources Development Working Group in Brunei in 2000 and its first meeting in Brisbane, Australia in 2001. Since January 2012, Canada has been providing secretariat services to the project and this will culminate in the Sixth Central Council meeting to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia in October 2014. The project’s previous secretariat was provided by the New Zealand Registered Architects Board in 2011 and 2012.
Who is an APEC Architect?
An APEC Architect is a person who is registered or licensed as an architect in a participating economy, and whose name is enrolled on a section of the APEC Architect Register maintained by that economy. The criteria adopted by the Central Council for admission to the APEC Architect Register, and use of the description ”APEC Architect”, are based on identification of a common sequence and elements in the education, training and assessment of architects as qualified to provide professional architectural services in the home economy.
Applicants to become Canadian APEC Architects are required to;
- Be registered in at least one Canadian province or territory;
- Have completed a minimum period of professional practice of seven years after initial registration in any Canadian jurisdiction;
- Have gained experience in all categories of architectural practice; and
- Have undertaken at least three years of the seven-year period as an architect:
- With sole professional responsibility for the design, documentation and contract administration of buildings of moderate complexity; or
- In collaboration with other architects, as an architect in charge of and professionally responsible for a significant aspect of the design, documentation and/or contract administration of complex buildings.
Architects deemed by the Canadian Monitoring Committee to have fulfilled these requirements are eligible for enrollment as a Canadian APEC Architect. To retain their APEC designation, Canadian APEC Architects must comply with obligations imposed by their home jurisdiction for maintaining professional competence and observing codes of professional conduct. The name of each APEC Architect is added to the APEC Architect Register and made publicly available.
Canada’s Monitoring Committee
While overall responsibility for the operation of the APEC Architect Register rests with a central council comprised of nominees of independent monitoring committees established in each participating economy, the duties of the Canadian Monitoring Committee includes the following:
- Manage and make determinations on applications from architects within Canada to become APEC Architects,
- Operate the APEC Architect Register within Canada,
- Provide representatives to the Central Council, and
- Make public information about the APEC Architect Project.
The International Relations Committee (IRC) of the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities, representing all eleven Canadian regulatory jurisdictions, has taken on the responsibilities of the Canadian Monitoring Committee. In that capacity, the IRC will act to oversee the processing and adjudication necessary for the holding and keeping of the Canadian portion of the APEC Architect Register.
For an architect to be admitted to the Canadian APEC Architect Register, the Canadian monitoring committee must:
- Evaluate the seven-year period of professional experience as a registered / licensed practitioner required in order to be an APEC Architect; and
- Certify that applicant has satisfied the APEC Architect criteria.
Applying to become a Canadian APEC Architect
New applications from eligible registered architects for the APEC Architect Project are currently being accepted. If you are a registered architect and your home jurisdiction is a Canadian province or territory, and you are interested in applying to become a Canadian APEC Architect, please complete the application form and submit it to the Canadian Monitoring Committee as per the instructions on the form.
Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities-Architects’ Council of Europe Mutual Recognition Agreement (CALA-ACE MRA)
On October 26, 2018, representatives from the architectural regulatory authorities of Canada and the European Union signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), giving architects the opportunity to work across the Atlantic. The President of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia represented the AIBC.
The Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) have confirmed the ACE-CALA Mutual Recognition Agreement for the Practice of Architecture among member states in the European Union and Canada. The agreement comes into force in 2019.
The agreement brings trans-Atlantic recognition of professional credentials under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free-trade agreement between Canada, the European Union, and its member states.
Qualified architects from each country who satisfy the requirements of the agreement will be granted a credential that will lead to a license to practice architecture in the host country.
This pact outlines specific requirements that architects must satisfy when pursuing mutual recognition. These include education, internship and work qualifications, as well as submitting documentation to confirm the individual’s credentials.
The basic eligibility requirements include:
- A qualified architect from the EU and Canada shall be registered or licensed or otherwise recognized and is a member in good standing in their home jurisdiction and have completed a minimum of 12 years of education, training, and practice in the field of architecture, in one or more of the states, provinces or territories of their home jurisdiction, of which a minimum of four years shall be post-registration/licensure experience;
- Proof of “Good Standing” in the home jurisdiction, as verified by the local regulatory authority;
- Knowledge of the codes, laws, and other matters applicable to the practice of architecture in the host country;
- Mobility across borders in the European Union and across provinces and territories in Canada and;
- European architects seeking licensure in Canada must complete a 10-hour online course on Canadian domain specific requirements in architecture.
The implementation date of the MRA is projected to be by mid-2019. Architects interested in pursuing the opportunity for licensure outside of their home country should review the eligibility requirements and program information. Detailed information on how-to apply will be available on the CALA website shortly.