New Trilateral Agreement between Australia, Canada and New Zealand

7 March 2015

A new agreement means that experienced registered architects can be recognised in all three countries. 

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) has announced a new Trilateral Agreement that enables the mutual recognition of experienced registered architects in all three countries.

As the AACA points out, “Australian architects have always travelled and worked abroad, some establishing remarkable, long-term international careers, others gaining experience elsewhere before returning to practice in Australia. In turn, Australian architecture is enriched through the presence of practitioners from many other countries.” 

But it has not always been easy to gain formal recognition of skills, experience and education in different jurisdictions. The AACA expects that this new trilateral agreement means it will be much simpler to achieve such recognition. 

The AACA anticipates great interest from architects in all three countries. The agreement will facilitate mobility of experienced architects between the three economies and offers significant opportunities for Australian architects to work across countries.

The AACA is encouraging Australian architects to explore the potential of the agreement, noting that Canada has a much lower proportion of architects per capita than Australia.

The agreement also provides a base for further collaboration between Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The AACA is now working with the registration boards of New Zealand and Canada to identify further opportunities – for example, to facilitate the movement of architectural students and graduates between the three nations.

This new agreement follows similar arrangements already established with Japan and Singapore. The AACA is now also working with the National Council of Architect Registration Boards in the US with the aim of reaching similar arrangements with the majority of jurisdictions in the US by the end of 2016.  

These agreements are all developed within the broader framework of the APEC Architect, a register that facilitates the access of registered APEC Architects to independent practice within the Asia-Pacific region.  There are currently 27 architects on the Australian APEC Architects Register, and the AACA encourages all Australian architects to investigate the opportunities and to consider becoming an APEC architect. 

Find out about requirements for APEC architects and download the application form at the AACA website. 

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