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ARB is the UK competent authority for architects and has responsibility for ensuring that the provisions set out within EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications are met. The main purpose of this legislation is to facilitate the movement of appropriately qualified individuals within Europe.

This Directive has recently been revised in parts and the new legislation (Directive 2013/55/EU) entered into force in January 2014. However, it will only become fully effective once the Directive is incorporated (transposed) into UK regulations.  The deadline for transposition is in January 2016.

You can read ARB’s response to the Government consultation on the transposition of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive in the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions:


  1. What is a competent authority?

As the nominated Competent Authority for architects, ARB implements EU legislation in relation to the free movement of architects in Europe. Under the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC), ARB is empowered to process applications for the recognition of EU architectural qualifications in the UK. ARB is also involved in the process of listing EU-recognised architectural qualifications under Annex V.7.1 of the Directive, by providing comments on their compliance with the Directive. In this context, ARB collaborates and exchanges best practice with European stakeholders such as the European Network of Competent Authorities for Architects (ENACA), the Architects Council of Europe (ACE) and the European Commission.


2.  What are the key changes which are relevant to architects?

The revised Directive introduces changes to the processes of administrative co-operation between EU Member States which in turn facilitate and improve the mobility of regulated professionals across Europe. Once the revisions have been fully implemented, those who are appropriately qualified should find it easier to register in other European Member States.

Under the revised Directive, the training requirements for architects remain minimum requirements across Europe, although this minimum has been increased. This means that Member States can continue to maintain, or adopt, appropriate additional requirements for accessing the profession and the title in their country (e.g. UK Part 3).


3.  What impact will the changes have on ARB’s work?

This is still being analysed by ARB’s team, but it is most likely to impact on the registration processes and the requirements for the prescription (recognition) of qualifications and their subsequent notification to the European Commission.


4.  How will ARB be implementing the revisions?  What time frames are involved?

  • ARB has developed an internal project plan designed to cover the work that needs to be carried out during the transposition period (January 2014 to January 2016). As part of this project, ARB’s existing policies will be screened to ensure compliance with the revised Directive over the coming months.


  • ARB will maintain a regular dialogue with stakeholders throughout this period.


  • ARB will consult on any potential changes to the prescription and registration requirements as the need arises.


  • By way of context to this work, the ARB’s Board has also agreed that a project plan be scoped and developed to review the routes to registration during the latter part of 2014. This is with a view to the full review of each of the routes to registration being undertaken in 2015.  The requirements of the revised Directive, including any outcomes from other stakeholders’ reviews, will be considered and taken into account.


5.  Who is ARB working with?

ARB is liaising with national and European stakeholders such as professional bodies, UK Schools of Architecture, the Architecture Students Network, the Architects Council of Europe, the European Network of Architects Competent Authorities, the European Commission, as well as the UK government (Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills).


6.  I am currently studying on a prescribed qualification; will the changes to the Directive have any impact on me?

The current position is set out in the Student Handbook. Once we have finalised the analysis of the revised Directive, we will be in a position to clarify the direct impact the new provisions may have on students. If you are in any doubt about your current position, please contact us explaining your position, and we will advise you accordingly.


7.  I am currently on the UK Register and am thinking of registering in another European state.  How will the changes affect me?

As long as you are an EU national (or have enforceable rights) and you hold UK qualifications which are listed under Annex V.7.1 of the Directivethere should be little impact on the ability to register elsewhere in Europe. If you have questions about your situation, please contact the Registration team (


8.  Where can I get more information?

This page will be regularly updated. For any queries contact –


Last updated: June 2014

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