We recognise that you may have questions about what the UK’s withdrawal from the EU means for you and the architects’ profession.
We have put together a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which we hope help explain the current position. These FAQs are reviewed on an ongoing basis and were last updated in November 2018.
Please use our Talk to Us page if your question is not covered below or if you require further information.
1. Has the referendum affected the mutual recognition of professional qualifications?
No – the referendum has not affected any current regulatory systems. No changes have been made in relation to the Architects Act 1997, which underpins the work we do, or the Qualifications Directive which allows for the automatic recognition of suitably qualified architects across EU Member States (including the UK).
We do not know at this stage whether the UK will leave the EU via a Deal or No Deal scenario and therefore it is not yet clear what systems will be in place after the UK’s withdrawal. We recommend that you continue to monitor these Brexit web pages for updates.
As things stand, the status of those already registered in the UK or another EU Member State is not affected. Your ability to join a register in the UK or another EU Member State has not changed.
UK prescribed qualifications and EU listed qualifications remain covered by the Qualifications Directive. Our practical training requirements for students also have not changed and you are still able to gain this experience in the EU and meet our registration requirements.
If you are an architect with EU rights and are registered in an EU Member State but you do not hold qualifications listed under the Qualifications Directive, you may still be able to register with us through a different process known as the General System.
You can view our Registration Routes Graphic for a summary of the current routes to the Architects Register. You can also follow this link for more detailed information on how you can register with us, and this link for information on obtaining certified proof of your qualification or registration.
If you wish to register in the EU we recommend that you contact the competent authority in the relevant Member State to find out more about their processes.
2. What is ARB doing to plan for the UK’s exit from EU?
We have been following matters closely with staff time dedicated to considering the different possible outcome scenarios. We have a schedule of work in place so we are in as strong a position as possible to protect the public and support architects through any resulting change to regulation.
3. Will ARB be able to directly recognise qualifications from outside of the EU in the future?
ARB does not currently have the authority to formally enter into any mutual recognition agreements. An adjustment to the Architects Act 1997, which governs our work, would be needed to enable us to do this.
We have been engaging with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for International Trade and hope to have more information in the near future on whether, and when, relevant adjustments will be made to our Act to allow us to start formally moving things forward in this area .
4. Are there any aspects of ARB’s role and remit that won’t be affected by the UK leaving the EU?
On the basis of what we know to date, it is unlikely that any aspect of our professional standards work (such as the Architects Code, title regulation or how we handle complaints against architects) will be affected.
5. I want to become a member of the RIBA. Can I still do so?
ARB and RIBA are distinct organisations. ARB is the statutory regulator for the architects’ profession in the UK and RIBA is a voluntary membership organisation. You can find out more about RIBA membership on their website.
- ARB – Architects Registration Board
- Article 50 – the clause in the EU Lisbon Treaty that outlines the steps to be taken by a country seeking to leave the EU
- Competent authority – a person or organisation with the legal authority to deal with a particular matter. ARB is the competent authority for architects in the UK. We ensure effective regulation of architects operating in more than one EEA and facilitate the requirements of the PQD which enables appropriately qualified architects to work in different parts of Europe.
- DExEU – Department for Exiting the European Union, the UK government department responsible for managing the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
- Deal – a Brexit ‘deal’ scenario refers to the UK and EU agreeing on the text of a Withdrawal Agreement, prior to Exit Day, after which the transition period will begin.
- EC rights – Enforceable Community rights
- EEA – European Economic Area – a free trade zone consisting of the member states of the EU, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
- EU – European Union – an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries
- EU national – citizens of the EU, which currently includes the UK
- Exit Day – the day the UK is due to withdraw from the EU. If the UK does not take part in the European elections on 23 May 2019 then Exit Day is set as 1 June 2019. Otherwise Exit Day is set as 31 October 2019. Exit Day was previously 29 March 2019 and then 12 April 2019.
- Listed qualification – a qualification approved through the European Commission’s notification process and listed under Annex V of the PQD
- Member State – a state to which the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) applies on the basis of legislation
- Mutual recognition – a process through which ARB (and other EU competent authorities) automatically recognise listed qualifications under Annex V of the PQD for the purposes of registration in that jurisdiction
- No deal – A ‘no deal’ scenario refers to no agreement being made between the UV and the EU by Exit Day and the UK leaving the EU without any declaration as to how the UK-EU relationship will work after this date
- Prescribed qualification – a qualification approved through ARB’s prescription process by the ARB Board and listed in Schedule 1 of the Board’s General Rules
- Qualifications Directive – Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC)
- Referendum – a method of referring a question or set of questions directly to an entire electorate.
- RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects
- Technical Notice – guidance from the Department for Exiting the European Union on how to prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU if there is a no deal
- Transition/Implementation period – the time-limited adjustment period (from Exit Day to 31 December 2020) to allow businesses and citizens to prepare for the new permanent arrangements that will apply to the UK once it has withdrawn from the EU. The transition period will only take place if the UK and the EU agree a deal.
- UK – United Kingdom
- UK national – citizens of the UK and Northern Ireland
- Withdrawal Agreement – the agreement being negotiated between the EU and the UK to set out the arrangements for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on Exit Day and a declaration of how the UK-EU relationship will work after the transition period