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The requirements for practical training experience are set out in Rule 13b of the Board’s General Rules as follows.

Application for Registration – Eligibility

The qualifications and practical experience prescribed by the Board pursuant to Section 4(1)(a) of the Act are that the person:

    1. holds such qualification(s) as are listed in Schedule 2 to the Rules; and
    2. has recently completed a minimum of 24 months’ practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry which should include at least 12 months working in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, under the direct supervision of an architect.

For the purpose of this Rule:

  • "months" 
    these will be calendar months of full time working (at least 20 hours a week). Reasonable time off for holidays and illness may be included in this period. (Where the work is less than 20 hours per week, applicants will be expected to complete a commensurately longer period of experience.)
  • "practical experience" 
    experience which consists of activities which would typically be undertaken by an architect in practice. (The Part 3 Criteria are helpful in setting out in broad terms, some of the activities which are likely to be required to be undertaken.)
  • "recently"
    at least 12 of the 24 months’ experience should have been undertaken in the two years immediately before taking the Part 3 exam.
  • "direct supervision"
    the person supervising should have responsibility for and control over the work being undertaken.
  • "professional working in the construction industry"
    will be an architect registered in the territory where the experience is being undertaken or a chartered or similarly qualified member of an appropriate professional body. The ‘construction industry’ will include qualified professionals typically involved in the procurement, design and management of the built environment.

Guidance on the application of Rule 13(b)

Whilst Rule 13(b) states that candidates for registration should have undertaken a minimum of 12 months experience working in the EEA (including the UK), the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man under the supervision of an architect, candidates should note that the UK’s Part 3 qualification tests UK practice and law. Practical experience is an integral element of the Part 3 qualification, and is important in assisting individuals to meet the Part 3 Criteria against which all Part 3 candidates are assessed.

It is therefore recommended that candidates undertake a minimum of 12 months’ experience within the UK, as those whose experience lies solely outside the UK may find it difficult to meet the required level of knowledge and skill.

Candidates must be supervised during their practical experience. ‘Direct supervision’ is defined above but essentially, the supervisor should have control over and take responsibility for the work being undertaken. Typically the candidate and the supervisor will be employed by the same organisation but where the relationship is not typical they will need to satisfy their PSA that the level and type of supervision is appropriate.

While it is acceptable for any professional who is working within the construction industry (as defined above) to supervise up to 12 months of the experience, a registered architect is likely to be in the best position to assist a candidate in acquiring the required levels of skill and knowledge. Candidates who are not supervised by an architect may find it helpful to seek guidance and support from an architect working in another practice.

The ARB Rule sets out the requirement for registration in the UK. Candidates may find that schools and Part 3 providers have more specific or additional requirements for entry to courses and for exam purposes. In the first instance they should discuss any queries with their professional studies adviser (PSA) who will be able to advise them about the suitability of a placement and whether it is likely to satisfy ARB’s and the school’s own rules.

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