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We recognise you may have questions about what the UK’s withdrawal from the EU means for you and architects’ profession.

We have put together a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which we hope help explain the current position.  We keep the FAQs under constant review and make relevant changes as the situation develops. They were lasted amended in October 2019.

Please use our Talk to Us page if your question is not covered below or if you require further information.

1. Has the referendum result affected how architects are currently regulated in the UK?

No – the referendum has not affected how architects are currently regulated.

No changes have been made in relation to the Architects Act 1997, which underpins the work we do, or the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC (MRPQD) which allows for the automatic recognition of suitably qualified architects across EU Member States (including the UK).

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.

  • View our Registration Routes Graphic for a summary of the current routes to the Architects Register.
  • Click here for information on how to register with us.
  • Follow this link for information on obtaining certified proof of your qualification or registration if you are thinking of registering in another EU Member State before Exit Day.
  • 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. How will the regulation of architects change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal?

As things stand we understand that:

  • Recognition decisions made in the UK before exit would not be affected.
  • After Exit Day the MRPQD system would cease.
  • After Exit Day there would be a system of recognition in the UK for individuals with relevant EEA qualifications and access to the profession in their EEA home state, subject to immigration policies which may be in place. This system would use the existing list of MRPQD qualifications ‘frozen’ on Exit Day as an initial reference source for relevant decisions.
  • After Exit Day UK nationals seeking recognition in an EU Member State would be under the host state’s system for ‘third countries’.

More detailed guidance on the changes to the regulation of architects if the UK leaves the EU without a deal can be found here.

3. How will the regulation of architects change if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

If the UK leaves with a deal we understand there will be a period of implementation during which the specific future arrangements will be negotiated.

4. 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. Where possible, we have provided definitive, practical information to the profession via email, our website, newsletter and social media and well as face-to-face forums.

5. 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.

6. Are there any aspects of ARB’s role and remit that won’t be affected by the UK leaving the EU (with or without a deal)?

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.



  • 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. Unless a withdrawal agreement is formally ratified and a new date set for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, the UK stands to leave the EU on 31 January 2020. Exit Day has previously been set for 29 March 2019, 12 April 2019, 1 June 2019 and 31 October 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

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