Students who wish to take the AA Professional Practice and Practical Experience Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 3) must complete this application form and submit it and the required documents to the AA Professional Practice Coordinator. Applications are assessed by the AA Professional Studies Advisor.
Only students whose Initial Assessments have been approved are permitted to enrol for and take the examination, so the final date for the submission is six weeks before the beginning of the written examinations. However, it is strongly recommended that approval of an Initial Assessment is obtained before the start of the course.
The following documents are required in digital format:
1 This application form, fully completed
2 Professional CV
3 Evidence of ARB/RIBA Parts 1 and 2, or evidence of exemption from ARB/RIBA Parts 1 and 2. Refer page 2
4 IELTS certificate to level 6.5 if English is not the first language. Refer page 2
5 Completed Practical Training Records, up to date at the date of Initial Assessment submission. Refer page 2
6 Career Appraisal Essay. Refer page 4
7 Experience Matrix. Refer page 5
8 Request for accommodation of disability. Refer final page
The AA provides all students with the opportunity for high quality learning irrespective of disability, and uses its reasonable endeavours to accommodate the requirements of disabled students on a case-by-case basis. Students who have a condition or disability they wish to be taken into account must advise the Professional Studies Advisor in writing at the time of Initial Assessment application and provide supporting formal assessment documentation produced by an appropriately qualified medical practitioner or other authority. Prospective students should be aware that the physical characteristics of the School's principal premises in protected buildings currently impose some unavoidable limitations.
Students applying for Initial Assessment may submit documentation in digital format up to one month before the beginning of the written exams. They may do this on one occasion only. The PSA will normally respond within 10 working days but the submission may be treated as final if submitted too late, and students advised only if their Initial Assessments have been approved or not. Comments on the draft documentation will be advisory and may relate to compliance, content, style and presentation, and are intended to be helpful and avoid situations where students have a low probability of success in the examination. Students may decide to defer their final submission without penalty. The final result of the application will be provided by the PSA and indicative reasons provided if the application is rejected. Students may appeal against rejection and the AA's appeal procedures apply.
Evidence of ARB/RIBA Part 1 and ARB/RIBA Part 2
The following documents must be presented to the Professional Practice Co-ordinator. Scanned copies of the original documents will normally be acceptable:
Certificate or letter from the candidate’s School(s) of Architecture declaring that the candidate has met ARB/RIBA Part 1 and/or ARB/RIBA Part 2 requirements
Letter(s) from the Architects Registration Board, the ARB, declaring that the candidate has met Part 1 and Part 2 requirements
Evidence of proficiency in written and spoken English
If the candidate does not have English as a first language, then he/she must present original certificate(s) that they have met the required standard in a nationally-recognised test in written and spoken English, IELTS, taken within the last 5 years and have achieved a score of no less than 6.5.
Practical Training Records
Candidates for the Part 3 examination stage should have 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.
While candidates must be able to demonstrate this requirement in full at the date for registration for the examination, they must be able to demonstrate their progress at the date of their application for Initial Assessment. Accordingly, the documents submitted must include all completed Practical Training records up to the date of the application for Initial Assessment.
Permitted categories of experience:
Experience of architectural practice in the UK, EEA, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, under the direct supervision of an architect either registered with the Architects Registration Board or registered within the territory where the experience is being undertaken
Experience of architectural practice in any other location, under the direct supervision of an architect registered within the territory where the experience is being undertaken
Experience within the construction industry under the supervision of a qualified professional within the relevant field
'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 in 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.
The minimum required period of practical training of 24 months applies to all candidates, irrespective of the location of their qualifications.
Whilst the RIBA practical experience regulations state that candidates for the RIBA Part 3 examination stage 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 mentored during their practical experience. A definition of 'direct supervision' has been provided but essentially, the employment mentor should have control over and take responsibility for the work being undertaken. Typically the candidate and the mentor 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. Candidates must demonstrate that they have been or are being appropriately mentored even if part or all of their experience is through self-employment.
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
Permitted formats for recording experience
Professional Experience and Development Record, 'PEDR':
The PEDR is an online recording format, available only from the RIBA, www.pedr.co.uk. It is the form that the majority of candidates for Part 3 adopt to record their practical training. The AA applies the RIBA's regulations in respect of the completion of PEDR records, including the periods within which each record must be submitted for it to count towards the minimum period of training.
Certificate of Professional Experience, 'CPE':
The Certificate of Professional Experience is an alternative online recording format to the standard Professional Experience and Development Records sheets, which may be used, only with permission from the PSA/Part 3 course leader, by Part 3 candidates with substantial experience. Since the PSA's explicit permission is a requirement of the use of the CPE, it is unlikely that candidates for Part 3 will have records in this format at the time of application for Initial Assessment.
Part 3 candidates with substantial experience, who have reached a degree of responsibility in their offices which gives them supervisory functions, may apply to their Part 3 course leader/Professional Studies Advisor for permission to use the RIBA/AA Certificate of Professional Experience in lieu of the standard Professional Experience and Development Record Sheets, provided that the following condition is met:
The candidate must have completed at least 6 years' experience, all of which must have met the RIBA's practical experience eligibility criteria, and must have been undertaken outside full-time academic study for Part 1 and Part 2*.
* Candidates who have studied on a part-time course or office-based route may apply to their Part 3 course leader to use the Certificates to record their experience
Candidates wishing to apply should provide their Part 3 course leader with the following information:
A statement of the length of their experience
A description of the kind of work they are currently undertaking, with the character and size of projects
A statement from their employer about their work and the level of responsibility they hold
Because a Certificate of Professional Experience is of limited value to Part 3 Examiners in assessing the quality of experience, it must be accompanied by a report and supplementary evidence, giving the student's own appreciation of the value of each employment to date. The 6 years' worth of experience should all be covered, and as a guideline, the report is expected to be around 2000 words; however, course providers may stipulate their exact requirements and thus candidates should check the exact requirements with their course provider.
Career appraisal essay
This is a personal, critical and reflective essay which is to be 2000 words in length, and may be illustrated. As guidance, it is likely, but not be limited, to include:
Influences in architectural education and career development
Experiences in project initiation processes
Experiences in project implementation
Successes and challenges in project implementation, contract administration
Aspirations and objectives for the future
The essay is a requirement of the Initial Assessment application. For those candidates who eventually adopt the CPE practical training format, it will also be the essay that is required to provide supporting evidence, and will be part of the information assessed additionally at the Part 3 examination.
This is a graphic representation of each candidate's experience mapped against the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. Please use the template below to record all your practical experience. Use as many pages as required but do not alter the format. Applications in which the format has been altered will automatically be rejected.
Complete the matrix to map all your experience. Highlight those periods of experience which you wish to have recognised as appropriate and relevant to the Part 3 exam, and please be aware that this should be supported by records of practical training. Please cut and paste rows as required, and start the record for each employer on a new page.
If the candidate has particular issues that may significantly affect their access to or performance in the Part 3 examination and for which special arrangements may need to be made, these must be advised to and discussed with the PSA and appropriate evidence submitted to the Professional Practice Coordinator.