Architectural Practice Examination

To register as an architect, many applicants take the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), which assesses their knowledge and understanding of architectural practice in Australia.

About the Architectural Practice Examination

Most people seeking to register as an architect in Victoria complete the Architectural Practice Examination (APE). It is a national examination conducted twice a year in all states and territories.

The APE assesses your knowledge and understanding of the practice of architecture in Australia and your capacity to exercise the professional skills required to be an architect.

If you successfully complete the APE, you can register as an architect.

The ARBV administers the APE with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and other state and territory architect registration boards.

The APE is open to overseas graduates of architectural courses, however, they must meet the requirements in the Overseas Qualification Assessment (OQA) conducted by the AACA. For more information visit Overseas Qualification Assessment (OQA).

Starting from January 2024, the Architectural Practice Examination will follow the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA)

Candidates who wish to apply for the APE are required to review the following resources, which are all available on the AACA website

  • 2024 Architectural Practice Examination Handbook
  • 2024 APE Information Sheet for Candidates
  • 2024 APE Support Material
  • 2024 APE Checklist
  • 2024 APE Performance Criteria Report 
  • 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA)
  • 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) Explanatory Notes
  • 2021 NSCA Mapping to 2015 NSCA
  • NEP Remote Proctoring FAQs

Candidates who have been previously unsuccessful in the APE and are intending to submit an application to resit any part of the APE from 2024 onwards will need to resubmit their part 1 documents in the 2024 format. These candidates should pay particular attention to the '2021 NSCA Mapping to 2015 NSCA' referred to in the list above. 

All APE candidates are also expected to work their way through the suite of video resources (see list below) that have been developed by the AACA to assist candidates on their pathway to registration.

  • 2021 NSCA explained – note that this video contains information about the PCs that relate to sustainability and Country
  • APE Part 1, 2 & 3 explained
  • AACA and Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) National Construction Code (NCC)
    • Understanding the National Construction Code (NCC)
    • Understanding and Using Energy Efficiency Provisions (NCC)
    • Understanding and Using Fire Safety Provisions (NCC)

Various coaching courses aim to help applicants complete the APE, but please note that such courses are not compulsory and are not accredited by the AACA or affiliated with the ARBV.

Watch our video about the 2024 requirements.

Parts of the APE

The APE comprises 3 parts:

  • Part 1: Logbook and statement of practical experience
  • Part 2: National Examination Paper
  • Part 3: Examination by interview

You must complete the 3 parts in order. You can complete parts 1 and 2 in any state, but you must complete both parts in the same state. Part 3 can be completed in a different state than part 1 and 2.

Candidates can only apply within one jurisdiction per APE session. If a candidate is found to have applied in multiple jurisdictions, they will not be able to sit the APE in any jurisdiction for that APE session.

Candidates who apply for the APE cannot also apply to other pathways, such as the Experienced Practitioner Assessment (EPA) at the same time. 

Part 1: Logbook and statement of practical experience

Part 1 of the APE requires you to provide documents demonstrating you meet the eligibility requirements of the examination process; you must submit a logbook, a statement of practical experience and other documentation outlining your experience.

Candidates must have completed at least 3,300 hours of practical architectural experience, which is equivalent to 2 years' full-time practical experience – note that this is not 2 calendar years, but cumulative experience. Note that at least 1,650 hours (equivalent to 1 year’s full-time practical experience) must be Australian-based, and can have been obtained in any Australian state or territory. Also note that at least 1,650 hours must have been obtained post graduation.  Your experience must demonstrate the 35 performance criteria outlined in the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects

Note: OQA and NPrA applicants do not need to consider the pre- and post- graduation requirements when logging their architectural experience hours. 

Below are the documents you will need to submit.

Please note: the AACA checklist refers to an application form; candidates seeking to apply to sit the APE in Victoria need to apply via the ARBV Portal (there is no separate application form).

Document 1: Logbook

Logbook documenting your hours of practical architectural experience, ranging across all 35 Performance Criteria required for Part 1, and must include a minimum of 35 hours' experience in each of the APE Part 1 mandatory Performance Criteria, and a maximum of 350 hours in any one of the APE Part 1 mandatory Performance Criteria.

The Logbook is now in an online format. Once you have completed your logbook online you will be able to export this to a PDF document and submit it with your application to the ARBV.

Candidates can only include projects that are less than 8 weeks (or 300 hours) in duration if the project hours logged have been accumulated while continuously employed with the same employer for more than 8 weeks (at full-time equivalent).

Candidates no longer need to log experience as Observer, Participant and Executive hours. Candidates may also log up to 70 hours of non-project work. Practical experience should be logged on a monthly basis.

Candidates must fill out the logbook and register with their full legal name, which corresponds to their formal identification document (for example, their passport).

Access the AACA Online Logbook.

Document 2: Statement of Practical Experience

A concise statement outlining your practical experience, the scope of work you have undertaken, and key projects that demonstrate your experience gained across all part 1 mandatory Performance Criteria. This means each part 1 mandatory PC must be addressed in at least one project contained in the SoPE. 

The project names and typographical information that are included in the Project Detail pages must match the details in the logbook (where applicable). 

The Statement should emphasise work undertaken in the two years immediately preceding the APE application. It must be presented in chronological order of experience.

If you were supervised by more than one architect for a given project, make sure to include this information in the Statement. If you were supervised by a Victorian architect, the registration numbers can be found in the ARBV Register of Architects. If you were supervised by an architect in a different state or territory, please provide the registration number as per the relevant register.

Candidates should refer to the NSCA 2021 Explanatory Notes when preparing their Statement of Practical Experience. This document outlines the level of experience expected, and defines terms used in the NSCA to describe knowledge, skill and application.

The Statement of practical experience must include:

  • A one-page summary CV
  • Project detail pages
  • APE Performance Criteria Report
  • References (where required)
  • Verification signature

Note: Only the Project detail pages count towards the word count.

Refer to page 16 of the 2024 Architectural Practice Examination Handbook (available on the AACA website) for more detailed information about the contents of the Statement of practical experience.

Document 3: Statutory declaration

A signed and witnessed declaration attesting to the accuracy of the logbook and documents you have provided.

APE statutory declaration
PDF 174.91 KB
(opens in a new window)

View guidance on who can witness a statutory declaration.

Document 4: Qualifications

  • If you have completed an eligible qualification, you must provide a scanned copy of your  academic transcript.
  • If you completed the Overseas Qualification Assessment (OQA), you must provide a copy of the outcome letter.
  • If you completed the National Program of Assessment (NPrA), you must provide a copy of the outcome letter.

Part 2: National Examination Paper

Part 2 of the APE is the National Examination Paper (NEP). It is an 80-question exam to be completed in 120-minutes, which assesses your professional knowledge against the performance criteria in the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects.

The NEP tests candidates using hypothetical scenarios and multiple-choice questions. It is delivered online by remote proctoring.

The scenarios are based on the realities of architectural practice across a range of contexts. They are framed in language and terminology that is commonly understood across practice around Australia.

You cannot take notes or summary sheets into the exam.

Reasonable Adjustment for the NEP

Candidates who have a disability or other health-related needs that might interfere with their ability to sit the National Examination Paper in the standard manner can apply for reasonable adjustments.

Candidates should note that reviewing applications for reasonable adjustments can take time. If you think you may require reasonable adjustments, you must lodge your application along with supporting documentation by the part 1 submission deadline (see APE dates listed below).

Applications for Reasonable Adjustments must also be submitted with supporting documentation to NEP@aaca.org.au on or before the relevant APE session closing date for submission of APE part 1. Candidates are still required to submit their application for the APE directly to the ARBV.

Results

You will receive results approximately 4 weeks after you take the exam.

If you do not pass the NEP, you can apply to sit it again within 2 years. If you wait longer than 2 years, you will need to complete part 1 again.

Candidates who have been previously unsuccessful in the APE and are intending to submit an application to resit any part of the APE from 2024 onwards will need to resubmit their part 1 documents in the 2024 format. These candidates should pay particular attention to the '2021 NSCA Mapping to 2015 NSCA' referred to in the list above. 

Candidates resitting part 2 within 2 years of their first attempt are required to:

  • Resubmit all part 1 documents with their application. You may update the documents with any recent experience.
  • Submit a newly signed and witnessed statutory declaration.
  • Resubmit during the part 1 submission period listed in our key dates below.

Candidates resitting part 2 more than 2 years from their first attempt are required to:

  • Lodge their application during the part 1 submission period listed in our key dates below and apply for both part 1 and 2 (which includes paying the relevant part 1 and 2 fees).
  • Submit all part 1 documents with their application. You should consider updating the documents with any recent experience.
  • Submit a newly signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

Part 3: Examination by interview

The final part of the APE is an interview with two experienced examiners. In the interview, the examiners will ask you questions based on hypothetical situations, to assess your practical knowledge and experience.

Interviews typically take 45-60 minutes and will be conducted during the scheduled interview period (see key dates below). Once your interview has been scheduled, you cannot change the date or time. If you cannot attend the interview at the scheduled time, you will need to apply for the next interview session.

You cannot take notes or summary sheets into the interview.

Results

You will receive results within approximately 2 weeks of sitting the interview.

Receiving a successful result in part 3 indicates successful completion of the APE. You are then eligible to apply for registration as an architect. Registration within 2 years of being notified of your successful completion of the APE is strongly encouraged; otherwise, you may be subject to further assessment prior to registration.

Visit Registering as an Architect for details on applying for registration. 

If you do not pass the examination by interview, you can apply to sit it again within 2 years.

If you wait longer than 2 years, you will need to complete parts 1 and 2 before you can take the interview again. 

Candidates who have been previously unsuccessful in the APE and are intending to submit an application to resit any part of the APE from 2024 onwards will need to resubmit their part 1 documents in the 2024 format. These candidates should pay particular attention to the “2021 NSCA Mapping to 2015 NSCA” referred to in the list above. 

Candidates resitting part 3 within 2 years of their successful result in part 2 are required to:

  • Resubmit all part 1 documents with their application. You may update the documents with any recent experience.
  • Submit a newly signed and witnessed statutory declaration.
  • Resubmit either during the part 1 submission period or the part 3 submission period listed in our key dates below.

Candidates resitting part 3 more than 2 years from their successful result in part 2 are required to:

  • Lodge their application during the part 1 submission period listed in our key dates below and apply for both part 1 and 2 (which includes paying the relevant part 1 and 2 fees).
  • Submit all part 1 documents with their application. You should consider updating the documents with any recent experience.
  • Submit a newly signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

Key dates for APE 2024

The ARBV runs the APE in 2 sessions each year. For part 3, we will email you a date and time for your interview closer to the interview period. The dates below for the interview are indicative only and subject to change. Dates are finalised post part 2 results being released and we are unable to provide specific details in advance.

If you are applying for parts 1 and 2 of the APE, you do not need to submit a separate application for part 3. If you are applying for part 3 only, you will need to submit a separate application for this part.

All candidates resitting for part 3 can apply either when applications open for part 1 and 2, or when applications open for part 3.

All candidates resitting for part 2 must apply when applications open for parts 1 and 2.

Note: candidates must consider their availability prior to applying for Part 2 or Part 3. Individual circumstances cannot be accommodated.

APE 2024Session 1, 2024Session 2, 2024
   
Applications for part 1 and part 2 
(Includes part 2 (NEP) resits)
Open 16 January 
Close 29 January
Open 26 June 
Close 8 July
Part 2: NEP9 April17 September
Part 3: Examination by interview submission datesOpen 6 May 
Close 17 May
Open 14 October 
Close 25 October
Part 3: Interviews conductedJuneNovember

APE fees

Part 1 and 2Part 2Part 3
$670$265$510

Apply for the APE

There are 4 documents that must be submitted for part 1:

  1. AACA Logbook
  2. Statement of Practical Experience
  3. Statutory declaration
  4. Architectural qualifications

These documents are uploaded electronically. Hard copy documents are not accepted.

The documents must be:

  • no more than 5MB in size
  • saved as outlined in the document combination
  • named according to the prescribed naming convention.

Document combination

1. One PDF Statement of Practical Experience; a) Curriculum Vitae (CV); b) Project detail pages c) APE Performance Criteria Report; and d) References (if required)

2. AACA Logbook (separate PDF)

3. Statutory declaration (separate PDF)

4. Architectural Qualifications eg. Transcript (separate PDF)

Naming convention

1. Last name_first name - APE Part 1 eg. Smith_Jane - APE Part 1

2. Last name_first name - Logbook eg. Smith_Jane - Logbook

3. Last name_first name - Statutory Declaration eg. Smith_Jane - Statutory Declaration

4. Last name_first name - Qualification eg. Smith_Jane - Qualification 

 

You can only submit part 1 documents during the submission dates. See the above key dates for the submission period.

Submit your application via the ARBV portal

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