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Frequently Asked Questions

Registration FAQs

 

  1. Do I need to be registered as an architect to practice or is it optional?

To use the title architect and provide architectural services in Victoria, it is a legal requirement under the Architects Act 1991 (the Act) to be registered with the ARBV. If you are not registered you cannot represent that you are an architect, which includes stating or implying that you are an architect, practice as an architect or undertake or are willing to undertake work as an architect.

 

  1. If I’m not registered as an architect, can I instead provide architectural design services?

No. Unless you are registered as an architect with the ARBV, you must not use the title ‘architect’ or the controlled terms ‘architectural services’, ‘architectural design services’, ‘architectural design’ (all in relation to building design).

 

  1. I have graduated with architectural qualifications, am I a graduate architect?

No, you cannot call yourself an architect unless you are registered with the ARBV, you may instead call yourself an architectural graduate.

The Act provides for an exemption to registration only while being supervised by a registered architect (as per section 8B of the Act prior to your successful completion of the pre-registration requirements. Once you have successfully completed your pre-registration requirement, which is the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), you are required to apply for registration.

 

  1. What class of registration can I apply for?

The Act provides for two classes of registration; Architect (practising) and Architect (non-practising). When registering for the first time, you must be in the practising class of registration (see question 3 for exemption). See question 17 for more information.

 

  1. Do I need to register in Victoria if I am registered elsewhere in Australia or New Zealand?

If you are registered in an Australian state or territory or New Zealand, you may apply for mutual recognition in Victoria. Mutual recognition is governed by federal legislation that allows for registration in another state/territory without further assessment. Please see the mutual recognition section on our website for further information.

 

  1. I am registered as an architect outside Australia or New Zealand, what should I do?

If you are registered in an overseas jurisdiction you will be required to undertake the experienced practitioner assessment administered by the AACA.

 

  1. What are the pathways to registration?

There are three main pathways to registration.

  1. The Architectural Practice Examination, which is for individuals who have never been registered before. If you are a recent graduate the APE is the correct pathway for you.
  2. Experienced Practitioner assessments. If you have been working in the industry for more than seven years and completed your degree prior, and/or have overseas experience/registration, you may be eligible for this pathway. Please see the AACA website for further information on the experienced practitioner assessment.
  3. Mutual recognition, available for individuals registered in an Australian or New Zealand jurisdiction. This pathway is also applicable for some overseas jurisdictions. Please see the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) website for further information on registration pathways.

 

  1. What else do I need to supply when I apply for registration?

You need to provide proof of insurance (see below for details) and an assessment outcome letter if your pathway to registration was through a competency-based assessment.  Please note that the application form requires applicants to respond to a series of questions in relation to their character, including about disciplinary matters and criminal convictions.

 

  1. What are the Professional Indemnity Insurance requirements for registration?

When applying for registration you should provide proof of professional indemnity insurance (PII Insurance). The ARBV will accept a copy of a certificate of currency, please see the PI Insurance FAQs for further details.

 

  1. How long will my application take to be determined?

The ARBV assesses applications before the Board can grant or refuse registration. This process can take 4 to 6 weeks.

 

  1. How does ARBV determine applications for registration?

The ARBV assess applications as per the requirements of section 10 of the Act. This involves assessing the good character of an applicant and ensuring they have met the qualification and experience requirements in the legislation.

 

  1. How will I know the outcome of my application?

The ARBV will inform you of the outcome in writing. Please remember you are not considered registered until you receive written confirmation and your registration number.

 

  1. What are the fees for registration?

The fees change every financial year. Please see the Annual fees FAQs for current fees.

 

  1. What is the registration period?

The registration period is from 1 July to 30 June of the financial year. Each individual’s registration period will be from the time registration is granted by the Board until 30 June of the same financial year. Please see the annual fees FAQs for more information..

 

  1. Once I am registered as an architect, how do I maintain my registration?

The Act provides that to maintain registration, individuals in the practising class must provide proof of insurance and pay the prescribed annual fees.

 

  1. How can I check if someone is a registered architect?

Please see our website home page to ‘search for an architect’. If you are having trouble finding an architect or someone you believe to be an architect please call us on 9417 4444 or write to us at registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au.

 

  1. What are the classes of registration?

The Act provides for two classes of registration. Architect (Practising), and Architect (Non-practising). The practising class allows for architects registered with ARBV to provide architectural services. The non-practising class allows for architects to use the controlled terms (e.g. architect) but restricts their ability to provide architectural services.

Please note that it is an offence to provide architectural services or purport to be able to provide such services when not registered or in the correct registration category.

 

  1. How do I change my class of registration?

Architects can change their class of registration between practising and non-practising. Generally, architects in the non-practising class of registration are no longer working in Victoria, retiring or will be on an extended leave.

To change your class of registration you must make a formal application in writing. If you have remained as an Architect (Non-practising) for more than 2 years (and are not subject to mutual recognition) you will be required to have an assessment of your standard of professional practice.

 

  1. Will I receive a registration certificate?

The ARBV does not issue registration certificates, you will receive a letter advising of your registration status. Your registration details are available to the public via the Register of Architects on the ARBV website.

The ARBV holds a Certificate Conferring Ceremony (CCC) for newly registered architects each year in November or December each. Invitations will be sent to you if you were registered between October the prior year and September of the current year.

 

  1. What can I use as proof of my registration with the ARBV?

You can use the card downloadable from your registration profile, through the ARBV website portal, as proof of registration. If this card is not sufficient evidence of registration, email us at registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au.

Company and Partnership registration FAQs

 

  1. I am already registered as an architect, do I need approval for my company or partnership?

 Yes, if the company or partnership will provide architectural services, it requires approval. At least one company director or one partner must be registered in the practising class to maintain approval.

 

  1. I am a registered architect and I run my own business, does it need to be registered with the ARBV?

Not necessarily, the terminology for business and company are often used interchangeably.

A business is not a separate legal entity and is often the responsibility of the individual who established it, that individual is known as a sole trader. A company is a separate legal entity that has separate liability, it is registered with ASIC and has an Australian Company Number (ACN).

A partnership is not a separate legal entity and the partners may have equal liability depending on the partnership arrangement. A partnership will have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and may have associated trading and business names.

Trading names and business names cannot be used but can be noted on the application form.

 

  1. I own a company/partnership, does it need to be registered with the ARBV?

If the company will be providing architectural services, it will need to be registered as an approved company or partnership per the Architects Act 1991 (the Act).

 

  1. What are the requirements for company or partnership approval?

To apply for company or partnership approval, at least one architect director (for companies) or one architect partner (for partnerships) must be registered with ARBV in the practising class. As noted in question 1, all companies must be a legal company in that they possess an ACN. Partnerships are provided for under the Partnerships Act 1958. For more information on partnerships, visit the Business Victoria website.

In addition to the above, companies and partnerships must provide a statutory declaration, a director or partnership information form and a copy of their constitution (for companies). Please see our website for the statutory declaration and information forms to be completed with company and partnership applications.

 

  1. How do I apply for company or partnership approval?

Please see the detail on our website to ensure you meet the requirements and have the correct information and documents to apply for company or partnership approval. Then proceed to the ARBV website portal and complete the application form. If you need more information on using the portal, please see our ARBV website portal FAQs.

 

  1. What are the fees for registration?

The fees are prescribed and change every financial year. Please see the Annual fees FAQs for the current fees.

 

  1. What is the registration period?

 The registration period is from 1 July to 30 June of the financial year. Registrations period will be from the time approval is granted by the Board until 30 June of the same financial year. Please see the annual fees FAQs for more information.

 

  1. What documents do I need to apply for approval?

When applying for approval, you need to provide proof of insurance (see below for more details), a statutory declaration, director or partner information forms and a company constitution (for companies).

 

  1. What are the PII requirements for approval?

When applying for registration you must be able to provide proof of professional indemnity insurance. The ARBV will accept a copy of a certificate of currency, please see the PI Insurance FAQs for further details.

 

  1. How long will my application take to be determined?

Applications are assessed by the ARBV before the Board grants or refuses approval, which can take 4 to 6 weeks.

 

  1. How does the ARBV determine applications for approval?

The ARBV assesses applications for approval as per the requirements of sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Act. This involves assessing the company or partnership in line with the Act to ensure they comply with the requirements outline in the relevant sections in the legislation.

 

  1. How will I know the outcome of my application?

The ARBV will inform you of the outcome in writing. You are considered approved when the company receives written confirmation.

 

  1. Once I am registered, how do I maintain my approval?

The Act provides that to maintain approval, companies and partnerships must have at least one director or partner in the practising class of registration, that are covered by the appropriate insurance and pay the prescribed annual fees.

 

  1. How can I check if a company is approved?

 Please see our website home page to ‘search for an architect’. If you are having trouble finding an approved company please call us on 9417 4444 or write to us at registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au.

Annual Fees FAQs

Who needs to pay annual fees?

Architects registered in the practising class, approved companies and approved partnerships must pay annual fees, pursuant to the Architects Act 1991.

Architects registered in the non-practising class are not required to pay annual fees.


When are annual fees due?

Annual fees are due by 1 July each year for the registration period ending 30 June the following year.

The Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) will notify architects, companies and partnerships once payments can be made.  The fees can be paid from the end of May each year via the ARBV website portal.


How much are annual fees?

Annual fees for the registration period 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020 are:

Architect – Practising $296.20
Approved Company $444.30
Approved Partnership $370.25

Annual fees are subject to change each financial year.


What if I am only registered for part of the year?

While the Architects Act 1991 makes no provision for fees to be pro-rated or reduced for architects or approved companies and partnerships registered for part of the registration year, the ARBV will not require architects who are granted registration in May or June 2019 to pay annual fees again until 1 July 2020.


How can I pay annual fees?

Payment can be made by:

  • Credit Card or PayPal via the ARBV website at the top right hand side of the home page, go to Sign In
  • Cheque – mailed to: ARBV, Level 7, 372 Albert Street, EAST MELBOURNE 3002


What happens if I don’t pay my annual fees? 

If you don’t pay your annual fees by 1 July, ARBV may consider suspending your registration, pursuant to the Architects Act 1991. This means that you will be taken not to be registered under the Act and will not able to use the title ‘architect’ or provide architectural services.

If an approved company or approved partnership fails to pay is annual fees, ARBV may consider suspending its approval.


How do I log in to the ARBV website portal to make my payment?

Via the ARBV website:

  1. At the top right-hand side of the home page, click ‘Sign In’
  2. Enter your username and password
  3. Once logged in, click ‘Manage Profile’
  4. Select ‘Invoices’ to go to the payment screen
  5. Make your payment using credit card or PayPal

Your username is your registration number or the company or partnership’s approval number.
Architect registration numbers start with ‘1’ and company and partnership approval numbers start with ‘5’. For further information see the ARBV Website Portal FAQs.


What if I am the architect director of an approved company or the architect partner of an approved partnership?

Annual fees are required to be paid by architects registered in the practising class, as well as approved companies and partnerships. There are separate annual fees payable for each – the amounts are noted in 4. above. This means some architects will make two payments of annual fees – one as an individual registration, and a second for an approved company or partnership.

The ARBV will notify approved companies and partnerships of the requirement to pay annual fees via emails to the architect director or architect partner.

 

Can I pay annual fees for my registration and my approved company / partnership together?

No. You will need to log in to each profile on the ARBV website portal and pay the invoices separately.


I am having trouble accessing the ARBV website portal, what should I do?

Please see the ARBV Website Portal FAQs. If you are still having trouble, please contact the ARBV office on 03 9417 4444 or via registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au


I have received an annual fees invoice, but I no longer want to be registered in the practising class. What do I do?

You need to apply to change your class of registration. Applications can be made via email to registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au . Please include your full name and registration number when making your request.

Do I need to provide proof that I am covered by professional indemnity (PI) insurance when I pay my annual fees?

You must supply the ARBV with your PI insurance Certificate of Currency within two weeks of the policy expiry, or if your employer has changed and you are covered by a new policy. If this occurs at the same time as you are paying annual fees, you must provide this information to ARBV. See our PI insurance page for more information.


Do I need to provide evidence of continuing professional development (CPD) when I am paying my annual fees?

No. Evidence that you have completed CPD does not have to be provided for the 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 registration period.

Please note that the ARBV will require architects registered in the practising class to make a declaration as to the completion of CPD from 1 July 2020. Please monitor the ARBV website for further updates.

ARBV Website Portal FAQs

ARBV Website Portal FAQs

What is the ARBV website portal?

The ARBV website portal is where your registration profile is available for you to access your registration information, update your contact details and pay your fees online.

How do I find the website portal?

  1. At the ARBV website you are currently on
  2. At the top right-hand side of the home page go to ‘Sign In’


How do I log in to the ARBV website portal?

  1. At the top right-hand side of the home page, click ‘Sign In’
  2. Enter your username and password


What is my username?

For Registered Architects

Your username is your registration number. Architect registration numbers start with ‘1’.

For Approved Companies or Partnerships

Your username is the approval number. Approved Company or Partnership’s numbers start with a ‘5’.


How do l reset my password?

  1. At the top right-hand side of the home page, click ‘Sign In’
  2. Click ‘Forgot Password?’
  3. Scroll to bottom, enter your details in ‘Username or Email’ box
  4. Check the ‘I’m not a robot’ box
  5. Click ‘Reset Password’

 How do I update my contact details?

Login to the ARBV Website Portal to update your contact details.


How do I pay my invoices?

  1. Once logged in, click Manage Profile
  2. Select Invoices to go to the payment screen
  3. Make your payment using credit card or PayPal

For further information about payment of annual fees, see Registration Renewal – Annual Fees FAQs.


What if my details on the website portal are incorrect?

Login to the ARBV Website Portal to update your contact details. If you are still having trouble, please contact the ARBV office on 03 9417 4444 or via registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au

Professional Indemnity Insurance FAQs

Why must Architects be covered by PI Insurance?

It is Government policy that registered professions should have adequate insurance because it is in the public interest. At the same time, PII indemnifies architects for their legal liability to their clients and others relying on their advice. The Architects Act makes it an offence to work as an architect without having the required insurance cover.

Architects can be ‘joined’ to a legal case against other practitioners on the same project in a ‘joint and several liability’ case.

Is it an offence to work as an architect without PI Insurance?

Yes. The Architects Act (Section 8B) makes it an offence to work as an architect without having the required insurance.

The Act provides for penalties of 100 penalty units (= $14,761.00) for an individual and 500 penalty units (=$73,835.00) for a company found to be in breach of this requirement. (A penalty unit currently equals $147.61)

It is also an offense (Section 8C) to represent to be insured when uninsured. Penalties apply of 100 penalty units (= $14,761.00) for an individual and 500 penalty units (=$73,835.00) for a company found to be in breach of this requirement.

The Ministerial Order refers to ‘All Architects who carry out work as an Architect.’ What does this mean?

Working as an architect means providing architectural services and/or advertising for the provision of such services. Such persons must be registered in the Practising class.

I’m an Architect employed in a government department (or local council or university). Should I have Insurance?

Proof of employment by Government Department, municipality or tertiary educational institution must be provided to the ARBV.

What sort of Insurance do I need?

Architects must be covered by Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance. The policy needs specifically to cover architects. The details are in the Ministerial Order, and summarised below.

How much PI Insurance cover do I need?

Not less than $1 million plus not less than $200,000 or 20% for defence costs, with one automatic re-instatement. Please check the Ministerial Order for full details and discuss its requirements with your insurance broker.

I’m employed as an Architect in an approved Architectural firm. Do I have to take out my own Insurance?

Employees of an Architect or an approved Architectural Company or Partnership may be covered by the employer’s policy. It is wise to check the details of that cover.
On registration and on renewal of the policy each year, you will have to provide proof of that cover to the ARBV.

If an employee undertakes architectural work independent of the employer, he or she must take out their own PI insurance cover for that work. They are not covered by their employer’s policy for their own work.

I’m an Architect employed by a non-architect. Do I need PI Insurance cover?

Yes. Your employer must have a policy that states that it covers architects/architecture. It is wise to check the details of that cover.

What information about my Insurance should I provide to the ARBV?

The form of proof required is a Certificate of Currency or equivalent (e.g. Schedule). The document must contain the validity dates for the policy, including the expiry date.

If you provide an employer’s policy, we require some evidence linking you with the employer, e.g. a letter from your employer stating that you are covered by their policy, or an email providing the certificate that emanates from the employer’s system.

When must I provide a PI Insurance Certificate to the ARBV?

A new Certificate of Currency needs to be provided to the ARBV when the policy is renewed or changed, or if the architect changes employer and is covered by a different policy. Please note that architects are no longer required to supply the certificate with their annual fee payment, and are asked not to do so unless it coincides with policy renewal.

Proof should be preferably emailed as a PDF to registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au. Please make clear in the message whose registration the proof is being provided for.

Is a letter from the employer simply stating I’m covered by their policy sufficient?

Yes, however the employer would need to send the ARBV a Certificate of Currency if they do not provide one directly to the employee.

What if there are changes to my Insurance cover?

If your insurance arrangements change (e.g. you take out a new policy, you change employment and are therefore covered by a different policy, etc), you must inform the Board in writing and supply the new Certificate of Currency within 14 days of any change.

I am a contractor – I provide architectural services on short term contracts to various organisations and companies. Am I covered by their Insurance?

No, you are not covered because you are self-employed, and need to have your own cover.

If I rely on my employers Insurance and become unemployed, what do I do?

You will need to advise the ARBV of the change. Your registration must be converted to Non-Practising whilst you are not covered by PII. It can be easily converted back to Practising when you are again covered.

Must employees be named in the Insurance policy or the certificate of currency?

Not necessarily. Firms’ policies and Certificates normally cover employees without specifically naming them.

What if I only do ‘small’ jobs? Do I need Insurance?

Yes, you do need insurance in order to practise as an architect, you must be registered as Practising, and be covered by compliant PII.

What are the approved cooperatives for Architects Insurance?

Cooperatives providing insurance cover for members must comply with Part 8 of the Ministerial Order and must be underwritten by an insurer authorised to conduct insurance business under the Insurance Act 1974.

I am ‘semi-retired’, doing occasional work. Do I need Insurance?

Yes, you do need insurance. In order to practise, an architect must be registered as practising, and be covered by compliant PII.

I am considering overseas travel for at least a year. How does this affect my registration and my Insurance cover?

If working overseas or otherwise temporarily out of practise in Victoria for a period of time, you can covert to Non-Practising registration.

I am an Architect about to take maternity leave. How does this affect my registration and insurance cover?

If you are temporarily out of practice on maternity leave, you can change to the non-practising class.

If I change to the Non-Practising class, should I retain Insurance?

If you have been practising as an architect and move to the non-practising class, we advise that you maintain PI insurance cover for at least seven years after ceasing to practise (known as run-off cover). You are not required to provide Certificates to the ARBV.

Other

If you have questions regarding PII that are not answered here, or if you require clarification of any of the answers, please phone the ARBV and ask to speak to the Compliance Consultant.

APE FAQs

Do I have to do the APE?

The Architectural Practice Examination (APE) is one pathway to registration. It is the most common pathway for recent graduates. If you think you may be eligible for a different pathway for registration you can email us at registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au or see the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) website for further information on pathways to registration.

 Do all states and territories hold the APE at the same time?

 The APE is held at similar times across the different states and territories, but you must check with each state’s board. Only part 2: National Examination Paper (NEP) is on the same day nationally.

Can candidates’ complete parts in different states?  

Part 1 and 2 of the APE must be completed in the same state. Candidates may apply in any jurisdiction for both part 1 and 2. Part 3 can be completed in a different state.

Am I required to complete the APE parts in order? 

The APE parts must be completed in sequential order.

When do logbook submissions open?

There are two APE sessions each year, submissions are open for two weeks each session. Please see our website for 2019 APE dates.

Do I need to reapply if I have already completed part 1 or part 2?

Candidates resubmitting for Part 2 or Part 3 of the APE must submit their part 1 documents during the submission dates. The part 1 documents should be updated to reflect any additional experience and/or projects since completing Part 1, this includes a new statutory declaration.

Where do I find the logbook for the part 1 documents?

The logbook can be found on the AACA website for the APE under ‘more information’. The AACA also have a helpful ‘how to logbook’ guide available.

What do I do if I have lost my degree?

ARBV will accept copies of the degree, including photos. If you are still not able to provide a copy you may submit a transcript with a letter from your university confirming the completion of your qualifications and subsequent graduation.

Where do I submit my application and upload my part 1 documents?

On the top right of the ARBV website, select ‘Register’, this will take you through to the ARBV website portal where you can submit your application. Please see our ‘APE Resources’ tab on the APE information page for instructions on submitting your part 1 documents for more information.

What do I do if my username is not being accepted?

Try using a different username or including an additional character. If you are still having trouble call us on 03 9417 4444 or email registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au.

What do I do if I can’t log back into my application after submitting?

Once you have submitted your application you will be locked out of the portal until after part 1 assessments have been completed. Please note that results will not be updated on your candidate profile, ARBV will email results to each candidate. 

When will I receive my part 1 results?

Results may be released 3 to 6 weeks after submissions close for the APE session. We will be in contact with candidates via email, so ensure you check your email regularly and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for updates.

Do I get a refund if I fail?

Candidates are not refunded the full APE part 1 and 2 fee if they do not successfully complete part 1. They are refunded for the part 2 portion of the APE ($245), as they will not be proceeding to part 2.

What is the date for the National Examination Paper (NEP)?

The NEP is held nationally on the same day, this is published in advance on each Boards website and also on the AACA website. Please see ARBV 2019 APE dates for more information.

When will I receive my results for part 2? 

NEP results will be emailed to candidates approximately 3 – 6 weeks after the exam. Please monitor the ARBV website for updates about the release of results.

If I fail part 2, what do I do?

Candidates can reapply for part 2 in subsequent sessions if they fail. However, they must do so within two years of receiving their results for part 2. If candidates apply outside the two year time frame they will be required to resubmit for APE part 1 and 2. Candidates will need to provide amended part 1 documents with any additional experience since first submitting, with a new statutory declaration.

When will I find out what date and time my interview for part 3 is?

Interview dates will be included in emails to candidates.

Can I change my interview date or time?

Candidates have advance notice, and due to the high number of interviews held each session, the ARBV is unable to accommodate requests to change dates or times. If you will not be available, we suggest you apply at the next session.

Can I appeal the decision?

If you would like to appeal your results, you must write to us at registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au. Please see the AACA Procedure for candidates guide for more information on appeals.

If I fail part 3, what do I do?

Candidates can apply for part 3 again in subsequent sessions if they fail. However, they must do so within two years of receiving their results for part 3. If candidates apply outside the 2 year time frame they will be required to resubmit for APE part 1 and 2.

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