Webinar: 2024 Architectural Practice Exam – new requirements

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us for today's webinar. Architectural Practice Examination. I'd like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land in which we meet today. I'd also like to pay my respects to elders past and present. I am Rebecca Norton. I am Co-convenor here at the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. Today's webinar has been produced by the ARBV and is aimed at the candidates preparing for the architectural practice examination the APE.

We’ll answer questions at the end, so please submit any questions that you have via the Q&A feature or through the chat function of this Zoom session. The ARBV is established under the Architects Act 1991 and is a statutory authority that sits within the Victorian State Government. The ARBV administers the APE in Victoria with assistance from the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, the AACA. The AACA is a body established by the state and Territory boards to ensure national consistency.

So the focus of this presentation will be the architectural practice examination, the APE. The presentation will provide background on preregistration requirements, alternative pathways to registration and the registration process. The presentation will outline the three parts of the APE process. We’ve got a timer it will seem. The presentation will outline three key parts of the APE process VIP, a part one, two and three and highlight changes which will come into effect in 2024.

The aim of this presentation is to provide candidates with a clear understanding of the documentation required to be submitted for each part of the APE and the APE process, including the fees that are applicable. After watching this presentation and you still have questions, please direct them to the ARBV email which will be provided on the last slide. There are three main pathways to registration.

The APE is the most common pathway to registration will cover the APE more detail in the latest slides. The second pathway is the experienced practitioner assessment, or the EPA, which is a competency based assessment that involves the submitting of a portfolio and an assessment conducted with registered architect examiners. This is conducted by the AACA on behalf of the ARBV.

This is for both overseas qualified or locally experienced practitioners who have not registered in Australia previously. The final pathway is mutual recognition or MR. This allows equivalent registration in other state or territories from where you were originally registered. This process generally covers most professions and allows freedom of movement. New Zealand is included in these arrangements. There are unique circumstances that could apply to you.

However, given your attendance here today, APE is the more likely pathway for you.

As noted earlier, the ARBV administers the APE in Victoria with assistance from the AACA. The APE is conducted in three parts. Part one is the logbook and statement of Practical Experience. Part two The National Examination Paper and part three is the examination by interview. It is important to note that the APE is a pre-registration requirement and to work as an architect in Victoria you are required to be registered.

This means after you successfully complete the APE, you should be applying for registration if you intend to work as an architect in Victoria, the following slide provides a visual overview of the APE process and we'll go over these parts in more detail in the next few slides.

Once you've completed all three parts of the APE successfully, you will be ready to apply for registration. We have frequently asked questions and other information on our website, like the AACA also have resources available. The AACA have created a 2024 Architectural Practice Examination handbook and other resource material. We encourage everyone to read this prior to starting your APE. As changes to the APE will impact the log book and the statement of Practical Experience from 2024.

Ensure you are looking at the most recent documents on the AACA website prior to applying for the APE, particularly in the next two years. The APE is a national examination and the dates are decided on between the Architects boards and the AACA. We update the dates annually on our website and the dates are generally the same across all states and territories.

The in NEP or the national exam paper Part two is held nationally on the same day. The dates are provided publicly towards the end of each year. So it's important that you check our website for the APE dates. It is important to note for the APE we will contact you as you progress through parts one, two and three.

We will contact you through the process to let you know what to do or if we require any additional information from you. It is also important to note that the dates provide Part three. The examination by interview are a guide as the interview days and not as scheduled until we receive results for part two. If you have any commitments or you have submitted for the APE session, you will need to ensure you have available availability during this time as we are unable to accommodate any requests.

The part one of the APE is the logbook and statement of practical experience. As you can see on the slides, there are a few documents that must be submitted for part one. The AACA logbook, which is now an electronic format. The Statement of Practical Experience. The Statutory Declaration. A copy of your architectural qualifications and verification of your identification.

You'll need to make sure all these documents are submitted at the time of applying. As you may, you may be found ineligible if the documents are not included. The part one process is used to determine eligibility to proceed with through part two of the APE. You must ensure you have the appropriate documents and the appropriate experience, that the documents as set out as required in the procedure Guide for Candidates.

The ARBV will seek further information to verify the submission you have provided and you're required to complete a stat dec to confirm that everything in your submission in Part one is true and correct. It is an offense to lie to the ARBV and this could impact your application for registration. With the logbook you're required to log 3300 hours of practical experience across all 35 performance criteria from the national standard of competency relevant to part one of the APE.

You must use the online AACA logbook and once complete export it as a PDF submission. You can read about the specific competencies on our website or the AACA website. You must include a minimum of 35 hours in each mandatory performance criteria and a maximum of 350 hours in any one of the mandatory performance criteria. You are now allowed to log 70 hours of non-project work against the mandatory performance criteria.

This may include office management office meetings which are non-project related office training or learning experiences and formal CPD for architects. Practical experience may be gained in the following ways. As an employee of an architectural firm under the supervision of an architect. As an employee of a building design firm. As an employee in a firm in an allied field.

In the construction industry, in relevant government agencies, and independently in a self-employed capacity. Your logbook must include a minimum of two years practical experience, which has been gained within the previous ten years. The 2 years practical experience can include no more than 12 months pre graduation experience and no less than 12 months of post-graduation experience, which commences from the date listed on your academic transcript.

If you intend to include overseas experience in your book, you cannot include more than 12 months of overseas experience, and you must also have at least 12 months logged experience in Australia. The 12 months is referred to in the requirements for the APE logbook. It does not refer to calendar months, but are considered to be the equivalent of 1650 hours.

You can only include projects that are less than eight weeks or 300 hours in duration. If the project hours logged have been accumulated at a colleges at been accumulated while continuously employed with the same employer for more than eight weeks at a full time capacity. As seen in this slide, you should stop familiarising yourself with the national standard of competency for architects.

If you haven't already, as the competencies are relevant throughout the APE, APE process, for the purposes of the APE, you will be at the middle competency seen here and read for candidates for registration.

This slide has been taken from Appendix one of the APE 2024 Candidate handbook produced by the AACA. This can be found on page 31. You should familiarise yourself with the performance criteria matrix to identify which mandatory criteria are applied to which part of the APE. The units of competency are as follows. Practice management and Professional Conduct, Project Initiation and conceptual design, Detailed design and construction documentation, and design delivery and construction phase services.

These are then separated into performance criteria or PCs, and then they are assigned as a mandatory PC for a specific part of the APE. Before submitting your logbook, it's recommended that you check your logbook for consistency across all documents. Ensure project names are consistent between your logbook sheets and statement experience. Check the topography of your log book against what you have provided in your statement of practical experience.

Ensure you have recorded all of your documentation in your full legal name, which is consistent with your legal identification document. The logbook is user friendly with a dashboard to help you track your overall compliance with ours. Please note that the export function of the log will not be available until all of the requirements are met.

The statement of experience or practical experience comprises a one page summary CV, Project Details pages. The APE performance criteria report, references only when required and verification signature. The CV is not included in the word count and should be a one page summary of your professional experience, including personal information, qualifications, employment and list of supervising architects with their Australian architect

Registration number. The project Details pages is a detailed account of your project experience and it is expected to be 2000 to 3000 and not exceeding 3000 words. It should include an outline of the project brief. A detailed description of the level or type of practical experience gained in each of the APE Part One. Mandatory Performance Criteria which demonstrates your understanding of the criteria.

Provide evidence to support your claimed experience in the logbook. Contained sufficient details for Part three examiners to appreciate the scope of work. Cost, floor area and nature of construction. Each project description should contain full topography details. The APE Performance criteria report is not included in the word count and cross-references your experience the mandatory performance criteria. Include verification signatures as seen on the following slide.

You must include a verification signature of a registered architect in your statement of practical experience. It is your responsibility to confirm the supervising architect was registered in the state or territory when you were when they were supervising you. If this is not possible, you need to provide the verification signatures of relevant supervisors, clients, professionals. If you are logging experience not gained as an employee of an architectural firm under the supervision of an architect, you must include references from two employers, or, if you are self-employed, from professionals within the construction industry, such as a structural engineer or building company or two clients.

There is more detailed information about this in the handbook. It's important you read this to understand who is eligible to verify your statement and any additional steps you may need to take. We suggest for the statement that you emphasise work undertaken in the two years immediately before applying for the APE. Your name and contact details must appear on every page.

Present the statement in a chronological order of experience. Use the title architect correctly throughout your statement. This means not referring to yourself as an architect when preparing the statement. You should consider. I'm sorry. You should refer to the NSCA 2021 explanatory notes as it outlines the level of experience expected and defines terms used in the NSCA to describe knowledge, skill and application.

Please do not include project photographs. You must also have the following in a statement for each project. The project name, location being the project address, the country, which is the indigenous country in which the project is located. Period. The period of which the candidate was involved in the project. The area estimated cost, the building type. For example single residential, commercial hospital, primary school, construction methodology, for example timber or light white framing, CFC cladding, masonry.

The supervising architect, the procurement method, for example design and construct fully documented fixed lump sum AB contract or cost less. Practice construction admin role. For example full contract administration, Partial services in a DNC contract, and it's the candidate's responsibility. What was the responsibility in the role in the project? And then the logbook reference. The statutory declaration attests to the accuracy of the part one documents you have submitted.

Use the APE stat dec available on the ARBV website. Ensure the static has been appropriately signed and witnessed by a person authorised to witness the stat dec. Do not detach the stat dec to the other part One Documents submitted as a separate document.

You must provide proof of architectural qualifications in support of your APE application. If you have completed an eligible qualification, provide a copy of your academic transcript. If you have completed the Overseas Qualification assessment, the OQA, also provide a copy of the outcome letter issued by the AACA. If you completed the National Program of Assessment, the NPA also provide a copy of the outcome letter issued by the AACA. Part two of the APE is the National Examination paper.

This part of the APE is held at the same time nationally and you must successfully complete part two in order to proceed to part three of the APE. The exam is 120 minutes long and contains 80 questions. It is scenario based with multiple choice questions. The scenarios used in the exam are based on the national standards of competence for architects and are used to assess a candidate's knowledge and application.

The performance criteria with the standards of the competency. There are sample scenarios on the AACA website to give you a better understanding of the structure, and I do apologise for that. For better understanding of the structure and type of questions asked also. It will also assist you in preparation for the NEP. Candidates who have a disability or other health related needs, which might require adjustments to enable them to sit

The National Examination paper can apply for the reasonable adjustments as applications for reasonable adjustments must be submitted with supporting documentation to NEP@AACA.org.au on or before the closing date for the submission of the APE. Part one. There are two new and expanded areas of knowledge not previously covered in the competencies. Understanding country has been incorporated into several performance criteria as this is an area that may have not been covered in your university education

It is important to become familiar with the definitions and expectations of these competencies. In addition to understanding country lifecycle assessment and whole life Carbon Places, a new emphasis on environmental sustainability. Please refer to the guidance documentation on the NSCA 2021 Explanatory Notes on the AACA website for further clarification. The last part of the APE is Part three.

The examination by Interview. The Logbook and Statement of Practical experience from Part one as well as your results from Part two are used to help direct the assessment. It is important to note that we are not just trying to test you and test what you know. The questions you get may be about a gap in your knowledge or experience.

It is important to note that also that you might be presented with hypothetical situations or scenarios, and this is all to test the candidates knowledge and experience to ensure that there is an appropriate level to work as an architect in Australia. It is also important to understand that completion of the APE and part three do not mean you are registered and the APE is a pre-registration requirement.

You will also need to apply for registration. I would also note that the profile that you use to complete the APE should then be used to apply for registration. This keeps all of your records together, all documentation submitted in the 2024 format must be in the new. Sorry, I beg your pardon, that all documentation submitted in 2024 must be in the new 2024 format.

This means that if you have logged one documents before 2024 and you have appended your participation in any part of the APE in 2024, you will need to prepare and submit the part one documents again in the new 2024 format. If you have been unsuccessful in the APE attempts before 2024 and wish to revisit those parts in 2024, you will need to lodge your part one documents again in the new format.

Note If you have already successfully completed part one and two for 2024, but are sitting part three in 2024, your resubmitted part one documents in the 2024 format will not be reassessed, but they will be reviewed to ensure they comply with the 2024 format. It's important to note that the APE fees and the dates for 2024 have not been released at this time.

Candidates will need to check the website in November to confirm the APE dates and fees for 2024. The APE fees are set by the AACA and the ARBV ensures the fees are kept updated on our website. The architect boards are generally consulted about any changes to the fees that the AACA can change to face as they see fit, as they are an independent organisation.

Just some final words before we review any questions that have been submitted during the webinar. As we have noted, the APE is a pre-registration requirement. Successfully completing the APE enables you to apply for registration. We encourage all successful candidates to apply for registration once they receive confirmation of this success in Part three. If anything in this presentation is unclear, you have the following.

We have any follow up questions, please contact the ARBV by email as shown on the screen. Registrar@ARBV.vic.gov.au , and that is the end of today's webinar presentation.