Registering as an architect, company or partnership

To work as an architect in Victoria, you must be registered with the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV). Registration helps ensure the quality and safety of Victoria's built environment and protects the reputation of the architectural profession.

About registration

To work as an architect in Victoria, you must be registered with the ARBV. This requirement is outlined in the Architects Act 1991, and sets out:

  • the process for registration
  • required experience and qualifications
  • the standard of professional conduct architects are expected to meet in their day-to-day practise.

If you are not registered with the ARBV, you cannot:

  • represent yourself as an 'architect'
  • use the below terms to describe your work
    • 'architectural services'
    • 'architectural design services'
    • 'architectural design'.

Graduates of an architectural qualification are also restricted from using certain terms and should refer to themselves as an 'architectural graduate', but not 'graduate architect.'

There are 2 classes of registration:

  1. Architect (practising)
  2. Architect (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.

The ARBV also approves architectural partnerships and companies to provide architectural services in Victoria. This includes companies operating as a corporate trustee or set up for the purposes of contracting.

Architect registration 

When registering for the first time, you must register as a practising architect.

To register as an architect (practising), you must:

To maintain registration as an architect (practising), you need to renew your registration each financial year by making the relevant declarations and paying the required fee. The declarations relate to your CPD requirements and changes to your circumstances that may affect your registration.

You will also be required to provide your complete professional indemnity insurance policy as proof that you are covered by the required insurance.

You can lodge your practising architect registration application via the ARBV Portal.

Registration pathways

There are three pathways to registration as an architect in Victoria, depending on your experience. Many applicants undertake the Architectural Practice Examination (APE), while those who have registered as an architect in another jurisdiction may be eligible for the Experienced Practitioner Assessment or Mutual Recognition schemes.

Fit and Proper Person

Being a ‘fit and proper person’ is a requirement for registration as an architect with the ARBV. The ARBV must assess the fitness and propriety of natural persons seeking registration as an architect in accordance with the probity matters set out in the Architects Act 1991 (the Act).

In determining if an applicant is a fit and proper person, the ARBV will consider: 

  • the probity matters outlined in section 10A of the Act; 
  • if the applicant failed to disclose an adverse matter covered by section 10A that later becomes known to the ARBV; 
  • if the applicant has provided any false or misleading information in support of his or her application for registration, or otherwise to the ARBV. 

When determining if an applicant is a fit and proper person the following factors will be considered, including (but not limited to): 

  • the link or impact of the adverse conduct to providing architectural services or to the profession; 
  • the attitude of the applicant in relation to the conduct; 
  • any further instances involving the same or similar conduct by the applicant; 
  • the seriousness of the adverse conduct; 
  • how recently or long ago the conduct occurred; 
  • any other relevant or mitigating factors. 

Any conduct matters or criminal convictions must be disclosed via the questions in the application form at the time of submitting the application. 

If you are in doubt, it is better to disclose and the ARBV will advise you of whether the matter will require consideration. It is important to note that section 67 of the Act provides that it is an offence to make a false statement to the ARBV. If the ARBV later becomes aware of a matter that should have been disclosed this may impact your ability to maintain your registration.

Architects are also required to remain a fit and proper person to maintain their registration. 

This means that you will be required to advise the ARBV of any matters that may have impacted your status as a fit and proper person throughout the registration period. 

Application and documentation requirements

Individual architects need to provide:

  • Details of the organisation you work for, or whether you intend to work as a sole practitioner. This includes professional details to be displayed on the register.
  • Proof of your professional indemnity insurance, evidenced by a Certificate of Currency. Generally, architects should have professional indemnity insurance cover via one of the following scenarios; depending on the scenario, additional information will be required: 
    • If you are covered under the insurance of a registered company, you will need to ensure your employer confirms this via their company’s ARBV portal profile;
    • If you are covered under the insurance of an unregistered company, you will also need to provide proof of employment, such as a recent payslip, employment contract or letter from the employer;
    • If you are working as a sole practitioner, you will also need to provide proof of your ABN (if applicable).
  • Assessment outcome letter, if you completed your Architectural Practice Examination in another state or territory.
  • Assessment outcome letter, if you have completed the Experienced Practitioner Assessment.
  • Any conduct matters or criminal convictions, as part of an assessment of your fit and proper person status.

Applications are assessed and processed between 4 to 6 weeks.

Registration outcome

The ARBV may grant or refuse your application for registration as an architect (practising). Applications must be processed within 3 months of receiving a complete application. If your application for registration is refused, you may seek a review of this decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The ARBV will inform you of your outcome in writing. Please remember, you are registered only when you receive written confirmation and your registration number.

Proof of registration

Once you have registered, you may need to provide evidence of your registration to third parties. The ARBV does not issue commemorative registration certificates upon registration, however, you can generate a certificate that confirms your registration status via the ARBV Portal. This is available for Architects (practising), Architects (non-practising), Companies and Partnerships.  

You can also contact the ARBV via email at to request a certified extract of the register. This may take up to 10 business days to be provided and includes the history of your registration. Please email Registrar@arbv.vic.gov.au.

Company and partnership approval

Architectural companies and partnerships need approval from the ARBV to provide architectural services in Victoria.

If your company or partnership does not have approval from the ARBV, it is illegal for the company to be represented as offering ‘architectural services’, ‘architectural design’ or ‘architectural design services’ in Victoria.

The words business and company are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. A business is not required to be registered or approved with the ARBV, however, a company is required to be approved.

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. Businesses’ will often have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

A company is a separate legal entity that has separate liability, is registered with ASIC and has an Australian Company Number (ACN). A company may have a trading name but will be registered under the entity's legal name.

A company that is providing architectural services must be approved.

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.

Please note trading names and business names cannot be used as the registered name but can be noted on the application form.

Applications are assessed and processed between 4 to 6 weeks.

Approval requirements

For companies to gain approval, you must:

  • have at least one director who is registered as an architect (practising) with the ARBV
  • have a constitution that states your company’s purpose is to provide architectural services
  • pay the required fees (in addition to the fees you pay to register as an individual architect).

For partnerships to gain approval, you must:

  • have at least one partner who is registered as an architect (practising) with the ARBV
  • pay the required fees (in addition to the fees you pay to register as an individual architect).

Sole traders are considered individual architects for registration purposes, and do not need to gain approval as a company.

Documentation requirements

Companies will need to provide:

  • Proof of professional indemnity insurance (Certificate of Currency) where the company is named as the insured entity.
  • Full ASIC company extract, which contains details of the company’s office bearers.
  • Company constitution or statement of purpose on company letterhead, signed by a company director, which states the company’s purpose is to provide architectural services.
  • A signed Statutory Declaration (please refer to the template below).
ARBV Director Statutory Declaration
PDF 213.39 KB
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ARBV Director Statutory Declaration
Word 90 KB
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Partnerships will need to provide:

  • Proof of professional indemnity insurance (Certificate of Currency) where the partnership is named as the insured entity.
  • A signed Statutory Declaration (please refer to the template below)
ARBV Partnership Statutory Declaration
PDF 213.35 KB
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ARBV Partner Statutory Declaration
Word 86.5 KB
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To apply for approval of your company or partnership, you will need to create a new profile on the ARBV Portal by selecting the ‘New applicants’ button and using a different email address (to your personal registration) to set up a profile.

Go to the ARBV Portal to lodge a company or partnership approval application.

To maintain your approval as a company or partnership, you will need to renew each financial year and pay the required fee. You can do this through the ARBV Portal.

Approval outcome

The ARBV may grant or refuse your application for company or partnership approval. Applications must be processed within 3 months of receiving a complete application. If your application for approval is refused, you may seek a review of this decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

The ARBV will inform you of your outcome in writing. Please remember, the company or partnership is only approved when you receive written confirmation and notification of the company or partnership registration number.

Annual fees

If you are registering as an architect or for company or partnership approval, you must pay your fees when you submit your application.

If you are a registered individual architect, you can now send your annual fee payment to an approved company or partnership if they are paying for your registration on your behalf. This is initiated via your individual ARBV portal profile and will require acceptance by your employer. Architects must still complete the renewal process and make the relevant declarations.

Paying your annual fees

You can pay online via the ARBV Portal using the following methods:

  • credit card (excluding American Express)
  • cheque
  • bank transfer.

To pay by cheque or bank transfer, select 'Offline Payment' in the ARBV Portal and follow the prompts.

If you are paying by cheque, once you have submitted your registration renewal, please send your cheque to:

Architects Registration Board of Victoria
Level 10, 533 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

If you are paying by bank transfer, select 'Invoices' on the dashboard in the ARBV Portal and open your invoice for bank details.

If you are a registered architect (practising) and have a partnership or company, you will need to pay both the architect (practising) and the company or partnership renewal fees.

Annual renewal

Architects (practising) must renew their registration each year. If you are a director or partner of an approved company or partnership, you also need to renew your company or partnership approval each year. For both, you must pay the renewal fees by 1 July.

Architects (practising) will need to make a declaration at each renewal confirming their fitness to practice. They will also be required to make a declaration confirming they have met the CPD requirements.

Failure to satisfy these requirements could be considered unprofessional conduct and, in high-risk cases, the ARBV may consider disciplinary action.

Architects (non-practising) are not required to make a declaration at renewal time and do not have to pay renewal fees.

If you don’t pay your annual fees, the ARBV may suspend your individual registration and/or your company/partnership approval.

Fee schedule

Annual renewal fees for registration period 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025

Fee categoryFee amount
Architect (practising)$391.92
Approved company$555.22
Approved partnership$473.57

Please note: annual fees are GST exempt and are subject to change each financial year. Pro rata fee arrangements are not available.

Applicants that apply in May and June will not be required to pay the annual fee twice.

Other fees (1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025) - Architects Regulations 2015

RegulationFee categoryFee unitsFee amount
11(2)Application for first registration in Victoria11$179.63
11(3)(b)Application for request to change class of registration from architect (non-practising) to architect (practising) (after two years non-practising)8$130.64
12(2)(b)Application for approval of a partnership6.5$106.15
12(3)(b)Application for approval of a company11$179.63
19(2)Certified extract of register5$81.65
20(2)Prescribed additional fee7$114.31

Please note: fees are subject to change each financial year and are GST exempt.

Suspension of registration or approval

In some circumstances, the ARBV may suspend your individual registration or the approval of a company or partnership. This could occur if you have not paid the annual renewal fees by the due date or if you have not provided proof of your professional indemnity insurance. Registration or approval may also be suspended for disciplinary reasons.

If your registration is suspended, it is against the law for you to call yourself an architect, allow others to do so, or cause people to believe you are an architect. You also cannot say that that you offer 'architectural services,' 'architectural design services' or 'architectural design'. If you do, you may be prosecuted.

You can request to have your suspension lifted by addressing the problem that caused it. For example, if the ARBV suspends your registration due to unpaid fees, you can pay the fees to lift your suspension. A late fee may also be payable. 

To revoke your suspension, log in to the ARBV Portal and select the option on your dashboard.

Find out more about prohibited conduct.

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