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RIAI Member and Register Admission Routes

Member (MRIAI)

RIAI Membership (MRIAI) is open to you if you can demonstrate through one of the routes provided that you meet all of the requirements for independent practice in Ireland. MRIAI is a listed qualification in Directive 2005/36/EC and, with an accompanying certificate, confers eligibility to seek automatic recognition in all other EU/EEA Member States.

An alternate architect membership affix MRIAI(IRL) is open to you if you demonstrate that you meet the requirements for registration in the State set out in the Building Control Act 2007 but cannot, at this time, demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Directive 2005/36/EC for automatic recognition in the EU/EEA.

Which affix applies to you is decided by the Board of Architectural Education Admissions Committee when your application for membership is being considered.

Architect (Register)

Registration as an architect is open to you if you can demonstrate through one of the routes provided that you meet all of the requirements for registration.

Those on the register are eligible to join the RIAI (MRIAI) and architect members of the RIAI (MRIAI, MRIAI(IRL) and FRIAI) are eligible to be registered (see clauses 14(2) and 14(4) of the Building Control Act 2007). The application forms for admission are identical and allow you to choose whether you wish to apply for RIAI Membership and Registration or for Registration only.

How to proceed

Check the following table to see which ‘Admission Route’ applies to you. The routes, devised in accordance with the Building Control Act 2007 and Directive 2005/36/EC, describe the different ways you can demonstrate that you meet all of the requirements for registration in Ireland. Choose the one that applies to your situation. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Section of the RIAI.

The reference numbers given for each Admission Route denote the relevant section of the Building Control Act 2007.

Routes to Registration/RIAI Membership

Qualifications awarded in Ireland (14(2)(a))

The approach to registration most often taken by architects qualifying in Ireland is a prescribed degree in architecture and a professional practice examination. This is Route A1. It is also possible to seek a derogation from taking the professional practice examination by applying through Route C which requires a prescribed degree and seven years ‘post-graduate professional experience performing duties commensurate with those of an architect’. The seven years experience is assessed through the submission of a self-assessment. An interview may or may not be required, this is decided on a case by case basis.

A "prescribed degree" is one which has been approved by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in accordance with the Building Control Act 2007 and therefore relates only to Irish qualifications. The awards of UCD, DIT, UL and WIT are currently prescribed. 

Route A1: Prescribed Qualifications (14(2)(a)(I))

To pursue this route you must:

  • have a prescribed qualification in Architecture

and

  • have passed a prescribed post-graduate Examination in Professional Practice.

Download the ROUTE A1 application package


Route C: Qualification in Architecture and Experience Assessment (14(2)(a)(II))

To apply for an exemption from the Professional Practice Examination requirement for the purpose of Admission to RIAI Membership and/or the Register you must:

  • have a prescribed qualification in Architecture, or at Stage 1 have a non-prescribed award confirmed as being equivalent to a prescribed award

and

  • have acquired seven or more years of post-graduate practical experience, if applying on the basis of a non-prescribed award four of the seven years must be within the State

Download the ROUTE C application package

Download the Route C Self-Assessment Matrix in Word Format

More information about Route C is provided in the Information Package.

Click here to view the Route C Assessment Schedule.


Assessments undertaken in Ireland leading to recognition as an architect

There are a number of mechanisms available for those who have acquired the knowledge skill and competence required for recognition as an architect to undergo assessment and seek registration on that basis. Three are currently available: Technical Assessment; The Register Admission Examination and Distinguished Practice. Another assessment process, the “Minister’s List”, closed some years ago but those recognised under this process may seek registration on that basis at any time.

Route E: Technical Assessment (14(2)(h))

To pursue this route you must have been performing duties commensurate with those of an architect for 10 or more years prior to 1 May 2008 in this State.

Download the ROUTE E application package

Download Route E Selected Documents in Word Format
(Note: This is not the complete application package)

More information about Technical Assessment is provided in the Information Package.

Click here to view the Technical Assessment Schedule.


Route F: The Register Admission Examination (14(2)(f))

To pursue this route you must:

  • have at least 7 years’ practical experience performing duties commensurate with those of an architect in the State (this does not mean that duties had to be carried out within the State, rather the duties have to have been commensurate with those of an architect in the State);
  • be at least 35 years of age;
  • have passed a prescribed register admission examination.

There is currently one Prescribed Register Admission Examination available, this is provided by ARAE Ltd.. If you are interested in pursuing the Register Admission Examination please check the ARAE’s website at: http://www.arae.ie/ for information.

If you have successfully completed the Prescribed Register Admission Examination and wish to apply for Admission please download the ROUTE F application package.


Route M: Minister’s List (14(2)(d))

To pursue this route you must:

  • be a person in respect of whom a notice in writing, dated 7 January 1997, 13 March 1997 or 11 June 1997, was sent by the Minister (whether to the person or to an organisation representing the person in the matter) stating that the person was successful in his or her application to be included in the relevant list.

Download the ROUTE M application package


Route P: Distinguished Practice (14(2)(i))

The RIAI is empowered to grant authorisation to use the title architect to individuals whose work in the field or architecture is especially distinguished and who are Irish citizens. Enquiries should be made directly to the Admissions Director.


EU/EEA Qualifications and recognition decisions

Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications sets out a number of approaches for recognising qualifications from other EU Member States. These are also set out in Sections 15 and 16 of the Building Control Act 2007. For the majority of applicants the system that applies is ‘automatic recognition’, which is generally straightforward. If you have any queries you are advised to contact the Admissions Section to confirm the applicable route to pursue. Please note that these conditions are set out by the European Commission in the Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/index_en.htm. The requirements are currently updated twice a year for individual Member States.

Further information which will help you clarify the requirements can be found in the Route D Resource Pack.

Please note that where the term ‘a national of an EU/EEA Member State’ is used, this includes the family members of Member State nationals in accordance with Directive 2004/38, and beneficiaries of refugee or subsidiary protection status in accordance with Directive 2004/83/EC.

Route D1: Automatic recognition (15(1)(a) and 15(1)(b))

To pursue this route you must:

  • be a national of an EU/EEA Member State
  • have a recognised qualification in Architecture from an EU/EEA Member State and
  • meet the requirements of Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications

Download the ROUTE D1 application package

Note: Nationals of an EU/EEA Member State who have acquired their qualification/s across two or more member states are advised to apply through Admission Route B.


Route D2: The General System (16(1))

To pursue this route you must:

  • be a national of an EU/EEA Member State
  • have a formal qualification in architecture
  • have an attestation of competence issued by another Member State
  • meet the relevant requirements of Title III Chapter 1 of the Directive

This route relates to the ‘General System’ under Title III Chapter I of Directive 2005/36/EC. If successful you may be required to undertake compensation measures to meet the criteria set out in the Building Control Act 2007.

Please contact the Admissions Director.


Route D3: Recognition for the purpose of providing services on a temporary and occasional basis (60(1))

To pursue this route you must:

  • be a national of an EU/EEA Member State, and
  • be legally established as an architect in another Member State

This route relates to those seeking to register for the purpose of providing architectural services in the Irish State on a temporary and occasional basis.

Download the Route D3 application package


Route D4: Recognition decisions made by other Member States

This route applies to individuals who have been recognised as an architect in another Member State and who are eligible to seek recognition in Ireland on that basis rather than on the basis of their qualifications.

To pursue this route you must be a national of an EU or EEA Member State and:

i. be a person who meets the conditions of section 15(1)(d) of the Act

a national of a Member State who, as attested by a certificate of the competent authority of his or her home Member State, is authorised to use the title of architect by virtue of a law in that Member State that gives that competent authority the power to award that title to a national of a Member State who is especially distinguished by the quality of his or her work in the field of architecture;

OR

ii. be a person who meets the conditions of section 15(1)(e) of the Act

a person who holds evidence of formal qualifications issued by a state, other than a Member State, and which is accompanied by a certificate issued by the competent authority of a Member State that recognised the qualifications that the person performed duties commensurate with those of an architect for 3 years in the territory of that Member State;

OR

iii. be a person who meets the conditions of section 15(1)(g)(i) of the Act, that is a person benefiting from the derogation set out in Article 47(1) of Directive 2005/36/EC,

a national of a Member State who is not eligible for registration in the register under any of the preceding paragraphs but who is eligible for such registration under one of the derogations to Article 46 of the Directive provided for in Article 47 of the Directive as follows, namely—

(i) by the person’s obtaining training existing as of 5 August 1985 provided by ‘Fachochschulen’ in the Federal Republic of Germany over a period of 3 years, followed by, as attested by a certificate of the professional association in whose roll the person appears, a 4 year period during which he or she performed duties commensurate with those of an architect,

OR

iv. be a person who meets the conditions of section 15(1)(g)(ii) of the Act, that is a person benefiting from the derogation set out in Article 47(2) of Directive 2005/36/EC,

a national of a Member State who is not eligible for registration in the register under any of the preceding paragraphs but who is eligible for such registration under one of the derogations to Article 46 of the Directive provided for in Article 47 of the Directive as follows, namely—

(ii) by the person’s having—
(I) been employed for not less than 7 years under the supervision of an architect who is eligible for registration under this Part, or who is registered in the register,
(II) as part of a social betterment scheme or part-time third level course, attained a certificate or diploma of university standard, and
(III) passed a professional practice examination in a Member State.

 

Please contact the Admissions Section.


Route B: RIAI Membership (14(2)(b))

The purpose of this process is to allow an applicant with qualifications, or combinations of qualifications, not specifically addressed under the other Admission Routes, to demonstrate that he or she has met the required standard for recognition as an architect in Ireland. This may involve qualifications, or a combination of qualifications, that are:

  • prescribed under Irish law; and/or
  • recognised within the EU in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC; and/or
  • recognised and awarded outside the EU but demonstrably equivalent to a prescribed qualification. 

In the case of the latter, the RIAI assesses the qualification(s) for equivalence with the standard required for prescribed qualifications on the basis of submissions made by the candidate.

To pursue this route you must:

  • have a recognised qualification in architecture (i.e. a prescribed qualification, a qualification recognised in the EU/EEA for the purpose of automatic recognition or a non-prescribed qualification from outside the State assessed by the RIAI as being equivalent to a prescribed qualification)

and

  • have passed a prescribed post-graduate Professional Practice Examination or the equivalent from another jurisdiction which is assessed by the RIAI addressing the core learning outcomes of the professional practice examination.

Only the element of your qualification which is not prescribed or subject to automatic recognition will need to be assessed for equivalence with a prescribed qualification.

If none of the other Routes apply, Route B may the appropriate Route for you, please contact the RIAI Admissions Section  for advice. EU/EEA applicants should check Route D in the first instance.

Download the ROUTE B application package

Download the Route B Self-Assessment Matrix in Word Format

RIAI Online Good Practice Guide


Returning to the Register

A person who has previously been registered (or a Member) may seek to be included on the Register again on the basis of either readmission or reinstatement depending on why that person was removed from the register in the first place:

Readmission  is available to those who have been removed from the register on a voluntary basis i.e. who have resigned or withdrawn and to those who have been removed for non-payment as an alternative to Reinstatement (see Section 20 of the Act). The process requires compliance with conditions set by the Admissions board and does not involve backdating of registration.

Reinstatement is for those removed from the register for non-payment and requires registration to be backdated to the date of removal for non-payment. ‘To be reinstated a person must pay all of the charges applicable including the reinstatement fee (see section 17 of the Building Control Act 2007). Reinstatement is only an option for those who were removed from the register for non-payment.

Download the Returning to the Register Application Package

RIAI Online Good Practice Guide