About the RIAI Architectural Graduate Training Scheme

RIAI Architectural Graduate Training Scheme

The RIAI Graduate Training Scheme enables Architectural Graduates to obtain the level of experience necessary to complete their professional practice examinations. Partner organisations include the OPW, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Authorities.

All organisations partnering with the RIAI provide a wide range of architectural experience for Architectural Graduates such as housing, retrofit, conservation, planning projects. The training scheme began in 1999 and has seen several hundred of Architectural Graduates successfully complete their professional practice examinations.

Who can apply?

The RIAI Graduate Training Scheme programme is open to Architectural Graduates, who have been awarded a 5-year formal qualification in architecture prescribed under the Building Control Act 2007, or its equivalent, and are in a position to proceed to undertake the Professional Practice Examination, i.e. TU Dublin’s Professional Diploma in Architectural Practice (PDAP) or UCD’s Professional Diploma (Architecture). Architectural Graduates participating in the scheme complete ongoing assessments reporting to Registered Architects.

When can I apply?

There is no fixed date for applications for the RIAI Graduate Training Scheme but opportunities arise frequently with one of our partner organisations. If you are interested in applying for the Graduate Training Scheme, join the RIAI as an Architectural Student Member or Architectural Graduate Member to receive updates on RIAI Graduate Schemes or keep an eye on RIAI Jobsearch where we will publish new and exciting opportunities.

Being part of the DES/RIAI Graduate Training Scheme afforded me countless opportunities to acquire the diverse professional skillset required to become an Architect. Learning not only under the stewardship of my Senior Architect but from every colleague in the Department provided an incredibly diverse background of technical and professional experience. I was fortunate that I was able to channel this experience into a fantastic variety of projects types at different stages from large protected structures to modest two-classroom extensions.

― Jack Baker MRIAI

I was employed under the RIAI/OPW graduate training scheme from 2015-2018. During this time, I gained valuable experience, made lifelong friendships and trained to become an Architect. Working at the OPW on the RIAI Graduate Training Scheme granted me experience on a range of projects from the culture and heritage of Ireland’s national monuments, to new-build developments like regional Garda HQs and Forensic State Laboratories. Some projects were not constrained to Ireland; with pavilions abroad allowing for some fun design expression!

The benefits of the long-established nature of this scheme are evident. Architects really understood the time, patience and support required in training architectural graduates over 3 years. Working under experienced Project Architects who provided immeasurable support to my training and education was an incredible benefit.  Graduate mentorship ensured issues could be discussed and successes celebrated.  One-to-one bi-annual reviews helped each graduate experience as many project stages as possible and develop various skillsets.  Having many graduates train together meant, not just socialising together, but also studying together. We formed study groups in preparation for our professional exams and shared our experiences and lessons learned. The benefit of so many graduates passing through meant there is a vast body of notes and knowledge at your fingertips.

As well the OPW, the RIAI were always on-hand to answer any questions, discuss any concerns or offer support. This relationship allowed me to get an insight into the RIAI and it was during my time on this scheme that I became an Architectural Graduate Member and joined the RIAI Council as the Architectural Graduate representative. 

I would highly recommend the RIAI Graduate Training Scheme to those seeking to progress their career and gain incredible experience in a supportive environment on their road to becoming an Architect.

― Aisling Joyce MRIAI