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UK Withdrawal from the European Union and the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications in Architecture
The free movement of architects around the European Union is enabled by EU Directive 2005/36/EC which sets out a framework for the automatic recognition of professional qualifications in architecture. Prior to the UK exiting the EU this meant that architects with UK qualifications could register in Ireland and architects with Irish qualifications could register in the UK.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 but is currently in a transition period. During the transition period Directive 2005/36/EC still applies to the recognition of professional qualifications in architecture between the EU/Ireland and the UK. However, this will cease to be the case when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
The ARB and RIAI are working together to ensure that recognition procedures between the UK and Ireland are effected as little as possible after the transition period ends.
The ARB has confirmed that architects with Irish qualifications already registered with the ARB will continue to be registered after the expiry of the transition period on 1 January 2021. Similarly there will be no change to the registration status of architects with UK qualifications registered with the RIAI.
The ARB has indicated that it will retain a system of recognition for persons with Irish qualifications in architecture and the RIAI intends to similarly retain a system of recognition for persons with UK qualifications in architecture.
However, despite this it is possible that after the transition period ends the system for recognition of Irish/EU qualifications in the UK may become more complex, take longer or have additional costs associated with it. Similarly, the recognition of UK qualifications in Ireland may also be more complex, take longer or have additional costs.
Therefore, if you are thinking of registering in the UK or are currently in the UK and are thinking of registering in Ireland you are advised to initiate the procedure before 31 December 2020 and ideally as soon as possible if you wish to benefit from current arrangements under the Directive. It is important that you check the application requirements with the ARB, if you intend to register in the UK, or the RIAI if you intend to register in Ireland, and ensure that all relevant documents and certificates are available prior to making an application