Our Role: Europe

ARB is the competent authority for architects in the UK. We ensure effective regulation of architects operating in more than one European Economic Area (EEA) and facilitate the requirements of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive [2005/36/EC] (PQD) which enables appropriately qualified architects to work in different parts of Europe by providing freedom of movement.


On 23 June 2016 the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. For the time being the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. Government negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation during the transition period and beyond. We have been following matters closely and engaging with our stakeholder network to determine how the UK’s exit from the EU might impact on our policies, procedures and stakeholders.   We have online content dedicated to Brexit information and are committed to ensuring our stakeholders are informed and reassured as we navigate this challenge.

The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) represents the interests of architects in Europe and is composed of 43 Member Organisations which are the national regulatory and professional representative bodies in the EU Member States, the accession countries, Switzerland and Norway. The European Network of Architects’ Competent Authorities (ENACA) provides a forum for competent authorities with a view to improving cooperation, exchanging best practice and achieving consistency in the implementation of the PQD.

Through regular and continuous engagement with these bodies across 2017 we maintained effective relationships and contributed to these shared aims, including providing significant support to ACE’s work to better understand accreditation processes across the EU and contributing to the development of pan-European guidance through ENACA. In November our Registrar and Chief Executive attended the ACE General Assembly which included updates on the PQD workgroup and the ongoing discussions about a European wide mutual recognition agreement with Canada.

Notifications of qualifications

As part of our role we notify ARB-recognised qualifications to the European Commission so that individuals who are eligible for registration in the UK can benefit from the automatic recognition of their qualifications in other Member States. We also review the compliance of qualifications notified by other Member States.

In 2017, we:

  • Reviewed 28 new notifications from 7 member states
  • Met the two-month notification consultation period deadline in all cases
  • Notified 3 new UK qualifications
  • Held 6 European Notification meetings
  • Inducted and briefed a new UK Expert in Architecture and a new Independent Adviser (European Notifications)
  • Issued 169 qualification confirmation certificates, 148 were to confirm partial or full recognition under the PQD

new notifications reviewed