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Australian architectural standards – how do we measure up?

Australian architectural standards – how do we measure up?


HASSELL has a structured internship program. Image courtesy HASSELL.

A recent study published by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) compares our standards for architectural education and registration against those of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

With Australian graduates having to complete five years of full-time study as well as two years of work experience and a professional exam prior to registration, the study found the Australian accreditation process to be on par with the other APEC group nations.

The AACA research also identified key areas of improvement for the local architecture industry.

“Australia is unusual in not having a process to assess the bona fides of experienced architects moving here from other countries,” said AACA CEO Kate Doyle. This has often led to difficulties for qualified foreign architects seeking work on our shores, an inconvenience that the AACA seeks to resolve in conjunction with Australian Architects Registration Boards.

The challenge of finding employment is a foremost concern for budding architects worldwide, though Australian graduates could be at a disadvantage, as Doyle says, “We don’t have the same kind of structured internship following graduation that a number of countries offer.”

As it stands, many internships are unregulated arrangements, and responsibility of valuing the contributions of unpaid staff without exploiting their services lies with individual companies. In Australia, as in creative industries worldwide, the question remains as to how the culture of unpaid internships are shaping professional design culture.

The proliferation of unpaid internships in Australia is explored further in the ADR article Barriers to entry for design industry graduates.

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