Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Canada and the European Union forge Agreement to Recognize Architect Credentials

CALA-ACE Mutual Recognition Agreement makes it possible for architects to take advantage of trans-Atlantic opportunities to work

Montreal, October 26, 2018  Representatives from the architectural regulatory authorities of Canada and European Union signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) today, giving architects opportunities to work across the Atlantic.

The Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) have confirmed the ACE-CALA Mutual Recognition Agreement for the Practice of Architecture among member states in the European Union and Canada. The agreement comes into force in 2019.

“We have been working on this initiative with our European counterparts for a number of years. This mutual recognition agreement will provide new access for Canadian architects to undertake projects in the European Union,” explained Peter Streith, FRAIC, chair of the International Relations Committee of CALA.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, the federal Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, stated: “International experience is an important asset in today's global economy. With the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement, more architects from countries under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union are now able to share their knowledge, drive growth, and strengthen the middle class.” 

The agreement represents a decade of negotiations, bringing trans-Atlantic recognition of professional credentials under the auspices of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free-trade agreement between Canada, the European Union, and its member states.

Qualified architects from each country who satisfy the requirements of the agreement will be granted a credential that will lead to a license to practice architecture in the host country. The agreement opens doors to qualified architects as the world and architectural practices become more globally connected.

This pact outlines specific requirements that architects must satisfy when pursuing mutual recognition. These include education, internship and work qualifications, as well as submitting documentation to confirm the individual’s credentials.

The basic eligibility requirements include:

  •  A qualified architect from the EU and Canada shall be registered or licensed or otherwise recognized and is a member in good standing in their home jurisdiction and have completed a minimum of 12 years of education, training, and practice in the field of architecture, in one or more of the states, provinces or territories of their home jurisdiction, of which a minimum of four years shall be post-registration/licensure experience;
  • Proof of “Good Standing” in the home jurisdiction, as verified by the local regulatory authority;
  • Knowledge of the codes, laws, and other matters applicable to the practice of architecture in the host country; 
  • Mobility across borders in the European Union and across provinces and territories in Canada and;
  • European architects seeking licensure in Canada must complete a 10-hour online course on Canadian domain-specific requirements in architecture.   

CALA would like to thank the federal government for the financial support from the Employment and Social Development Canada through its Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

CALA also acknowledges Global Affairs Canada which provided advice and direction concerning the development of credential recognition under the auspices of the CETA.

Architects interested in pursuing the opportunity for licensure outside of their home country should review the eligibility requirements and program information available on the CALA website cala-roac.ca as of January 2019.

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About CALA

The Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) represents the 11 architectural regulators in Canada nationally. These 11 provincial and territorial regulatory bodies are responsible for setting the standards for entry into the profession and for issuing registration/licenses to those who meet established standards of qualifications and practice. The regulators individually regulate the practice of architecture in order that the public interest is protected within their respective jurisdictions. Through CALA, the Canadian architectural regulators work collectively to develop and adopt nationally recognized standards and programs that meet their regulatory responsibilities as well as the needs of the architectural profession. CALA and its International Relations Committee represent the provincial/territorial regulators international. Work on international matters is supported by the Canadian federal government.

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About ACE

The Architects’ Council of Europe is composed of 43 member organizations which are the national regulatory and professional representative bodies in the EU  member states, the accession countries, Switzerland and Norway. Through its members, the Architects’ Council of Europe represents the interests of over 600,000 architects from 31 countries in Europe. ACE’s mission and objectives include:

  • Promoting Architecture in Europe
  • Advancing Architectural Quality in the Built Environment
  • Supporting Sustainable Development of the Built Environment
  • Ensuring High Standards of Qualification for Architects
  • Advocating Quality in Architectural Practice
  • Fostering Cross-Border Cooperation and Facilitating European Practice
  • Acting as the single voice for architects in Europe
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