Last edited 08 Aug 2018

Architectural assistant

the term ‘architect’ is protected by the Architects Act 1997 which established the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Only qualified individuals that are registered with the ARB can offer their services as architects.

The most common route to becoming a qualified, registered architect is through university study, broken down into 3 parts:

  • Part 1 – Honours degree in architecture, followed by 1 year out in practice under the guidance of an architect.
  • Part 2 - Masters, Diploma or BArch (depending on the individual school) taught in university for 2 to 3 years, followed by a further year in practice.
  • Part 3 - the final professional exam.

The role given to students when they work in practice to gain experience is generally described as an 'architectural assistant'. This may be further broken down into levels of architectural assistant, reflecting the stage of education they have reached and the amount of practical experience they have obtained:

  • Part I architectural assistants are at an entry-level standard. They may be taking, or have completed an architectural (or related) university degree, but may have very little (or no) prior experience in the industry. As a result they will require a significant amount of supervision.
  • Part II architectural assistants will be taking, or have completed their Masters, Diploma or BArch and will generally have one or more years of practical experience. As a result, they should be more capable and can be given some independence.

Architectural assistants act in a support role to the architectural project team freeing up qualified architects from simple tasks. Their responsibilities are varied and may range from involvement in meetings, to preparing drawings, schedules and reports, undertaking site visits, carrying out surveys and so on. An ability to use, or knowledge of computer aided design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) may be required.

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