British Columbia Architect License Exam

How to Get Your British Columbia Architect License

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On this page, you’ll find an exhaustive guide on the British Columbia Architect License Requirements and the Architect Registration process in British Columbia. It provides all the crucial information you need including province regulations, application fees, and filing instructions among other relevant details. If you need any assistance related to the licensing process, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to offer further details about our software and managed license services to support your needs.

How do I become an architect in British Columbia?

To become an architect in British Columbia, you need to follow a specific educational and professional path. First, you must obtain a pre-professional Bachelor’s Degree in architecture from an accredited program. This typically takes around four years. After completing your degree, you’ll need to gain practical experience by working under the supervision of a registered architect. This experience is obtained through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), which requires a minimum of 3,720 hours of work experience.

Once you have the necessary education and experience, you should pursue a Master of Architecture (MArch) degree, although it is not mandatory. The MArch program provides advanced knowledge and skills required for professional practice and takes around two to three years to complete. After completing your education and gaining work experience, you’ll need to pass the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC), a national examination that assesses your competency in various areas of architectural practice. Upon successful completion of the ExAC, you can apply for registration with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC), which is the regulatory body for architects in the province. Finally, to maintain your professional license, you’ll need to fulfill continuing education requirements set by the AIBC, ensuring that you stay up-to-date with industry advancements.

It’s important to note that this is a general overview, and you should refer to the official websites of the relevant organizations for more detailed and up-to-date information.

Which Architect Licenses Are Required In British Columbia?

Company Licenses

 British Columbia Architectural Corporation Certificate of Practice

  • Agency: Architectural Institute of British Columbia
  • Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Ownership Requirements:  To meet the ownership requirements, a clear majority of each class of the voting shares of the corporation must be legally and beneficially owned by Architects AIBC. Additionally, over 50% of the directors must be Architects AIBC, and the CEO must also be an Architect AIBC.
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: No
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: No

First-Time Applicants

Registration Renewal

Additional Reporting

  • Submission Method: Online
  • Fee: $0
  • Due: annually by September 30.
  • Note: At the beginning of September, a ‘firm update’ is sent to firms via email to the firm administrator on file. This update is a regulatory requirement that must be completed by all architectural firms. It provides important data for the annual fee invoices and ensures a streamlined renewal process. Failure to complete the annual firm update by the September 30 deadline may result in disciplinary consequences.

Individual Licenses

British Columbia Architect Registration

  • Agency: Architectural Institute of British Columbia
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Yes
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

To apply for registration as an architect in British Columbia, intern architects must submit a complete application package. The package includes the Application for Registration Form, which should be filled out after completing the Internship in Architecture Program. Payment information for the application fee and annual fees must also be provided.

If the intern architect has not completed all of the mandatory courses, they should include the Undertaking and Covenant by Intern Architects AIBC and Broadly Experienced Applicants for Registration as Architect AIBC with their application. Additionally, if the photo on file is more than five years old, a Photo Identification Form should be included.

When submitting the application, the intern architect is required to pay the application fee and the prorated annual fee. The prorated annual fee depends on the date when the application is submitted. It is important to review the Prorated Annual Fees for Registrations document for more information on the fee structure.


Architects who wish to practice or offer architectural services in British Columbia are required to be registered with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC). The AIBC sets high standards that must be met in order to become registered.

There are three pathways available for registration as an Architect AIBC, which vary based on the individual’s level of education and experience. These pathways provide options for individuals with different backgrounds to meet the requirements for registration.

Internship in Architecture Program (IAP)

This pathway is suitable for individuals who have never been registered as an architect or have been registered in a foreign jurisdiction for seven years or less. Applicants with an accredited/certified professional degree in architecture can apply to the IAP, complete the program requirements, and then apply for registration as an architect. You can:

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)

 Architects already registered in a jurisdiction outside British Columbia may qualify for registration under an MRA. The AIBC has mutual recognition agreements with certain jurisdictions. Applicants can apply for registration under the specific Mutual Recognitions Agreement (MRA) they qualify for.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have qualifications not recognized through the IAP or MRAs, you may be eligible for enrollment in an alternative qualifications program. These programs assess your experience and competencies against the Canadian Competency Matrix. Upon completion of an alternative qualifications pathway, you can apply for registration as an architect. To determine the best pathway for registration, you can refer to the Pathways to Register as an Architect in British Columbia document. It provides detailed information and guidance on each pathway.

Confirmation of registration

Architects who are applying for registration or licensure with another jurisdiction can request confirmation of their registration with the Architects’ Institute of British Columbia (AIBC).

  • Fill out the Confirmation of Registration Form
  • Submission method: via mail  to the Registration and Licensing Department at registration@aibc.ca.
  • Note: Upon receipt of the form, the AIBC will process the request and forward confirmation of your registration to the jurisdiction to which you are applying. Please note that it may take up to eight business days for the processing of your request.

Certificate of Practice

In order to practice architecture within the scope defined by the Architects Act, architects registered with the Architects’ Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) must obtain a Certificate of Practice (licence). This certificate is required for architects who wish to practice independently or work for a firm in a position that requires licensure.

Architects have two options to obtain a Certificate of Practice: they can either apply individually as a sole proprietorship or partnership, or they can work for a person, partnership, or firm that already holds a valid Certificate of Practice.

It’s important to note that all architectural firms, members, and licensees who hold a Certificate of Practice are required to maintain professional liability insurance (PLI) and comply with the AIBC Bylaws and Rules. The Council Rules 8 provide detailed information on the terms and conditions for mandatory professional liability insurance, including coverage amount requirements.

By obtaining a Certificate of Practice and complying with the applicable regulations, architects can practice architecture within the boundaries defined by the Architects Act and fulfill their professional obligations.

Reinstatement

An Architect AIBC may lose their registration through voluntary resignation, non-payment of annual fees, or suspension and removal resulting from disciplinary action. The process and requirements for reinstatement of registration vary depending on the circumstances.
To reinstate your registration, you need to follow the official process outlined by the Architects’ Institute of British Columbia (AIBC). This process involves submitting the Reinstatement Application Form along with the required fees, which include the current application and annual fees.
The application for reinstatement will be reviewed by the Registration and Licensing Board, and the final approval will be granted by the AIBC Council. It’s important to note that the reinstatement is considered official only after the application and fees have been processed and approved.
For detailed information and guidance on the reinstatement process, you can refer to Bulletin 2: Reinstatement of Registration, which provides comprehensive instructions and requirements. Additionally, you may need to complete the Photo Identification Form as part of the application process.
By following the reinstatement process and meeting the necessary requirements, you can regain your registration as an Architect AIBC and continue your professional practice in accordance with the AIBC regulations.

British Columbia Architectural Sole Proprietorship or Partnership Certificate of Practice

  • Agency: Architectural Institute of British Columbia
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: No
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: No
  • Eligible Entity Types: Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships

First-Time Applicants

Registration Renewal

Additional Reporting

  • Submission Method: Online
  • Fee: $0
  • Due: annually by September 30.
  • Note: At the beginning of September, a ‘firm update’ is sent to firms via email to the firm administrator on file. This update is a regulatory requirement that must be completed by all architectural firms. It provides important data for the annual fee invoices and ensures a streamlined renewal process. Failure to complete the annual firm update by the September 30 deadline may result in disciplinary consequences.
  • Agency: Delaware Board of Landscape Architecture
  • Do I Need To Have A Foreign Qualification?: Not Set
  • Is an exam required?: Not Set
  • Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?: Not Set

First-Time Applicants

Registration Renewal

  • Submission method: online
  • Agency Fee: The renewal fee amount will be communicated to you when the renewal notice is sent.
  • Due: By January 31 of odd-numbered years.

Register for the Architect Registration Examination

Securing an architect’s license in British Columbia opens up a world of opportunities to practice architecture in the state. The journey commences with the pursuit of a professional degree in architecture, a fundamental requirement in your quest to become a licensed architect. This degree is not just a piece of paper, but a testament to your knowledge and comprehension of architectural principles, a rite of passage that equips you with the tools to craft and shape the built environment.

Remember, it’s important that your architecture degree is obtained from a program accredited by a recognized body. This accreditation assures that the program meets the industry’s standards and provides the necessary skills and training.

Architect registration in British Columbia is a crucial step that formalizes your standing in the industry. This process includes satisfying the province’s requirements and passing the relevant examinations. With this license, you will have the legal authority to practice architecture, offering your expertise to develop the British Columbia landscape. Now that you are armed with this information, you’re one step closer to realizing your architectural aspirations.

Disclaimer: These requirements are subject to change based on approval board discretion. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the British Columbia Board of Architects and Landscape Architects

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