Northwest Architect License Exam

How to Get Your Northwest Architect License

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On this page, you’ll find an exhaustive guide on the Northwest Architect License Requirements and the Architect Registration process in Northwest. 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 Northwest?

Becoming an architect in Northwest Canada, including the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, generally involves the following steps. Firstly, you need to complete a pre-professional Bachelor’s Degree in architecture from an accredited institution recognized by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) or the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC). Gaining practical work experience is crucial, which can be achieved through internships or apprenticeship programs like the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) under the guidance of a registered architect.

While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, pursuing a Master of Architecture (MArch) degree is highly recommended as it provides advanced knowledge and skills needed for professional practice. After completing your education and work experience, you will need to pass the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC), a national examination administered by the RAIC and CACB to assess your competency in architectural practice.

To practice as an architect, you must register with the respective regulatory body governing the architectural profession in the specific territory or province of interest. For example, in the Northwest Territories, registration is with the Northwest Territories Association of Architects (NTAA), and in Nunavut, it is with the Nunavut Association of Architects (NAA). Maintaining your professional license requires fulfilling continuing education requirements set by the regulatory body, ensuring you stay updated on industry advancements and maintain your competency.

It’s important to note that while the general steps remain similar, specific requirements, processes, and regulatory bodies may have slight variations in Northwest Canada. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on becoming an architect in a specific territory or province of interest, it is advisable to visit the websites of the respective regulatory bodies, such as NTAA and NAA.

Which Architect Licenses Are Required In Northwest?

Company License

Firm Permit Requirements in the Northwest Territories

  • Firm Permit Exceptions:

All firms providing architectural services within the Northwest Territories (NWT) are required to obtain a firm permit. However, there are exceptions to this requirement:

  1. Individuals conducting business in the NWT under their own legal name, as per the Partnership & Business Names Act, are exempt from obtaining a firm permit.
  2. Firms participating in a Request for Proposals or other project bidding process are exempt if they meet two conditions: (1) the firm and its architects are eligible for registration at the time of the proposal or bid, and (2) the firm and its architects register and obtain a firm permit immediately upon the successful outcome of the proposal or bid.
  • Requirement for Doing Business in NWT:
  1. All individuals or entities conducting business in the NWT must be registered with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Proof of registration is necessary to obtain an NWTAA Firm Permit. For more information on incorporation or extra-territorial registration, please contact GNWT Corporate Registries at 1-877-743-3302 or
  • Requirement for Workers’ Compensation:
  1. The NWT Workers’ Safety & Compensation Commission (WSCC) has specific rules regarding the registration of extra-territorial businesses. As of March 2019, firms classified as “Temporary Employers” are not required to register with WSCC. A Temporary Employer is defined as an employer based outside of the NWT and Nunavut, whose workers normally reside and work outside of these territories, and conducts business within the NWT and/or Nunavut for 10 or fewer calendar days per year. Therefore, proof of registration with WSCC is not required as part of the firm’s application to NWTAA, if the firm meets all three criteria.

First-Time Applicants

In order to apply, candidates are required to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Application for Registration of a Firm Permit
  • Complaint Declaration for a Firm Permit
  • Proof of Registration at GNWT Corporate Registries
  • Confirmation of Registration with WSCC (conditional requirement, see above)
  • Proof of Professional Liability Insurance
  • Payment of Application & Registration Fees

Please note that the Application for Registration of a Firm Permit is a fillable PDF form, and the application and registration fees will be automatically calculated based on the number of NWTAA-registered and Canadian-registered Architects provided. If you have any questions regarding fees, please contact the NWTAA at (867) 766-4216.

Individual Licenses

Northwest Architect License

First-Time Applicants

All Architect applicants must ensure the submission of the following documents and requirements:

  • Fill out the Application for Registration as an Architect
  • Fill out the Complaint Declaration
  • Payment of Application & Registration Fees: Once the application is approved by Council, the applicant will receive an invoice from the Executive Director. The one-time Application Fee is $300 per applicant, and the Annual Registration Fee is $1200. The Registration Fee is prorated based on the month of registration. For example, if an intern registers in August (the 8th month), their Registration Fee will be calculated as ($1200/12) * 8 = $800. Therefore, in this instance, the intern must pay a total of $1000, which includes the $300 Application Fee and $800 Registration Fee. Payment can be made by cheque payable to the ‘Northwest Territories Association of Architects,’ Etransfer to, or by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) provided over the phone or by email. Please note that American Express is not accepted.

For first-time Architect applicants, the following additional documents are required:

  1. Copy of CACB Certificate / BEFA certification
  2. Copies of all degrees & equivalent certificates mentioned in the application
  3. Copy of current resume/curriculum vitae

Applicants applying under Canadian or American reciprocity programs must also submit the following:

  1. Confirmation of Licence/Registration from their home jurisdiction, to be sent directly to NWTAA by the applicant’s home jurisdiction.

International Architect applicants applying through the BEFA program must also provide the following:

  1. Copy of CACB Certificate (BEFA certification)
  2. Copies of all degrees & equivalent certificates mentioned in the application
  3. Copy of current resume/curriculum vitae
  4. Proof of Canadian citizenship, permanent residency, or valid work visa.

Post Application

All registered Architects are required to fulfill certain reading requirements within one year of their registration. They must review the Required Reading List and submit a declaration confirming their completion of the reading materials.

Additionally, all registered Architects must comply with Mandatory Continuing Education (ConEd) requirements. However, applicants applying through the ROAC program can continue reporting their ConEd activities to their home jurisdiction by completing a ConEd reporting declaration.

Registration Renewal

Membership renewal for architects occurs on January 1st of each year. Architects will receive an invoice for renewal fees at the end of December. It is important to pay the renewal fees on time to avoid late fees, unless exceptional circumstances apply.


If an architect wishes to resign or reinstate their membership, detailed information about the resignation and reinstatement process can be found in the Resignation as an Architect guidelines.

Register for the Architect Registration Examination

Securing an architect’s license in Northwest 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 Northwest 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 Northwest 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 Northwest Territories Association of Architects

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