Recognition system for architects in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit

recognition system for architects
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The government has issued guidance on the recognition system for architects holding European Economic Area (EEA) qualifications

This is intended to provide advice for business and other stakeholders on the system planned in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario. The guidance does not change current law.

The guidance explains that in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the current system of reciprocal recognition for EU nationals would cease and a new interim system of recognition for those with EEA qualifications would take its place.

EEA professionals, including UK nationals, who are already established and have received a recognition decision in the UK would not be affected.

The ARB will be having discussions with Government in order to gain the information they need to fully understand the expectations and practical implications for the profession.

The current system for architects

Recognition decisions currently operate under the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC (MRPQD), a reciprocal arrangement which enables the automatic recognition of professional qualifications for EEA nationals in other EEA Member States.

The new system for architects

In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, Government has decided to maintain a system of recognition for individuals with relevant EEA qualifications and access to the profession in their EEA home state, subject to immigration policies which may be in place.

Under this new system, those applying for a recognition decision could be of any nationality.


The Architects Act 1997, which sets out our statutory duties, would be amended via a Statutory Instrument in order to facilitate the new system.

In the event the Statutory Instrument does not come into force by exit day, would continue to operate under the current Act for a short time.

Key changes in the event of a no deal

  • The MRPQD system would cease
  • The existing list of MRPQD qualifications will be ‘frozen’ on exit day and used as an initial reference source for relevant decisions
  • Individuals seeking recognition under the new system would no longer need to be EEA nationals
  • The section of the Architects Register known as Part 2 (for temporary and occasional services) would be withdrawn
  • The route to registration in UK known as the General System would be withdrawn


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