Canada signs agreement on architectural credentials with EU

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.

European Union
Canada and the European Union have agreed mutual recognition for architects. Photo by Xavier Hape via Flickr Commons.

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.

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.

“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.

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 as of January 2019.