How Brexit Affects Architects, UK and Ireland Architectural Designers, European Union

How Brexit Affects Architects post-EU transition

20 Dec 2020

UK and Ireland’s Architects Bodies Plan for Brexit

ARB and RIAI pave the way for UK and Ireland architects post-EU transition period

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) have agreed a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate the ongoing mutual recognition of architecture qualifications once the UK/EU Implementation Period ceases at the end of the year.

The memorandum of understanding will come into effect on 1 January 2021 and will ensure that both UK and Ireland trained architects can continue to register in both countries without the need to undertake any additional requirements.

ARB and the RIAI have been working together for some time to ensure that recognition procedures between the UK and Ireland are seamless as possible after the transition period ends. They have also been providing guidance to ensure that architects understand the impact of the transition and the need to take appropriate action to protect themselves.

Marc Stoner, Acting Chief Executive and Registrar at ARB, said:

“This is the first agreement of its kind that ARB has signed, and we are delighted that both regulators will maintain aligned processes for the mutual recognition of qualifications once the Implementation Period has drawn to a close.

This landmark agreement will facilitate a continued registration process that is efficient and does not burden UK and Ireland trained individuals who wish to practise in either country.”

Both the UK and Irish Governments have noted the importance of such regulatory arrangements in maintaining the rights of UK and Irish citizens under the Common Travel Area (CTA). This memorandum of understanding will allow continued future close collaboration. The recognition of professional qualifications is an essential facilitator to work, so both Governments have agreed to ensure there are adequate routes to recognition for qualified professionals across the UK and Ireland.

Frank Turvey, Registrar of the RIAI, added:

“There is a long history of sharing best practice in the architecture profession across the UK and Ireland. The agreement between the RIAI and ARB is an important step in protecting the sector in light of the changes occurring from 1 January 2021 and will avoid any disruption to the mobility that exists within the profession currently.

We are delighted that the mutual recognition procedures that currently exist between the UK and Ireland will be safeguarded, and that this agreement will facilitate the continued smooth working arrangements for architects in both the UK and Ireland until an official agreement is reached between the EU and the UK. We look forward to continued close collaboration with ARB into the future.”


  • The Common Travel Area is a political agreement dating back to 1922 that allows UK and Irish citizens to live and work within each other’s territories, with minimal requirements to obtain permission.

    Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

  • Founded in 1839, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland is the Competent Authority and Registration Body for Architects. The RIAI supports and regulates the architectural profession and promotes the value that architecture brings to society for everyone’s benefit. Twitter for regular updates: @RIAIonline>

    Architects Registration Board

  • The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest.
  • Among other duties, the Act requires ARB to:
    • Maintain the Architects Register
    • Prescribe the qualifications needed to become an architect in the UK
    • Issue a code laying down the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of architects
    • Investigate allegations of unacceptable professional conduct or serious professional incompetence
    • Investigate and where appropriate prosecute unregistered individuals who unlawfully call themselves an architect
    • Act as the UK’s Competent Authority for architects
  • ARB has a Board of 11 members all appointed by the Privy Council. This includes one independent, non-executive Chair and ten non-executive Board members made up of five members of the public and five architects.
  • ARB has an Information Pack detailing its key messaging intended for use by the press and other stakeholders.

Previously on e-architect:

Construction Industry Brexit Impact

Brexit Effect on Architecture – articles selection below:

Potential Brexit outcomes put the construction and manufacturing sectors at risk

How will the construction industry respond to Brexit

The UK’s impending exit from the EU is likely to be an epochal moment. Depending on the form of the exit, there could only be minor impacts, or there could be very severe economic consequences.

How will Construction Industry respond to Brexit?

How will the Construction Industry respond to BREXIT?

How will the construction industry respond to Brexit

Brexit Impact on UK Construction Industry

What Impact Has Brexit on UK Construction?

What Impact Has Brexit on UK Construction?

Building Articles

British Houses

British Homes

British House Designs

Modern Houses

Comments / photos for the How Brexit Affects Architects page welcome