The EU Single Market Architects

23. January 2014 0 Comment










To work as an architect in another EU country, you must apply to the authority that oversees the profession in that country, providing proof of your qualifications. The authority must:

  • acknowledge your application within 1 month of receiving it, and ask you missing but necessary documents to process the application
  • assess your qualifications, and decide whether to grant your application within 3 months (or 4 months for certain complicated cases in the area of non automatic recognition)

If you do not accept their decision, you can appeal to the relevant court in that country. As to the type of documents an authority may ask, please see also the Code of conductpdf Choose translations of the previous link

Which qualifications are recognised?

Automatic recognition

The authorities in any EU country must recognise any of the architects’ qualifications listed in:

  • Annex V, point 5.7.1 of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications
  • Annex VI of the Directive on recognition of professional qualifications – provided your studies started no later than the academic year mentioned.

Your qualifications are automatically recognised if they are from a university or equivalent-level institution and if your studies for them:

  • lasted at least 4 years full-time or 6 years study of which at least 3 years full-time
  • had architecture as the principal component
  • had theoretical and practical components
  • taught the basic knowledge and skills listed in Article 46 of Directive 2005/36/EC on recognition of professional qualifications.

The qualifications listed in Annex V, point 5.7.1 of the Directive all meet these criteria. Those listed in Annex VI do not, but are still automatically recognised.

The authorities in some EU countries require architects to have a certain amount of experience before allowing them to carry the title of an architect. They may not apply the same requirement to you if this is not required under the rules of your own country.

Non-automatic recognition

Even if your architect’s qualification does not meet the criteria for automatic recognition and is not listed in Directive 2005/36/EC, it may still be recognised in other EU countries under the general system for recognition of qualifications.

However, if the relevant authorities think your training is significantly different from the training required in that country, you may have to sit an aptitude test, or to complete an adaptation period.

For detailed information on which qualifications may be recognised on this basis and what conditions may be attached, see Articles 10 to 15 of Directive (2005/36/EC).


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