On February 16, 2023, NCARB and our U.K. counterpart, the Architects Registration Board (ARB), signed a milestone mutual recognition agreement (MRA). The result of more than five years of research and negotiation between the two organizations, the agreement will broaden international opportunities for architects by streamlining the path to reciprocal licensure in the U.S. and the U.K. The MRA will officially go into effect on April 25, 2023. 

Learn more about MRAs and see the steps that led up to the February 2023 signing

How does this impact the profession? 

This agreement will enable eligible architects to benefit from a more straightforward process to get licensed/registered—helping them to establish professional contacts and perform services as a registered architect in each country. The agreement also represents a significant step in NCARB’s commitment to expanding opportunities for NCARB-certified architects while maintaining rigorous standards to protect the public. 

This agreement will allow many NCARB-certified U.S. architects to increase their engagement internationally while having confidence in the shared commitment to strict standards of health and safety.

  —NCARB President Bayliss Ward, NCARB, AIA 

Who is eligible to apply for a U.S/U.K. reciprocal license? 

To apply for a reciprocal license in either country, architects must:  

  • Hold a valid license/registration in good standing from their home licensing authority (a jurisdiction within the United States or in the United Kingdom)  
  • Have lawful authorization to work in the locality in which they are seeking registration
  • Hold an active and qualifying NCARB Certificate   

Because each U.S. jurisdiction is responsible for the regulation of architecture within its borders, each U.S. jurisdiction must individually determine if it will accept the Mutual Recognition Agreement. A list of participating jurisdictions, more information on how to apply, and applicable fees will be available soon. 

More About the MRA

The U.S.-U.K. MRA is based on similarities in architecture licensing standards established by NCARB and the requirements for registration in the United Kingdom and reflects similar arrangements with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  

To learn more about earning a license to practice architecture abroad, visit ncarb.org/international