About APEC Architects
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an international forum composed of twenty-one member economies within the Asia- Pacific region. Its purpose is “to sustain the growth and development of the region for the common good of its peoples” by encouraging trade. APEC builds on WTO General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) principles for the progressive liberalisation of trade in services through the reduction of regulatory restrictions, leading to reciprocal agreements between member economies where appropriate. You can access more information about APEC here.
At its inception, the APEC Architect Project was an initiative of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG), one of a number of sectoral groups established to implement APEC programs. The project was endorsed by the HRDWG at its year 2000 meeting in Brunei as a contribution to the Group’s strategic priority of facilitating mobility of qualified persons by the mutual recognition of skills and qualifications.
A Steering Committee was formed by the APEC economies participating in the project to develop a mechanism by which current restrictions on the professional recognition of architects from other economies would be reduced or removed.
The Steering Committee first met in Sydney on 12 - 14 June 2002. Delegations attended from Australia (Chair), People's Republic of China, Hong Kong China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Chinese Taipei and the United States of America. As a result, a set of principles and an operational framework for the creation of an APEC Architect Register were established.
Further meetings of the Steering Committee took place in Kuala Lumpur in December 2002, Taipei in February 2004 and Honolulu in September 2004.
APEC ARCHITECT PROJECT UNDERWAY
The fourth meeting of the Steering Committee was also deemed to be the first provisional meeting of the APEC Architect Central Council. At that meeting a programme was set for:
- The establishment of the APEC Architect Secretariat in January 2005
- The establishment of Monitoring Committees in each participating economy in March 2005
- The first meeting of the Central Council in May 2005
- The inauguration of the APEC Architect Register in May 2005.
Since then the Central Council has met every two years.
The aim of the APEC Architect framework is to establish a mechanism to facilitate the mobility of architects for the provision of architectural services throughout the APEC region by reducing current barriers to the export of professional services. Its central function is to maintain a Register of APEC Architects who have fulfilled common elements of the education and training requirements for professional recognition in participating economies and are currently registered/licensed as architects, and who have a proven record of professional experience as registered practitioners.
Through the identification of these common aspects of professional recognition, reinforced by a period of professional experience, registration as an APEC Architect defines a level of competence that will satisfy designated registration criteria in other participating economies without further assessment. A host economy may additionally adopt special requirements for the recognition of APEC Architects to address aspects of professional practice specific to that economy, such requirements however must be fully transparent.
Overall responsibility for operation of the APEC Architect Register rests with a Central Council composed of nominees of independent Monitoring Committees established for this purpose in each participating economy, and authorised by the Central Council to carry out its functions. Policies governing the operation of the APEC Architect Register and strategies adopted for its implementation are determined jointly by the representatives of participating economies appointed to the Central Council.
The APEC Architect Register is divided into sections, each administered by the Monitoring Committee of a participating economy, for the enrolment of architects registered/licensed in that economy who meet APEC Architect criteria. Monitoring Committees are responsible for the management of their respective sections of the Register on behalf of the Central Council.
An APEC Architect is a person who is registered, licensed or otherwise professionally recognised as an architect in a participating economy, and whose name is enrolled on a section of the APEC Architect Register maintained by that economy. APEC Architects are bound by host economy codes of professional conduct to protect public health, safety and welfare.
The criteria adopted by the Central Council for admission to the APEC Architect Register, and use of the description ‘APEC Architect’, are based on identification of a common sequence and elements in the education, training and assessment of architects as qualified to provide professional architectural services in the home economy. These consist of :
- an accreditation or recognition procedure for education programs in architecture;
- a minimum period of post-graduate practical experience, with specified requisites;
- fulfilment of registration, licensing or other requirements for full professional recognition;
- a minimum period of professional practice as a registered or licensed architect, with specified requisites.
Architects deemed by the Central Council to fulfil these requirements are eligible for registration as an APEC Architect. To retain their registration, APEC Architects must comply with obligations imposed by their home economies for maintaining professional competence and observing codes of professional conduct. Host economies may choose to impose special requirements for the recognition of APEC Architects for practice in their economies, but any such requirements must be fully transparent.
A candidate for registration as an APEC Architect must be currently registered/licensed or otherwise professionally recognised as an architect in the economy that maintains the section of the APEC Architect Register to which application for admission is made. Architects must demonstrate to the appropriate Monitoring Committee that they have completed an accredited/recognised program of architectural education, fulfilled pre-registration experience requirements, have practised for at least seven years as registered/licensed architects and satisfied any additional requirements, all in accordance with criteria determined by the Central Council. Architects may only be enrolled on the section of the APEC Architect Register in their home economy.
APEC ARCHITECT REGISTER
APEC Architect framework is managed by a Council composed of representatives of Monitoring Committees formed by each participating economy for this purpose. The central function of the Council is to maintain the APEC Architect Register. The Register is divided into sections, each administered by the Monitoring Committee of a participating economy for the enrolment of architects registered/licensed in that economy who meet agreed criteria. Monitoring Committees are authorised by the Central Council to perform this function.
Registration as an APEC Architect provides evidence of the achievement of standards of professional competence that are common to all participating economies. Although economies may continue to test foreign architects on practice matters specific to the host economy, APEC Architects applying for professional recognition in another economy will largely be exempt from further assessment of their professional education and qualifications.