The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) has given all architects on its register, as well as all architectural students from local Architectural Learning Sites (which it validates), a head start. SACAP recently became one of seven full signatories current to the Canberra Accord (CA) during the CA’s 6th General Meeting in Sri Lanka, which will make it easier for architects and students wishing to undertake architectural work in countries represented by the (CA) signatories obtain registration.

The CA, which includes countries such as Canada, China, Korea, Mexico, USA and a further 35 countries represented by the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA), facilitates the portability of educational credentials amongst participating member countries by recognising the similarity of professional architecture degrees between accreditation agencies.

At the recent meeting, SACAP was the only applicant to achieve new full signatory status to the Accord. This status was given following a thorough inspection visit by a CA board to SACAP, which established that SACAP’s validation requirements and processes with regard to Architectural Learning Sites, as well its organisational systems, records, information systems and registration processes meet the highest international standards. It is the first time that SACAP is at an equal level with all signatories at the CA.

Straight ‘Piggybacking’ on qualifications is not allowed, explains Marella O’Reilly, SACAP’s Registrar/CEO.

“CA signatories recognise the substantial equivalency of fellow signatories’ validation systems in architectural education. For instance, architectural graduates wishing to register for accreditation in the United States of America, with its regulatory body called the National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) will find that it automatically gives those registered with a CA signatory a substantial number equivalent credits required to pass the NCARB’s Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA),” says Marella.

Dr Yashaen Luckan, President of SACAP commented: “We’re proud that Council’s committed effort to promote high quality professional qualifications criteria and national syllabi, based on international standards, has been recognised. It follows our achievement last year of entering a Memorandum of Understanding with the Architects’ Council of Europe. Ultimately, the CA full signatory status has positioned the South African profession in a place where it is able to contribute to, and benefit from, the global conversations on architectural education in different and diverse contexts.”

For more information, contact SACAP on +27 (11) 479 500 or via www.sacapsa.com, to which full thanks and acknowledgement are given.