What is CIAT’s international strategy?

These International FAQs will be updated as the Institute attains greater recognition of the profession of Architectural Technology and its members. CIAT continues to  work  to do this, but it is a long and often complicated  process. The Institute  encourages and appreciates support from its members in striving to achieve this goal, and the experiences they have had.  We would also welcome from comments from members living and/or working overseas so these FAQs can be developed further as necessary.

Overarching Aim
CIAT is committed to developing, promoting and enhancing the discipline of Architectural Technology worldwide to

  • ensure that Architectural Technology is recognised as an essential and respected profession
  • promote the skills and competencies of those practising in Architectural Technology
  • exchange knowledge, best practice and procedures
  • be an international influence in the built environment sector.

Objectives

  • Establish relationships with likeminded professional institutes, trade associations, relevant umbrella bodies or similar
  • Support current overseas members
  • Support those not already members of an established overseas centre
  • Develop mutual recognition procedures for overseas academic and professional qualifications
  • Promote membership promotion.
  • Recruit and retain overseas members.

What is CIAT’s overseas activity?

CIAT has seven Centres. The title of a Centre is given to a country with a substantial proportion of members who have formally requested such status. In the UK this is referred to as a Region.  A member of the Institute is assigned a Region or Centre (if outside of the UK) upon joining and it is this Region or Centre which they will be an active part of for CPD events and networking opportunities. Members can apply to join the Regional/Centre Committee which effectively administers its own Region or Centre with support from CIAT Central Office. 

CIAT is a Principal member of the AEEBC, (Association d’Experts Européennes du Bâtiment et de la Construction). This Association was formed to promote the building surveying and construction professions throughout Europe and facilitate the exchange of experience and information between professionally qualified building surveyors and construction experts. Members of the AEEBC include professional associations, construction companies, individuals with an interest in, or who work in the sector, educational establishments offering related qualifications, government departments or charities. CIAT works together with representatives of other comparable professions in Europe, such as building surveyors, constructing architects, construction managers, construction engineers, geometri, arquitectos técnicos, civil engineers etc.

Through the AEEBC, CIAT has helped facilitate the introduction of the EurBE scheme which is an accreditation scheme for construction and building professionals. This provides an opportunity for suitably qualified professionals from across Europe to achieve European recognition and accreditation alongside their national qualification.

CIAT has a Memorandum of Agreement with Konstruktørforeningen (KF) in Denmark. Konstruktørforeningen is the Danish Association of Building Experts, Managers and Surveyors. KF is owned and managed by members, and the aims and objectives of the organisation are to safeguard professional interests of members in all matters: providing personal advice on employment, salary, professional development and political influence. In order to strengthen the members’ job opportunities and to raise professionalism in construction, KF seeks to influence construction and education politics.

CIAT also has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Association of Architectural Technologists, (AATO) in Ontario, Canada. As a self regulating professional Association, the AATO’s functions are to:

  • Provide Architectural Technologists within the province with an Association which advances profession, increases their professional knowledge, skill and grants them Accreditation with the Province of Ontario.
  • Foster the attainment of quality and competence in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Encourage continual upgrading to remain current with constantly changing technology.
  • Establish, maintain and enforce strict rules of ethical conduct for the members of the Association in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Inform the public in a suitable and ethical manner of the purpose and aims of the Association.
  • Promote a harmonious relationship among members in order to stimulate the development of the Association and enhance its public reputation.

 

Where is my profession recognised?

CIAT understands the need to lobby internationally; to support its members overseas and promote the Architectural Technology discipline. The Institute seeks to use the knowledge of local members to help CIAT achieve this goal.  If you want to get help CIAT in your country please contact international@ciat.org.uk.

The title ‘Chartered Architectural Technologist’ is a title protected within the Institute’s Royal Charter, approval of which was Granted by The Privy Council. This means that only Chartered Members of CIAT can use it.  This title is recognised within the EU Directive for the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, 2005/36/EC, specifically in Annex 1. This however only confirms that the title is protected in the UK but does not imply automatic recognition. CIAT is seeking recognition of the profession across borders, as currently there are still a number of barriers to our members seeking to work in other EU states. The consolidated version of the EU Directive on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications can be found here.

The latest consolidated version of Annex 1 where Chartered Architectural Technologist is listed can be found here (number 54). CIAT and Chartered Architectural Technologist are listed here as well, under Part 2 (about halfway down). 

In Denmark, Konstruktørforeningen (KF) will accept Associate members of CIAT (ACIAT) with an Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Architectural Technology or Chartered Architectural Technologists (MCIAT) as members (M.A.K.) of the Institute within a period of four months from receipt of application. 

In Canada, The Association of Architectural Technologists, Ontario (AATO) will recognise Chartered Architectural Technologists that are Canadian citizens on successful completion of a multiple choice examination on the subject of Ontarian building regulations. 

What is a Competent Authority?

CIAT is recognised as the UK Competent Authority for Chartered Architectural Technologists. The functions of a Competent Authority are to:

  • Receive and consider applications and make decisions on the competence of the person applying to work as a Chartered Architectural Technologist
  • Work in close collaboration with competent authorities of other EU members states
  • Provide assistance to competent authorities of other EU member states
  • Ensure confidentiality of information exchanged
  • Act as a contact point for the regulated profession and
  • Provide information and advice to citizens regarding recognition of the professional qualification and associated legislation.

Why is CIAT membership not recognised in certain countries?

Each country has its own structure and professional definitions. There is no requirement for countries to recognise a Chartered Architectural Technologist. In many countries the functions carried out by a Chartered Architectural Technologist are undertaken by an architect or engineer, who, in many countries will have protection of function. Governments and industries in other countries are not obliged to recognise professionals from overseas, just because they are accepted in their host nations.

 

What can I do to promote my Institute?

CIAT is making every effort to push for recognition internationally. The Institute encourages its members working abroad, or with links overseas, to contact the Institute’s International Director. If you wish to represent CIAT and become an official spokesperson, please send an email to international@ciat.org.uk with your name, country and work position. 

CIAT Spokespersons are the face of the Institute overseas. There are a number of activities you can get involved in to support and represent the Institute including:

  • Promoting the Institute and membership to educational establishments who offer Architectural Technology or related programmes. This includes, programme Approval/Accreditation/Recognition and free student membership
  • Representing CIAT on external committees and groups
  • Representing CIAT at conferences and events
  • Working with educational establishments to assist with programme development and university/college and student liaison
  • Mentoring professionals and students, especially those working through their Professional and Occupational Performance (POP) Records
  • Advising CIAT Central Office staff of local issues pertinent to the construction and built environment sector.

European recognition

Red: Major Architectural Technologist functions are reserved by law for other professions, typically architects or engineers. Architectural Technologists cannot be recognised as architects or engineers.

Yellow: There are regulatory barriers, but still some possibilities. There may be professions similar to Architectural Technology, or similar professions are not regulated.

Green: No restrictions - free competition. 

Europe


Denmark
As stated previously, CIAT has a Memorandum of Agreement with Konstruktørforeningen (KF) in Denmark. Konstruktørforeningen is the Danish Association of Building Experts, Managers and Surveyors. KF is owned and managed by members, and the aims and objectives of the organisation are to safeguard professional interests of members in all matters: providing personal advice on employment, salary, professional development and political influence. In order to strengthen the members’ job opportunities and to raise professionalism in construction, KF seeks to influence construction and education politics.

In Denmark, Konstruktørforeningen (KF) will accept Associate members of CIAT (ACIAT) with an Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Architectural Technology or Chartered Architectural Technologists (MCIAT) as members (M.A.K.) of the Institute within a period of four months from receipt of application.


France
In France the equivalent of Chartered Architectural Technologist currently does not exist. The only positions available to a Chartered Architectural Technologist in France will be to work as dessinateurprojeteur or assistant.

If you can speak French and have good design skills, you should be welcome within an architectural practice. French architects often do not design their buildings; most of them have assistants or dessinateurs to design on their behalf; they usually produce hand sketches with the clients and the rest is carried out by design staff. 

The practice of architecture per se is restricted to registered architects. You may practice in a company supervised by a registered architect or you may practice on your own account as an architectural designer (dessinateur d' architecture) but many restrictions apply. 

When the architect completes their ‘concept’, it goes to a Bureau d’Etude (design office) which will take care of the technical aspects of the design. The technical design at the Bureau d’Etude is normally carried out by those with the title of engineers.  

If you have a more technical bias it would be advisable to look for firms under the term ‘Maitre d' oeuvre’ who are often able to work directly for a contractor after initial designs have been done by a French registered architect. Smaller projects (currently under 170M2) can also be fully designed by them. See this link for description and qualification requirements. To carry out this work:

  1. All copies of drawings must be stamped and signed.
  2. In order to make an application for a Permis de Construire for any project in France it is necessary to be registered with the Conseil de l'Ordre des Architectes en France and you will need professional indemnity specifically from specific insurance companies in France. Professional indemnity insurance from the UK is unlikely be accepted.
  3. The alternative is to go to a local registered French architect to make your application for Permis de Construire. The architect risks de-registration if they simply stamp your drawings.  To submit their own drawings (based on yours) he will charge a 15% fee.

Germany
The main contact in Germany with regard to building design and construction is Verband Deutscher Architekten e.V. (VDA).

Its contact details are as follows:

Verband Deutscher Architekten e.V. – VDA
Edelsbergstr.8
80686 München
T: 089-570070
F: 089-57007260
E: info@vda-architekten.de

The VDA is the overall regulatory body for architects in Germany, but as Germany is a federation it is split up into regions or Lands; Hessen, Bavaria etc, and each Land has its own Chamber of Architects. 

As each Chamber has its own legislation/Code of Conduct, the local Chamber should be contacted to make sure the right information and requirements are obtained.

It is advisable to contact the VDA in the first instance and the contact details of the Chamber of Architects for the specific Land will be supplied. The VDA may also be able to help find good contact sources.

For Bavaria contact Bayerische Architektenkammer.
 
For the Land of Hessen contact Architekten und Stadtplanerkammer Hessen.

The National Contact Point for Germany can be found by clicking here.

In Germany, an equivalent profession to the Chartered Architectural Technologist does not exist. Chartered Architectural Technologists cannot work freelance (or set up in practice) for any German company or on any project in Germany.
 
However there appears to be no problem obtaining a job with a German company/practice and working as an employee.

Qualification equivalence will likely need to be provided and of course a good portfolio will help too. The Kultusminister Konferenz may be able to assist in comparing qualifications as will NARIC.

The German speaking part of Switzerland has the Bauzeichner (construction designer).

Outside Europe

n order to emigrate to New Zealand or Australia applicants should use the ANZSCO Standard Occupational Classification

The most ‘relevant' professions on the list include:
312199 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians 
312111 Architectural Draftsperson
312113 Building Inspector.

These occupations are listed at Skills level 2 which is the UK eqivalent to a Foundation degree or the first 2 years of a Bachelor degree. This type of role would be at the level of the professionally qualified Architectural Technician. CIAT is lobbying to have Chartered Architectural Technologist at Skills level 1, in line with architects and surveyors.

In New Zealand it is now necessary to become a Licensed Building Practitioner. This scheme helps to ensure that those working in the construction industry are competent and accountable, so that homes and buildings are designed and built right the first time. Experience as an Architectural Technologist will go some way to assisting with an application although there is no direct entry for MCIATs. (www.dbh.govt.nz/lbp-faqs-scheme). 

Other useful links

Building Code in New Zealand.
Information on the Construction industry in Australia.
Immigration to New Zealand ‘info sheet’.

 

USA and Canada
CIAT also has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Association of Architectural Technologists, (AATO) in Ontario, Canada. As a self regulating professional Association, the AATO’s functions are to:

 

  • Provide Architectural Technologists within the province with an Association which advances profession, increases their professional knowledge, skill and grants them Accreditation with the Province of Ontario.
  • Foster the attainment of quality and competence in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Encourage continual upgrading to remain current with constantly changing technology.
  • Establish, maintain and enforce strict rules of ethical conduct for the members of the Association in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Inform the public in a suitable and ethical manner of the purpose and aims of the Association.
  • Promote a harmonious relationship among members in order to stimulate the development of the Association and enhance its public reputation.


As stated previously, in Canada, The Association of Architectural Technologists, Ontario (AATO) will recognise Chartered Architectural Technologists that are Canadian citizens on successful completion of a multiple choice examination on the subject of Ontarian building regulations. 

If you are a British citizen it is very difficult to get permission to live or work in the USA. In many cases, it is easier to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship takes approximately two years after you have lived there continuously for approximately three years. (Information changes rapidly so check with the Embassy at the time of application). Immigration to Canada is through a points system and CIAT membership may assist in the 'employment' part of the form. (Learning to speak French may help attain more points). If you haven't quite got enough points they will interview you for 'suitability'. They will not accept your application if you have a criminal record.

Process No.1: To work for someone else in the USA.
Under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) Mexican and Canadian citizens are permitted to get a 'work visa' in the USA. A 'work visa' is not a green card or US citizenship, it allows you to work for someone else's company in the US and live there while you do. For a 'green card' which may lead to US citizenship you need a H1B visa, but you also need a job before you can apply. 

 You may try to find employment with an UK based international practice who can arrange a transfer to a US based office, and subsequently apply and qualify for a green card.

Process No.2: To run your own business in the USA.
It may be necessary to maintain a parent company in the UK then send yourself to work for the subsidiary company in the US. There are a lot of criteria to comply with and you will need an immigration lawyer to handle the paperwork.

Process No.3: To run your own business in the USA.
To start your own business in the USA to employ a prescribed number of the local workforce, you have to enter the country with a certain amount of money available to you.  Details change all the time so check this information regularly.


China
Chinese professionals recognise the credibility of CIAT, given its Royal Chartered status. However the concept of Architectural Technology is not clearly understood in terms of how the discipline of Architectural Technology fits into, or differentiates from the current professions and qualifications in China. 

‘Architectural technologies’ are well implemented in the China market. These range from residential, commercial and industrial buildings to world-class construction projects such as the National Stadium in Beijing (the Bird's Nest) and the Shanghai Centre. However, the concept of Architectural Technology as an academic subject or profession is not well recognised in mainland China as it is a relatively new concept.

However it is generally accepted by Chinese professionals that many foreign organisations are leaders in development and hold the standard in certain sectors. 

In China, academic qualifications are mainly managed by the Ministry of Education (and its subsidiaries at provincial and city level), and the Higher Degree Committee of the State Council. 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) is the main government body in charge of professional qualifications in the architecture and construction sector. MOHURD is also responsible for drafting policies, laws, and development plans related to city, village, and town planning and construction, the building industry, and municipal works. MOHURD was formed from the Ministry of Construction (MOC) in the State Council reorganisation in 2007-08. 

Qualifications recognised by MOHURD

Certified Architect 
The official architect certificate in China has two levels (see below). Each requires certain academic qualification and relevant work experience before the applicant is eligible to sit examinations that are managed by MOHURD. 
Level 2: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Bachelor or higher level degree holders in Architecture; or 3 years relevant working experience for college graduates. 
Level 1: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Masters or higher level degree holders in Architecture; or 3 years relevant working experience for Bachelor level degree holders. 
If the applicant does not study Architecture or a relevant degree, or the level does not match the requirement listed above, more work experience is required. 

Certified Structural Engineer 
There are also two levels in this area, with certain academic qualifications and relevant work experience required before the applicant is eligible to sit examinations managed by MOHURD. 
Level 2: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Bachelor or higher level degree holders in Civil Engineering or relevant disciplines; or 3 years relevant work experience for college graduates. 
Level 1: requires 4 years relevant work experience for Masters or higher level degree holders in Architecture, or 5 years relevant work experience for Bachelor level degree holders. Again, if the applicant does not study Architecture or a relevant degree, or the level does not match the requirement listed above, more work experience is required.