Initial Registration Pathway 1 - Introduction

If you have a recognised degree in architecture and the required work experience, then you are entitled to apply for registration as a New Zealand Architect via pathway 1.

The procedure involves you:

  • providing a record of the projects you have worked on
  • preparing a case study of your work
  • providing information about yourself via an application form
  • paying a fee
  • taking part in a three-hour professional conversation with two Registration Assessors who you need to persuade, via your case study, that you meet the standard.

Application closing dates are:

  • 23 April 2014, with professional conversations in Auckland 27-29 May, Wellington 4-11 June and Christchurch 4-5 June)
  • Auckland Region only, 22 July 2014, with professional conversations in Auckland 26-28 August
  • 16 September 2014, with professional conversations in Auckland 21-23 October, Wellington 29 October- 5 November, and Christchurch 29-30 October.

To apply follow the steps outlined below.


(FORMER) For applicants who have NOT been a New zealand Registered Architect before

Pathway 1

Pathway 1 applicants must have a recognised qualification in architecture and the required work experience, or, where they do NOT meet both of these requirements, have been individually assessed by the NZRAB, and have completed any additional study or experience required as a result.

For those who do NOT have a recognised qualification or the required work experience, prior to undertaking the procedure listed below, you must apply for a Qualifications and Experience Assessment and meet any additional requirements set as a result. You can apply for this at any time.

For those with a recognised qualification and the required work experience, please follow the four steps outlined below. Note the application closing dates.

The Initial Registration Assessment is undertaken by a three-hour professional conversation which is based on a case study submitted in advance.

If you have a recognised qualificiation and the required work experience, and you were registered in another jurisdiction at least seven years ago, please contact the NZRAB office at NZ 4 471 1336.



Step 1: Information you need to provide

To apply for registration you need to provide the following information:

Project Record Forms
To apply you first need to prepare a record of the work you have done by filling out project record forms covering at least the required minimum period of practical experience.

Case Study
You also need to provide detailed information about your work via a Case Study. This may include a minimum of one and a maximum of three projects of no more than 5 years old.

Currently case studies can be presented either in hard copy or electronically as a PDF, although from the beginning of 2018 only PDF case studies will be accepted. 

For information on what's required to present a paper-based case study, go here.

For information on what's required to present a case study electronically as a PDF, go here.


Application Form
Once your project record forms and your case study are ready, fill out the application form.

To ensure your application is complete, a Checklist needs to be filled out and included with your application.


Step 2: Submitting your application

Your application should include two copies of your case study.

In addition, in a separate envelope, you need to provide the following documents:

  • The checklist.
  • Application form.
  • Copy of qualification(s), if applicable.
  • Copy of CV.
  • Project record forms.
  • Memory stick containing your case study (PDF).
  • Client release letter(s).
  • Photographic ID.

The original set of these documents (apart from the hard copy case studies) is for the NZRAB’s records. Copies of these documents should also be included in the two copies of your case study for the registration assessors to consider.

Please send your application to:

The Administration Officer
Level 5
79 Boulcott St
Wellington 6011.

With your application you have to pay a fee of $1,200.60 (GST included) or if a repeat application $600.30 (GST included) . The fee may be paid in the following ways:

  • A New Zealand cheque payable to New Zealand Registered Architects Board or NZRAB attached to your application.
  • Visa or MasterCard credit cards through the payment facility on the NZRAB website. Please record this payment method on your application form.
  • Electronic transfer to: NZRAB – ASB – Wellington. Please record this payment method on your application form.  As a bank transfer reference, please cite P1 and your last name. The NZRAB bank account number is 12 3192 0032560 00.  If paying from an offshore bank, please instruct your bank that, in addition to your fee, you will also pay the bank charges for both your bank and the NZRAB’s receiving bank in New Zealand.



Step 3: Professional conversation

The next step in this process is an interactive assessment of your skills, knowledge, attitude and experience. This is done through a professional conversation that takes place between you and an Assessment Panel made up of two of the NZRAB’s registration assessors, both of whom will be experienced architects.

During the professional conversation you must demonstrate to the Assessment Panel that you have the appropriate experience, skills, knowledge and attitude.  

The following details apply:

  • The professional conversation takes a maximum of three hours, excluding breaks, and you need to manage the time carefully.
  • In the discussion, you lead the Assessment Panel through your case study, explaining the project(s), your role(s) within them, and how this indicates that you meet the minimum standards for registration. For this a Guide to the Minimum Standards for Registration is available.
  • You should explain the case study in no more than two hours, allowing adequate time for the Assessment Panel to discuss various aspects of your case study with you.
  • If your projects do not adequately address any of the required standards, the Assessment Panel may pose questions of a more theoretical or hypothetical nature. This may include asking you to sketch typical construction details.
  • In some instances there may be an observer or trainee assessor present. They are not part of the assessment process.
  • If you wish, you may have a support person with you for cultural or medical reasons, although he/she may not speak during the interactive assessment. If it is helpful to you, the use of karakia or prayer is also acceptable.  You will need to advise NZRAB when submitting your application.
  • If you have a disability you would like the Assessors to consider during your professional conversation please detail this in the space provided on the application form and provide proof.  This may include for example dyslexia, reader/writer, wheelchair access, etc.  Extra time may be granted for the professional conversation.

Recording devices are not permitted in professional conversations.  The Board does not record professional conversations and does not allow applicants to do the same.

Assessment by video link
For registration applicants who cannot attend a face-to-face meeting , assessments via a high quality video link can be arranged, at the applicant's expense. Skype is not of an acceptable quality in this context.

Additional information is available on the professional conversation as an assessment tool.


Step 4: Registration decision

After your professional conversation, the Assessment Panel makes a recommendation to the Board of the NZRAB, based on which the Board makes a decision as to whether you meet the applicable minimum standard for registration. You are then advised in writing of the Board’s decision.

If you have met the standard you then receive information about your entitlements and obligations as a Registered Architect and an invoice for your annual Certificate of Registration as a New Zealand Architect. When that invoice is paid, you will be recorded on the New Zealand Architects Register as registered and you will then be a New Zealand Registered Architect.

If you have NOT met the standard you will be sent a copy of the Assessment Panel’s report and recommendation that you be declined. You will also be advised of your right to request a review of the assessment process that was applied to you. The fee for this review is $862.50 (GST included). A review of the decision itself, ie whether or not you met the standard, is not permitted.

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