Registered architects in Australia and New Zealand are set to be able to gain formal recognition of their qualifications in Canada following the signing of a new trilateral agreement by architect registration boards of the three countries.

Signed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia as well as representatives from respective accreditation boards in New Zealand and Canada, the new agreement will enable the mutual recognition of registered architects across all three countries.

The agreement is also expected to pave the way for further collaboration between the countries, with the three boards currently in the process of working on arrangements to facilitate movement of architectural students and graduates between the three countries.

AACA President Richard Thorpe welcomed the deal, saying opportunities presented by the Canadian market – which has a lower proportion of architects per capita compared with Australia –  cannot be understated, and adding that whilst Australian architects were no strangers to travelling abroad, gaining recognition for their skills and qualifications in overseas jurisdictions was not always easy.

“We are very pleased to have implemented an agreement under APEC with our New Zealand and Canadian colleagues that will facilitate mobility of architects across our respective economies,” Thorpe said. “We anticipate great interest from architects in all three countries as the trilateral agreement offers significant opportunities for architects and benefits for our respective economies.”

The new agreements have been developed within the broader framework of the APEC Architect – a register that facilitates access of registered APEC Architects to independent practice within thirteen countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

There are currently 27 architects on the Australian APEC Architects Register.

The agreements also follow similar arrangements already established with Japan and Singapore, and the AACA says it is working with the National Council of Architect Registration Boards in the United States in the hope of reaching similar arrangements with the majority of jurisdictions in that country by the end of 2016.