Deal aimed at making it easier for UK and US architects to work in each others’ countries


Arb signing the mutual recognition agreement with US regulators

Architectural industry regulators in the UK and in the US have signed a deal aimed at making it easier to work in each others’ countries under a landmark agreement.

Arb has inked its first mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with a foreign country at the Old Admiralty building on Whitehall, central London.

Arb said the deal will streamline registration processes and reduce costs and examinations, whilst upholding and maintaining the high standards and safety that help to protect the public in both nations.

It has been signed as part of Arb’s new approach to registering international architects, made possible by legislation that has followed the UK’s exit from the EU.

Procedures for architects to register in either country will open for application on 25 April this year.

Arb chief executive Hugh Simpson said: “Signing this MRA – creating a reciprocal arrangement whereby UK architects can register and practice in participating jurisdictions within the United States – is an exciting moment for the sector. 

“The agreement helps to open up opportunities for cooperation between individuals and firms in the UK and United States in a way which upholds standards.”

Michael Armstrong, chief executive of the council of state architects’ regulators in the US, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), said the agreement “celebrates a new relationship with the United Kingdom”.

“We are pleased to sign this Mutual Recognition Agreement emphasising a shared approach of appropriate rigour in guiding the licensure of architects, thus furthering our mutual desire to enhance the global health, safety and welfare of the public,” he said.

Secretary of state for business and trade Kemi Badenoch added the deal paves the way for UK architects to export their skills across the Atlantic.

RIBA President Simon Allford said: “We’re delighted that this agreement has been signed. British architecture is a global success story, and, post-Brexit, the UK has an opportunity to open up new export markets for UK architects. 

“RIBA has been a vocal supporter of new MRAs, and this agreement between the UK and the US brings fresh benefits to architects who want to work internationally. It also makes it easier for talented US architects to work in the UK. 

“Architecture practices in both countries have much to gain – by sharing knowledge, skills and expertise, both the UK and US can prosper. We hope that our members, and those from across the Atlantic seize this opportunity.” 

ARB has created the UK Adaptation Assessment to review applicants’ understanding of the UK-specific context of practising architecture, ensuring that anyone who joins the register meets the standard required to practise safely and effectively in the UK.

UK architects who would like to join a US Register can learn more about the procedure as soon as applications open on 25 April on ARB’s website at

Architects registered in the USA can learn more on NCARB’s website at