RIBA Professional Education and Development Record (PEDR)

Guide to the Part 3 Examination

Who is eligible to take the Part 3 Examination?

Admission to an RIBA validated part 3 course in the UK is normally restricted to candidates who:

  • hold UK RIBA validated qualifications at Part 1 and at Part 2, or
  • hold international RIBA validated qualifications equivalent to Part 1 and Part 2, or
  • have completed the ARB Prescribed Examination at Part 1 and/or Part 2, or
  • any combination of the above

Candidates who have completed the appropriate qualification/s listed under Annex V or Annex VI of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) may also be admitted to a Part 3 course.

Applicants for Part 3 with international qualifications should be advised to contact the ARB to discuss their eligibility for the ARB Prescribed Examination prior to joining a Part 3 course.

Candidates with alternative qualifications to those listed above should contact their chosen course provider to discuss their eligibility to take the Part 3 and should note the requirements of the RIBA for Chartered Membership eligibility and the requirements of the Architects Registration Board for registration in the UK.

Candidates for the RIBA Part 3 oral examination stage should have recently completed a minimum of 24 months' practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry, which should include at least 12 months working in the EEA, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, under the direct supervision of an architect.

When should I take the Part 3 Examination?

Make sure you feel ready for the Examination and can give adequate time to preparation. Candidates will face a series of challenging assessments and examinations, devised to test professional knowledge, skill and judgement; and understanding of the requirements of professional conduct.

Preparation for the Part 3 is likely to have begun with your Stage One professional experience (or ‘year out’) and have developed during your Part 2 studies into knowledge of how projects are managed and how practices are run. At least 12 of the 24 months' experience needed for Part 3 should be undertaken in the two years immediately before taking the Part 3 exam; during which period candidates should focus on developing the applied professional skill, judgement and understanding that will be tested at the examination stage. There are a variety of Part 3 study and preparation programmes offered by architecture schools and examination centres, with different modes of study available.

Where can I study for the Professional Practice Examination?

You would normally expect to take your Part 3 at the school of architecture where you passed Part 2. If you want to transfer to another school you will need to give full and serious reasons for the change - relocation of work, family commitments etc. - and these will need to be agreed by the Professional Studies Advisors at the schools involved. Think carefully about any move - each school will have its own arrangements for preparing students for the Examination during the Part 2 and Part 3 stages and continuity will be important.

What does the Part 3 Examination involve?

The Part 3 Examination is concerned with assessing applied knowledge and skill in relation to professional conduct and competence to practice as an architect. It should consist of two parts:

  • a documentary submission to demonstrate professional knowledge, judgement, conduct and ethics, which includes the practical training record
  • an oral examination

Candidates will be expected to express themselves clear, accurate, and concise English in both parts of the examination.

The documentary submission

Candidates will demonstrate they meet the RIBA Professional Criteria for Part 3 through a documentary submission defined by the provider, and typically consisting of the following:

  • a professional curriculum vitae recording the candidate's educational and professional career, including non-architectural work, and summarising the candidate’s experience in architectural practice
  • a career evaluation including a personal appraisal of the candidate's education and experience of architectural practice within the context of the Part 3 criteria
  • a record of professional experience recording the development of competences achieved through practical training over a minimum period of 24 months. Further information on this requirement can be found at www.pedr.co.uk
  • a case study reflecting the candidate's professional experience and examination requirements, but usually a critical written evaluation of at least one project undertaken by the candidate during their recorded practical training, supplementing the PEDR and career evaluation [NB: candidates with experience of multiple projects, where no single project covers all RIBA work stages, may draw from their experience of different projects to illustrate their competence to practice as an architect]
  • written examinations, assessed course work, scenario-based essays and reports demonstrating a candidate's knowledge and understanding of professional practice, and their ability to exercise sound judgement, and make responsible decisions

Part 3 providers have different methods of delivering the Part 3 curriculum; typically, these include scenario-based assessment and written examinations, but other forms of evaluation can be expected.

The oral examination

The oral examination is the final element in the examination process. It provides an opportunity for candidates to develop and comment upon their documentary submission through discussion with the Part 3 Professional Examiners, who may further establish the candidate's judgement and understanding in relation to the Professional Criteria for Part 3.