• Ar. Stephanie L.P. Chan

Road to Accreditation

The course and curriculum structure for a full fledged architectural accreditation is challenging with many obstacles.The route is long, tedious and with a great many impositions.

Sharing my experience, some of the factors which affects the final BAPEQS license to practice in Brunei are outlined below.

Before any Architectural courses are pursued, due diligence must be exercised to ensure the degree from the country of study is valid in the country you wish to eventually practice.

After ascertaining that the course is a match, the degree itself is then the next challenge. My uni alone had a 50% drop out rate in the first year.

A semi-draughting, technical diploma, degree is NOT equivalent to a full Architectural Degree and should not be deemed to be so.

A degree takes a minimum of 5 years to complete. Some divide it into Part 1 and Part 2. Without the completion of the full degree, an aspiring Architect-to-be may not proceed to the next level.

An architectural degree also has their own variation. B.A. = Bachelor of Architecture. Some courses offer BS Arch which is

Bachelor of Science (Architecture). Again, all the details need to be verified to ensure robustness of the course in the intended country of practice.

Okay, so now degree is done, 5 years of hard work paid off, the degree is obtained. Graduation and congratulations abound.

What’s next?

My advice to all those students are to remain in the country of study to gain the minimum of 2 years work experience in order to sit for the exams there and then have that accreditation acknowledged in Brunei.

Brunei in the past have not conducted Board exams locally and is reliant on the recognition of certificates by RIBA, PAM, SIA and other accredited bodies. Thankfully the relevant authorities are pushing this exams forward for implementation in 2017 which is a great step forward.

I wonder if the public is aware that Architects need to sit for an examination not unlike the Bar for Lawyers.

Alright, so 2 years have passed, we’ve been working hard haven’t we? Away from home, toiling in this laborious industry which we love. We apply for the exam and sit for it. Exams are not free and not guaranteed a pass. Some have to retake the exam a few times in order to obtain the license to call ourselves Architect.

But for those who pass, ahhh, doesnt it sound good to finally be able to call ourselves Architect? which in Brunei has now become a protected title like Doctor!

We now finally have a license which in Brunei is called a BAPEQS Practising Certificate. But hold one, my friends, it doesn’t end there. As a licensed professional we are required to uphold the yearly registrations for these charterships.

Any breach or malpractice, we can be deregistered or disbarred. I’m sure you’ve heard of these in the legal and medical profession. Well, we Architects are no different.

Architects are also subject to annual review and CPE (Continuous Professional Education) points. Without meeting these annual criteria, our licenses are subject to renewal. Not so easy huh?!

Another prerequisite of the Architect profession is that we are enforced to be covered by insurances should any unforeseen circumstances occur, the client and public can be duly protected.

I hope the summary and sharing can shine some light on the intricacies of the profession we Architects all love.

Post first appeared on Ask An Architect

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