Resources for Internationally Trained Architectural Professionals
This page brings together helpful resources for internationally trained professionals looking to continue their architectural careers in Ontario. Links below have been collected through community input. The TSA does not endorse any specific program and we encourage you to contact CACB and the OAA on next steps in your path to licensure.
Newcomer in Architecture Information Session
The video below is a recording of a Newcomer in Architecture Information event held online on October 27, 2021. The session included presentations by the Toronto Society of Architects, the Ontario Association of Architects and the Canadian Architectural Certification Board with a particular focus on paths to licensure. It is a great resource to understand the different paths available.
This recording will be available for viewing until November 30, 2021.
Paths to Licensure (Architect & Licensed Technologist OAA)
In Canada, only those who are licensed by their provincial regulator can call themselves an Architect. In addition, Ontario also has the title of Licensed Technologist OAA, the highest certification that can be achieved by a technologist working in architecture in the province. Each title has a distinctive scope of work. There are different pathways to becoming licensed, depending on your level of education and experience. Here are some links on the different paths and requirements for each.
- OAA Summary of Paths to Licensure
- OAA Page on Becoming an Architect for Internationally Trained Professionals
- Becoming a Licensed Technologist OAA (includes a video explaining the process)
- CACB: Academic Certification
- CACB: BEFA (Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Program)
- RAIC Syllabus Program
International Recognition Treaties
Canadian architectural regulators are signatories to numerous international treaties that provide recognition of licensure credentials or fast-track processes. There are a lot of specific conditions and particularities, so it is best to contact the OAA to understand if these apply to you.
- Mutual Recognition Agreement Between Canada and the United States
- Tri-national Agreement between Canada, United States, and Mexico
- Mutual Recognition Agreement Between Canada, Australia and New Zealand
You can work in an architectural practice without being licensed. There are also alternative paths of practice which will allow for a limited scope of work.
- Registered Building Practitioner (BCIN)
- Architectural Technologist and Technician, Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario
There are a number of programs available in Ontario that are specifically designed to help you in the process of gaining knowledge about practice in Ontario. Here are some of the opportunities available.
- IPLAN: Immigrant Professionals Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities (IPLAN Employment & IPLAN Practice)
- Engineering/ Architecture Skills Enhancement – Bridging Program (Humber College)
- Building Code Training Courses (George Brown College)
While there are many different job posting websites out there, the list below is specific to the architecture community in Ontario. Some offices will also have opportunities on their websites.
From provincial regulators to local community groups, there are many architectural organizations in Canada. Here are some that are particularly relevant for those in the Greater Toronto Area.
- Ontario Association of Architects (provincial regulator)
- Toronto Society of Architects (local community group)
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (national advocacy group)
- Canadian Architectural Certification Board (national group responsible for academic certification)
- Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (national group bringing together all regulators)
For many, one of the first steps in your path to licensure will be the translation of academic documents. Many newcomer centres offer advice on translators or might even offer these services for free. Make sure to verify with the CACB regarding translation requirements prior to proceeding.
- Centre for Spanish Speaking People
- Directory of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (searchable database)
Being a newcomer isn’t just about your license! Here are other helpful resources to get settled in Ontario.
- YMCA Newcomer Information Centre (A program servicing newcomers in the GTA and funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)
- Settlement.org (A website designed specifically to address frequently asked questions by newcomers)
- Steps to Justice (A step-by-step information guide for legal issues in Ontario, from employment to housing)
Confused? Not sure where to go from here? Just ask! The OAA, CACB and TSA can serve as a great first point of contact and we are happy to orient you to the right place to have your questions answered.
- CACB | firstname.lastname@example.org
- OAA | email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
- TSA | email@example.com
Know of another great resource we should include? Is something out of date? Let us know and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org