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HKIA Circular : 56/2020
ARB Circular: ARB/26/2020

18 November 2020

HKIA/ARB Non-Local Architectural Professionals Admission 2021

Non-Local Architectural Professional (NLAP), after going through an assessment jointly held by the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) and the Architects Registration Board HKSAR (ARB), may become a member of HKIA and as a registered architect under Architects Registration Ordinance.

HKIA and ARB are now inviting eligible NLAP to apply for admission via the Non-Local Architectural Professionals Admission (NLAPA) 2021.

NLAP must hold a valid professional registration to practise architecture, as administered by a national registration body of architects recognised by HKIA/ARB, with adequate relevant local professional experience.

The list of national registration bodies currently recognised by HKIA/ARB is as follows :

Country Registration Board
Australia Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA)
Canada By provincial registration
People Republic of China National Administration Board of Architectural Registration (NABAR)
New Zealand Architects Education and Registration Board, New Zealand (AERB)
United Kingdom Architects Registration Board (ARB)
USA National Council of Architects Registration Boards (NCARB)

Professional qualifications other than the list above will be considered case by case based on applicant’s individual merits.

NLAPA Group A and B
NLAPA Group A is the route for a NLAP with overall (local + overseas) post-professional registration practical experience of not less than 15 years. NLAP Group A candidates are required to submit a case report and pass the Professional Interview.

NLAPA Group B is the route for a NLAP with recognised post-professional registration local practical experience of not less than 5 years. NLAP Group B candidates are required to pass Papers 1 and 2 of the Professional Assessment (PA), submit a case report and pass the Professional Interview. No logbook and nominations of advisers and office supervisors is required for NLAPA scheme. NLAPA Group B candidates should follow the 8-year validity rule for Professional Assessment (PA) Papers 1 and 2.

A sample of Case report, which is a summary of the applicant’s local practical experience, is enclosed in Annex A for your reference.

For details of eligibility for NLAPA, please refer to Section 3 and Appendix E of the PA Handbook in Annex B. You may note that local professional experience recognised by the HKIA/ARB includes:
(a) Practical experience with a local architectural practice which is an HKIA Registered Practice or a HKSAR government department / quasi government organisation in architectural works, under the supervision of or in association with an HKIA member or fellow; or
(b) In lieu of the above, 5 years of fulltime teaching of architecture in an HKIA accredited/ recognised architectural programme in a local university would be counted as equivalent to 5 years of local practical experience, subject to specific recommendation by the head of the department/ teaching unit.

Application procedure

If you find yourself eligible and interested in applying the NLAPA, please complete the attached HKIA membership application form and payment slip and return to the HKIA on or before 5:30pm of  31 December 2020 (Thursday) with your case report and substantiating documents required as stated in membership admission guidelines on page 6 of the enclosed application form.

Vetting and confirmation on qualification from issuing authorities may be lengthy in some occasions. Therefore applicants are reminded to provide with the applications all relevant and complete documentation, or otherwise may risk not being processed in time for NLAPA 2021.

Eligible candidates for enrolling the NLAPA 2021 will receive written notification from HKIA/ARB in June 2021.


All candidates will be automatically registered for the PA Lecture & Seminar Series 2021 to be held in July – September 2021 (for Papers 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8) and January – February 2022 (Papers 3, 4 and 5), though attendance of the lectures is non-compulsory. For NLAPA Group B candidate, they will also be registered for Papers 1 and 2 to be held in November 2021.


For NLAPA Group A candidates, the first NLAPA Professional Interview will be scheduled in September 2021 with dates to be confirmed. For NLAPA Group B Candidates passing both the Papers 1 and 2, the NLAPA interview will be held in September 2022, with the date to be confirmed.

Package fee
The package fee for NLAPA is HK$39,000. However a special concessionary rate at HK$30,000 would be applicable for those candidates who have HKIA Associate membership for at least one year prior to application for NLAPA.

The NLAPA package fee already includes the fee  for a complete series of PA Lecture & Seminar of that year, Professional Interview and where applicable,  PA Papers 1 & 2. However relevant fee will be charged for retaking one or both written papers, or the Professional Interview after first attempt.

Should you have any questions, please contact HKIA/ARB Secretariat Jenny Lai at 2805 7141 or Bella Law at 2805 7271. 

Yours sincerely,

Queenie Wong

[Membership Application Form]
[Payment Slip]
[Annex A – Sample of Case Report]
[Annex B – Extract of PA Handbook]