Chapter 3 (a:3): Business Services: Architectural


Improvements Implemented Since Last IAP

Current Entry Requirements

Further Improvements Planned


Operational Requirements






Under the statutes of provincial legislatures, known as the Architects Act, provincial architectural associations are given the responsibility of (i) prescribing the qualifications of persons licensed to practice in the province, of (ii) providing the means of control and discipline over members, and of (iii) generally regulating the practice of architecture. This Act also make it an offense for persons, other than those licensed, to use the title "Architect", and they provide for penalties to persons or corporations illegally engaged in the practice of architecture.


Membership in a provincial architectural association is mandatory for any individual offering architectural services to the public and the services of an architect are required by law where buildings of a certain size are constructed to house public gatherings for commercial, institutional or cultural purposes. Only persons registered with the association have the legal right to refer to themselves as architects.


More detailed information is available from the website of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (




Licensing and Qualification Requirements of Service Providers





To qualify for licensing, an applicant must satisfy three requirements: formal education, work experience recorded through a period of internship, and successful completion of the registration examinations. A licence is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to practice in a given province. Each jurisdiction establishes its own requirements regarding matters such as accessibility to the public and proof of professional liability insurance. In Ontario, for example, licensed architects must obtain a "Certificate of Practice" which identifies them as duly authorized to provide services to the public.


An agreement to facilitate mutual recognition of licenses was concluded and ratified under the NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) between the professional regulatory associations in the NAFTA countries.





Foreign Entry





Specific commitments in this area, including some limitations on market access and on national treatment by certain provinces, are set out in Canada's GATS Schedule.  For market access, commercial presence must take the form of a sole proprietorship or a partnership. The Canadian schedule also identifies existing barriers to architectural services related to the issuance of permanent licences.




Discriminatory Treatment/




Elimination of permanent residency requirement for accreditation in New Brunswick


Elimination of citizenship requirement for accreditation in Quebec


Specific commitments in this area, include some limitations on market access and on national treatment by certain provinces, are set out in Canada's GATS Schedule.  National treatment for cross-border supply and the presence of natural persons is limited in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland by the requirement for architects to be permanent residents for accreditation purposes. In Prince Edward Island, non-resident firms are required to maintain a higher percentage of practitioners in the partnership in order to receive national treatment.