The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) begins accepting applications for the mutual recognition agreement (MRA) with the U.K.’s Architects Registration Board (ARB) on April 25, 2023.

Signed on February 16, the MRA provides a streamlined path for reciprocal licensure for architects in the United States and the United Kingdom.

"The launch of the MRA is the beginning of an exciting new relationship with the United Kingdom, and NCARB looks forward to supporting NCARB Certificate holders in taking advantage of this opportunity,” said NCARB President Bayliss Ward, NCARB, AIA.  

“This landmark agreement that ARB has signed with our U.S. counterparts means that from 25 April, U.K. architects and their firms can take advantage of a much simpler licensing process for UK-qualified architects in the United States, with fewer tests and a streamlined application process. US-qualified and licensed architects will also benefit from a quicker and simpler process to join the UK register in a way which maintains standards and upholds confidence,” said ARB Chief Executive and Registrar Hugh Simpson.

The agreement is based on an assessment of similarities in architect licensing standards as established by NCARB for utilization by its member jurisdictions, and the requirements for registration in the United Kingdom. Modeled after similar arrangements between NCARB and Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the agreement has three key requirements. To apply for a reciprocal license/registration in either country, architects must: 

  • Hold a valid license/registration in good standing from their home licensing authority (A jurisdiction within the United States or in the United Kingdom) 
  • Have lawful authorization to work in the locality in which they are seeking licensure/registration 
  • Hold an active and qualifying NCARB Certificate   


“This agreement is a commitment to sustained investment in building trust between our two organizations and symbolizes a fresh start for NCARB’s relationship with the global community. NCARB will continue to add value to the NCARB Certificate program,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong.

The previous week, NCARB and ARB celebrated this milestone agreement with a panel discussion at the British Embassy, followed by a reception at the British Ambassador’s Temporary Residence. Check out our recap blog for more details of the event. 

To learn more about earning a license to practice architecture abroad, visit