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SACAP: A signatory of the Canberra Accord

Monday, 09 March 2020  
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SACAP: A signatory of the Canberra Accord


In May 2017, SACAP became a signatory of the Canberra Accord, this signatory status is for a five (5) year period and will be reviewed in the year 2022.  The Canberra Accord recognises the substantial equivalency of validation systems in architectural education of its Signatories.

“Substantial” equivalency identifies a programme as comparable in educational outcomes in all significant aspects, and indicates that it provides an educational experience meeting acceptable standards, even though such program/me may differ in format or method of delivery. The Canberra Accord is intended to facilitate the portability of educational credentials between the countries whose validation agencies have signed the Accord.

The countries of signatories include: Canada, China, The Commonwealth Association of Architects, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the USA. Initial signatories, Australia have had a change in their registration authority and are in the process of review. The International Union of Architects (UIA) is currently undergoing its application.


The Canberra Accord references the three (3) “E’s” of professionalism. These are in progression: Education, Experience, and Examination. Graduates with qualifications from validated programmes in architecture in the signatory countries recognised by the Canberra Accord, are expected to have commonly held attributes including the ability to:


  1. Apply the acquired knowledge for the design, operation, and improvement of systems, processes, and environments;
  2. Formulate and solve complex architectural problems;
  3. Understand and resolve the environmental, economic, and societal implications of architectural work;
  4. Communicate effectively with clients, peers, and community;
  5. Engage in lifelong learning and professional development following graduation;
  6. Act in accordance with the ethical principles of the profession of architecture;
  7. Make the case publicly for better human environments in contemporary society. 


The Canberra Accord delegates meet on an annual basis to discuss important matters pertaining to each of the signatories, and to review new applications, and reports from validation visits. In 2019 the Canberra Accord General Meeting was held over 29th – 30th August in Bloemfontein, South Africa, coinciding with the annual Sofia Gray Memorial Lecture & Exhibition. The SACAP President Mr Ntsindiso Nduku, Vice President Ms Letsabisa Shongwe, and the Education Chairperson Mr Kevin Bingham, were in attendance to welcome the signatories.

Some of the discussions were around the revision of the Canberra Accord Rules and Procedures, projected contributions of signatories for 2020, and the implications of incorporation of the Accord in each signatory country.


The next general meeting will be held in 2021 in Hong Kong, with an interim meeting in Washington in May 2020.