Grouping connected activities within the Standard

The activities involved in the practice of architecture are broadly categorised by the National Standard of Competency for Architects into the following four units.

  1. Design – an activity involving iterative explorations and appraisals of a range of ideas and concepts, leading towards the development of coherent proposals for a project.

    The design process extends from the evaluation of project viability to the conceptual and schematic resolution of a project in response to client, user and public requirements. The design process for a project is informed by appropriate social and environmental considerations of the architect. Although separately listed for convenience, the sequence of design phases indicated through the Elements of Competency and Performance Criteria is not necessarily linear but often comprises overlap, repetition and reiteration.

  2. Documentation – the process of resolving, detailing and communicating an architectural project through all project stages. The modes of documentation include modelling, drawings, specifications and schedules that can be used in the construction, contract management and handover of the project.

    Documentation material must be consistent with design objectives and budgetary constraints, and must conform to relevant codes and industry standards. Where supplied by consultants, documentation compliance must be verified.

  3. Project Delivery – the proficient, timely and cost-effective completion of an architectural project through all design and construction phases. Project Delivery must take into account the range of contractual obligations carried by architects, clients, consultants and contractors.

    Project Delivery involves the evaluation and implementation of procurement systems as well as appropriate contractual administration systems. The establishment and operation of project teams as well as formalising of project agreements (such as with client, team/s and contractor) is critical to competent project delivery. 

  4. Practice Management – the holistic understanding and organisation of the business and profession of architecture in relation to delivering projects. It involves the knowledge and execution of the processes involved in providing architectural services; the knowledge and implementation of appropriate systems to establish and maintain an architectural practice; and the knowledge and enactment of the broad range of ethical and legal obligations required of a Professional Practitioner.