Architecture is a regulated profession in Canada. To practice independently, you must have your qualifications recognized and be licensed. The Nova Scotia Association of Architects is responsible for regulating the practice of architecture in Nova Scotia but to begin, apply to the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). There are two pathways to licensure. You will need to find a Canadian licensed architect as a mentor or employer because experience in Canada is necessary for both pathways. Contact an Employment Specialist at ISANS for help with contacting local firms as well as assistance with your resume & portfolio, learning interview skills, understanding Canadian workplace culture and accessing financial assistance for the costs of accreditation. Get started today!
Pathway to Licensure
- Employment Counselling
- Job Search workshops on-site and online
- Practice Interviews
- Work Placements
- Professional Mentors
- Career Pathways Loan Fund
Useful Links & Resources
- Nova Scotia Association of Architects (NSAA)
- Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB)
- Architecture Canada
- For background information on the practice of Architecture
- American Institute of Architecture
- Dalhousie Department of Architecture & Planning
- Canadian Architect Journal
For more information please contact
Read Yonathan Ayalew’s Story: A Personal Experience with the BEFA Program
My name is Yonathan Melaku Ayalew and I am from Ethiopia. I have a BSs Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Addis Ababa University. I had been practising architecture for seven years before I arrived in Canada in 2006.
Once in Canada, I started working as an architectural technologist and gaining Canadian working experience which allowed me to learn how construction, code requirements and other standards are observed in Canada. I heard about BEFA in October 2011 through one of the partners in the office where I am currently employed.
The self-assessment process enabled me to identify my strengths and weaknesses even though in some instances I found it difficult to evaluate myself.
Following my first BEFA interview in April 2012, I was recommended to complete post-interview remedial actions in order to meet all requirements to be eligible for licensure in Canada. I followed the recommendations of the Assessment Panel and was able to present proof for successful completion of the remedial actions by January 2013. I was interviewed a second time in February and registered with the Nova Scotia Architectural Association in March 2013.
It is important to note during the interview process, I was given the chance to speak about every detail regarding my working experience which the supporting documentation cannot reflect.
My advice to newcomers would be to start looking for a job as soon as possible as finding one is the most difficult thing. It is important to start gaining Canadian working experience even if it is in a position such as an architectural technologist or draftsperson to learn the aspects of practising architecture in Canada. I would also advise that foreign-trained architects familiarize themselves with the Canadian Handbook of Practice.