What is some information about architecture

become a member

In order to be able to work as an architect, interior designer, landscape architect or urban planner, you have to become a member of the NRW Chamber of Architects. Otherwise you are not allowed to use the job title "architect", "interior designer", "landscape architect" or "urban planner" in word combinations and similar designations. This is regulated by the Building Chamber Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (BauKaG NRW).

Your advantages as a member of the NRW Chamber of Architects:

  • Protection of the job title
  • Representation of interests in politics, economy and administration
  • Service, information and advice in the areas of law, architecture, technology and business start-ups
  • Further and advanced training with the academy of the NRW Chamber of Architects (with up to 200 seminars per semester)
  • Security for old age with the pension scheme of the NRW Chamber of Architects
  • Joint commitment to a lively building culture in North Rhine-Westphalia


You become a member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects by adding it to the list of your specialist area. For an entry, the following requirements must be met, among others:

  • Your main residence, your branch or your place of employment is in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  • You have successfully completed a degree in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture or urban planning with a minimum standard study period of four years.
  • You provide evidence of two years of practical experience, in the course of which practical knowledge and activities in the essential parts of the professional tasks were acquired.
  • They provide evidence of further training measures in the scope of 80 hours of instruction in accordance with the further training regulations of the NRW Chamber of Architects

The two-year practical activity must be proven by submitting own work and work or service references. In the fields of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, practical experience in construction supervision must be proven over a period of at least three months.

As a citizen of another member state of the European Union or another signatory state to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or as a third-country national, you will be entered in the respective list of your subject area upon request if the requirements according to § 4 Paragraph 3 to 5 BauKaG NRW are met

The registration committee of the AKNW decides on the registration. The committee is independent and decides according to its free conviction gained from the course of the entire procedure.

Download application form and practical information:

special cases

In certain cases, there is no need to provide evidence of two years of practical experience and professional development. This is true if you

  • Are or are a teacher of one of the subject areas
  • have the qualification for higher or superior civil engineering administration in the fields of building construction or urban planning, or
  • have the qualification for the higher service landscape and nature conservation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the field of state maintenance or
  • belong or have belonged to the senior service in landscape management and nature conservation.

If you are entered in the list of your specialization in another federal state or your entry has only been deleted because you have changed your main residence, branch or place of employment, you will be entered in the list of your specialization at the AKNW on request, without anyone Re-examination of the entry requirements is required, provided there are no grounds for failure according to § 5 Paragraph 1 to 2 BauKG NRW.

Section 4 (7) BauKG NRW

If you can prove that you have particularly distinguished yourself through the quality of your services in the field of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture or urban planning, you can be entered in the list of your specialist field in accordance with BauKG NRW § 4 Paragraph 7 without the above-mentioned To meet requirements. The registration committee decides on the registration on the basis of an expert opinion.

Fees and membership fees

There is an entry fee of € 260.00 for entry in the list of your subject area. There is a fee of € 450.00 for the entry in accordance with Section 4 (7) BauKG, plus the fee for the preparation of the expert opinion of € 550.00 to € 800.00.

There is a membership fee for membership in the NRW Chamber of Architects. The annual fee is currently for

freelance members313,50 €
salaried or civil servants232,50 €
non-professional members162,50 €

The exact registration requirements can be found in the practical information below for your subject area, the application form or the Building Chamber Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Sections 1-6, 20 and 22.

Professional recognition guideline - BQFG NRW

For applicants who may come under the scope of the Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (BQFG) NRW, the amended version of which came into force on May 14, 2016, special regulations may apply, about which the contact persons listed below will be happy to inform you.

The scope of application of the BQGF is specified in § 2, which includes a. reads:

(1) This Act applies to the determination of the equivalence of training certificates acquired abroad, taking into account other proven professional qualifications and domestic training certificates for professions that are regulated by the legal provisions of the state, unless the corresponding professional regulations of the state with reference to this law determine otherwise . Section 20 also applies to procedures for professions regulated by federal law. Section 10 of the Federal Expellees Act remains unaffected.
(2) This Act is applicable to all persons who have acquired proof of training abroad and who demonstrate that they want to pursue an employment in North Rhine-Westphalia corresponding to their professional qualification.

Since the professional recognition guideline (BARL) has not yet been fully implemented in North Rhine-Westphalia, a claim may arise directly from the BARL. The contact persons listed below will be happy to provide information on this as well.

Skilled Workers Immigration Act (FEG)

The Skilled Workers Immigration Act (FEG), which will come into force on March 1, 2020, enables the competent immigration authorities to issue residence permits to citizens of non-EU countries for the purpose of recognizing foreign professional qualifications (Section 16d AufenthG new version). It should be noted that according to the current legal situation according to the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects, there is no separate procedure for the mere recognition of degrees or for determining the equivalence of professional qualifications at the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects. Rather, only the regular application for chamber membership and thus for entry in the local list of architects can be submitted. The general registration requirements apply for this, in particular the requirement to provide evidence of an existing main residence or place of employment in North Rhine-Westphalia (see requirements for registration PH 1).

Beyond this, persons who have a foreign degree are free to have their comparability with a German degree determined by the Central Office for Foreign Education in the context of a certificate assessment or via a comparison with the anabin database vis-à-vis third parties, such as potential employers, to prove.

In addition, it should be noted that activities in the planning and monitoring of construction projects in Germany are not subject to any statutory reservation of duties under applicable law. Even people who are not members of a German Chamber of Architects and are therefore not authorized to use the professional title “architect” can work in corresponding professional fields. You are only prohibited from using the protected job title. In addition, certain building plans may only be signed by draftsmen with building submission authorization - usually architects.

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Laws and guidelines:

Do you have anymore questions?

We are happy to help you personally or you can also send us an email directly to eintragung (at) aknw.de.

We can also be reached by De-Mail: eintragung (at) aknw.de-mail.de
(Please note that in order to use this e-mail address you have to identify yourself with a certified DE-Mail provider. Further information can be found here).