Architecture (ARCH) 645

Architectural Practice in Canada (Revision 1)

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture program, or referral from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) for individuals with a professional degree in architecture from a university outside Canada.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

Program: Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture

ARCH 645 is not available for challenge. Credit may be transferred for previous work considered equivalent.

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Note: For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma. Information about the RAIC Syllabus Diploma is available on the RAIC website.


The course is intended for students in the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma program in Architecture, or for those international architecture graduates referred by the CACB. It examines both the theoretical and practical aspects of architectural practice in Canada.

The student will become familiar with the various stakeholders involved in the design and construction of buildings (such as builders, authorities having jurisdiction, consultants, owners and clients) and their relationship to the architect. The course includes the current context in which architects practice and the laws and regulations that govern that practice in Canada, but also looks to the future and the position of the architect in society and around the globe.


  • Unit 1 - The Legal Context (Part I)
  • Unit 2 - The Legal Context (Part II)
  • Unit 3 - The Ethical Context
  • Unit 4 - The Construction Industry as Context
  • Unit 5 - The Regulatory Context
  • Unit 6 - The Architect and Sustainable Design
  • Unit 7 - The Architect as Leader Beyond the Building Project
  • Unit 8 - Architectural Practice around the World
  • Unit 9 - Forms of Architectural Practice in Canada
  • Unit 10 - Architecture as a Career Path

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to achieve the following objectives:

  • Explain the general purpose and content of the Architects Act and its regulations of the jurisdiction in which the student works;
  • Apply Codes of Ethics in everyday practice;
  • Express a personal conviction on the role of the architect in society;
  • Nurture appropriate professional relationships and administer the contractual role of the architect with others in the design and construction industry;
  • Apply building codes, standards and other regulations to the design and construction of buildings;
  • Know how architectural practices may be organized and follow the regulations governing the formation of a practice;
  • Recognize potential new leadership roles for architects.


In order to pass ARCH 645, you must complete four assignments and one examination. Each assignment and examination is worth 20% of your grade in the course. The minimum pass mark for every assignment and examination is 50%. It should be noted that students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 or greater. This means that, while a mark of 60% would constitute a pass in the course, marks of 67% or greater are required for students who wish to pursue registration or licensing in architecture.

Final Exam

The exam will consist of 10 questions to be answered in short-essay format. It will cover material from the study questions, readings, and activities in each unit of the Study Guide. You will have a maximum of four hours to write this open-book, invigilated exam.

Note: Students are responsible for making arrangements for invigilation of their final exam. See the Student Manual for details on all aspects of examination.

Your instructor will facilitate online activities and grade the assignments.

Course Materials

Architecture 645: Architectural Practice in Canada is taught using a combination of print and digital material, online resources, and instructor support.


Hobbs, J. The Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects (CHOP), Volumes 1 & 2, 2nd edition. Ottawa: RAIC, 2009. (eText)

Other Materials

The Building Code from the jurisdiction in which you work.

Internship in Architecture Manual, 2nd Ed., 2001 (obtainable from provincial or territorial associations).

Note: You will be responsible for obtaining the following two documents yourself:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, February 23, 2011.

Updated May 06 2016 by Student & Academic Services