Tips for an effective application

Below are some tips on how to be well prepared to undertake the BEFA Application’s phases:

1- ELIGIBILITY PHASE

Submit an application via BEFA Online Application Tool, enclosing scanned supporting documentation for your eligibility including:

  1. Electronic copy of the proof of architectural education;
  2. Electronic copy of the proof of either licensure/registration in a jurisdiction outside Canada or the equivalents to registration/licensure in that /those jurisdiction(s); and
  3. Detailed resume.

Send certified true copies of the originals of eligibility supporting documentation via mail or courier, as follows:

  • Certified true copy of the proof of architectural education, and
  • Certified true copy of the proof of either licensure/registration in a jurisdiction outside Canada or the equivalents to registration/licensure in that /those jurisdiction(s)

If the documents listed above are not in English or French, a certified true copy of an official translation for each document is also required. The institution which issued the original document, or a lawyer or notary may certify the true copies. If you are unable to provide certified true copies of the required document, a statutory declaration will be considered. A lawyer or notary can provide this service in all provinces and territories. If you are located in the Province of Ontario when swearing the statutory declaration, a Commissioner of Oaths may also provide this service.  Please forward the documents via mail or courier to this address:                Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 710
Ottawa (Ontario) K1N 7B7  Canada

Please be sure to include your BEFA file number with each documentation package you send.

2- SELF-ASSESSMENT PHASE

  • Read carefully the Self-Assessment Guide to understand the self-assessment process ad the submission requirements.
  • Complete the Project Resume template to reflect the projects you are planning to use for the self-assessment.
  • Remember that at the self-assessment stage, you can include as many projects as you want to illustrate that you possess the 12 competencies. However, at the interview, you are allowed to bring only three (3) projects among the projects used for the self-assessment as well.
  • Submit projects that clearly demonstrate your compliance with the 12 competency areas. It is mandatory to include at least one Canadian project to demonstrate that you meet the Canadian experience requirements as you will be questioned about it at the interview.
  • While you are working on the templates, remember to avoid general statements in your explanations. Describe what your personal involvement was – not what the team or the Architectural firm did but rather what you did – and give concrete examples, referencing the supporting documents in order to ensure an effective submission.
  • Avoid ”copy and paste” from the sources.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

3- INTERVIEW PHASE

The interview is the final step of the BEFA Program. It is, to a large extent, similar to an oral exam. It is intended to further examine the candidates’ file so that the Assessors can obtain all necessary clarifications on their experiences and knowledge, and to better understand their degree of familiarity with areas of practice and / or regulation of the practice of the profession in Canada.

Candidates are invited by the same three Assessors who have reviewed their documentation to a 2-hour interview to answer questions and provide concrete examples of their work experience related to the 12 Competency Areas of Practice identified in the Canadian Architecture Standards of Practice.  At the end of the interview, the Assessors may decide that the candidate:
• does not demonstrate sufficient competence, in which case the BEFA certification will be denied; or
• does not demonstrate compliance with the standard of competence in one or more areas, in which case corrective action will be required; or
• demonstrates compliance with the standard of competence, in which case the BEFA certification of will be granted.

How to Prepare for the Interview

Before the interview:

  • review and read all the 12 competency areas of your file submission in order to reinforce your self-evaluation and the arguments written in their narrative section. This will help you to be prepared to explain your skills and competencies, and to answer specific questions about your own experience in regard to each of the 12 Competency Areas;
  • become familiar (if not already) with the National Building Code of Canada and the Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architecture (CHOP);
  • read the success stories on our website of successful BEFA candidates;
  • prepare in decipherable paper format the documentation requested by the Assessors; electronic documents are not accepted: a maximum of three projects among the initial submission are allowed to be brought; and
  • print documentation at a maximum size of 11″ x 17″ (A3). This is big enough to discuss general arrangement drawings but small enough to be carried and discussed at the interview table.

The day of the interview

  • ensure to bring the requested documents by the Assessors;
  • arrive at least 10 minutes in advance;
  • bring projects that will demonstrate and confirm your competency;
  • stay calm, listen to questions and make sure you understand them;
  • clearly answer questions and give / cite examples of your own involvement and experience and identify them on the projects you brought with you.