Our newly qualified Architect

Craig Alexander

“Architectural education typically involves five years of study at university, coupled with a minimum of two years of practical experience in a workplace before you can sit the final exams and interview.

The title of Architect is protected by law; in order to call yourself an Architect you must have completed the above training and have been admitted to the register held by theArchitects Registration Board (ARB) (http://www.arb.org.uk).  Slightly confusingly- the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (https://www.architecture.com) is not responsible for maintaining the register- it is a professional membership body which members can choose to join; it has the remit of “promoting excellence in architecture.”

While the title is protected, the function or activities of an Architect are not; it is quite common for Architectural Designers, Technicians or other consultants to be involved in the design and delivery of building projects. However, the protected title means that the Architect has received a broad education, obviously much time is spent delving into the design and detailing of buildings, but also covering the management of the construction process through the administration of construction contracts, plus a base level of information covering planning policy, building regulations, health and safety and the environmental performance of buildings. As a regulated ‘professional’ title, those on the register are also obliged to practice in accordance with ‘The Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice”.

This obliges Architects to act with honesty and integrity, avoid conflicts of interest, maintain an acceptable level of competence and manage their business properly- including maintaining Professional Indemnity insurance to cover their activities, amongst many other requirements.


I started my studies back in 2006 at the University of Bath; where I completed a BSc in Architecture – known as a ‘Part 1’; the various stages of the process are broken down into three parts, most commonly two degrees and professional Post-Graduate Certificate. This was supplemented by a year out working in Bristol and Yeovil.

I chose to return to Bath in 2011 to complete the ‘Part 2’ a Master’s Degree in Architecture (MArch). This was followed by further professional practice experience. I chose to undertake this work under the banner of my own small practice (with the support and assistance of a qualified Architect) in Bath, which exposed me to a broad range of experiences, from practice administration, marketing, managing projects and supporting clients through the design process, focusing the smaller scale of residential design.

The ‘Part 3’, made up of two written examination papers, submission of a CV and a reflective career evaluation, a 10,000 word write up of a project through all the work stages, from design to on-site supervision and a final interview by a board of two experienced Architects.

The Part 3 requires exposure to as broad a range of experiences, work stages and project types as possible, so following 18 months in a larger practice in Dorset including working on many softwood timber framed buildings, including a Certified Passivhaus, I was fortunate enough to round-off my training by joining the in-house Architectural Design department here at Oakwrights (https://www.oakwrights.co.uk/oakwrights-design-and-build/architectural-design); I have always had an interest in both residential and timber-framed architecture; it provides an adaptable and sustainable way of building.

Being part of a company which combines both traditional craft and technology is undoubtedly very exciting for an Architect; the oak frames introduce another component into the design process. Being part of such a varied in-house team, from Oak Frame and Encapsulation Designers, Estimators and Project Managers, allows the Architectural team to benefit from and integrate their knowledge and experience from the very early stages of a project. I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my skills and being a part of delivering beautiful oak-framed architecture!

Craig Alexander, Architect

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