The Professional Practice Examination

This post is going to be on how Mr Archie (as earlier introduced) is going to do his Professional Practice Examination and become a Qualified Person/Registered Architect.

For now, I link up another blog that has the entire PPE Past Year Exam papers:


Arigatou Gozaimasu!! Whoever you are.

The Professional Practice Examination

This post will cover the process of doing the Professional Practice Examination (PPE). The PPE is regulated by the Board of Architects (BOA). The Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) runs the Professional Practice Course that all candidates will have to attend before they can take the PPE.

There is also a Professional Practice Interview Examination (PPIE) held twice annually in the month of April and October, open to those who have 5-10 years of work experience with a specified number of years or work experience in Singapore (for more information, please have a look at the Architect’s Act (Part IV) or this POST)

The PPE is conducted annually. It comprises the Written Examination (2 Papers) and the Oral Interview. The written examination is usually held in November while the Oral Interview is usually held in January.

A comprehensive guideline can be found HERE. Most of the information comes from the Architect’s Act.

Let’s go back to Archie. He has the following qualifications:

1) Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from NUS

2) Master of Arts in Architecture from NUS

As these qualifications are recognized by the BOA (For more info, please have a look at the Architect’s Act, Part IV, Cl.15 (1)), he can apply to be a PPE Candidate with the Board. Usually, an NUS graduate will graduate in May and find employment in May, June or July. Please apply to be a PPE Candidate by the end of the year (December) if you desire to complete the exam in the least possible time after graduation. Many graduates decide to gain more work experience before taking the exam, this is entirely up to the graduate. This application requires you to fill in the Registration As Professional Practice Examination Candidate and the Agreement to Be the Supervisor and Advisor for PPE Candidate forms. It will cost you $100 for registration (as of August 2016). You have to find a Supervisor (usually an Architect from your own firm who has in force a Practicing Certificate with at least 10 years experience in the industry) and an Advisor (an Architect from another firm with at least 10 years experience in the industry).

All the forms you need for this exam can be found HERE.

When you register for the PPE, you will begin to complete the following items in the next 24 months:

1) Your Log-Sheets (You can purchase a hard copy at the BOA, not certain how much it costs at the moment) Soft copies are available (you can ask me for it at

2) Appendix A – Quarterly Assessment by Supervisor (The method and timing to be determined by your supervisor)

3) Appendix B – Quarterly Assessment by Advisor (The method and timing to be determined by your advisor)

4) Professional Case Study

The architectural graduate must be a PPE Candidate for at least 24 months up to the date of submission for the Professional Case Study in April of the year you take the exam. Thus, if you register in December 2016, you can log in Jan, Feb, March 2017 (Submission to BOA on April 2017); Apr, May, June 2017 (Submission to BOA on July 2017); July, Aug, Sept 2017 (Submission to BOA on October 2017); Oct, Nov, Dec 2017 (Submission to BOA on Jan 2018); Jan, Feb, March 2018 (Submission to BOA on April 2018); Apr, May, June 2018 (Submission to BOA on July 2018); July, Aug, Sept 2018 (Submission to BOA on October 2018); Oct, Nov, Dec 2018 (Submission to BOA on Jan 2019). This would be 24 months of logs up to the Professional Case Study Submission in April 2019. The latest you can sign up would be in April 2016, where your final Log-Sheet Submission to BOA will be in April 2019 with your case study, but it might be a bit apoplexic and it is better to stress yourself out a bit less in this industry. You can then apply to take the exam (The BOA will send you a letter sometime after you submit the Case Study/6 months before the exam) in November 2019.


The log-sheets are meant to record the experience the PPE Candidate undergoes during the 24 months of professional training. PPE Candidates who log-in less than 24 months of practical experience in Singapore are required to submit an overseas log bok as proof of his practical experience in another country. The log-books must be endorsed by the Supervisor and Advisor.

Professional Case Study

The Professional Case Study can cover the following Categories:


CAT.pngThe reason for the Professional Case Study is for the Candidate to thoroughly understand the project which he/she is running. It helps the Candidate to take note of each stage of the project and document their learning experience on the way. It encourages deep thinking and learning; also it helps the Candidate to make better judgment calls in their projects in the future.

More comprehensive information on the Professional Case Study can be found in the document General Information for PPE Candidates on the BOA Website under Forms.

The Written Paper

There are two components to the Written Paper:

1) Law and the Architect (Tenderly called the ‘Codes’ Paper) Paper 1

2) Professional Practice (Also known as the ‘Contracts’ Paper) Paper 2

Law and the Architect

Comprehensive coverage of the scope of syllabus can be found in the document General Information for PPE Candidate.

This paper is called the ‘Codes’ Paper because most of the questions will come from the Codes and Regulations from the various Authorities that a Building Professional will have to comply with in the design of a building. To succeed in this paper, you need theoretical and if possible, working and practical knowledge of the URA Development Guidelines, The GFA Guidelines, The Fire Code, The Building Accessibility Code, The Vehicular Parking Code etc. You also need to have read and understood the Architect’s Act, various evolving Singapore Statutes relevant to the profession, the Planning Act, The Building Control Act. You also need to understand the submission procedures required by each and every one of these departments, as well as the timelines required for submission in the course of a project.

Paper 1 consists of 4 Questions, the first is usually a set of 10 MCQs and the rest will be written questions. Grading shall be 100 marks.

Professional Practice

Comprehensive coverage of the scope of syllabus can be found in the document General Information for PPE Candidate.

This paper is called the ‘Contracts Paper’ because most of the questions will be testing the candidate’s knowledge and working understanding of the various forms of building contract and it’s administration. In addition to that, the candidate should understand the Architect’s Rules, various rules published by the SIA, Administration of an Archiect’s Office etc.

Paper 2 consists of 4 Questions, the first is usually a set of 10 MCQs and the rest will be written questions. Grading shall be 100 marks.

The Oral Interview

Candidates who passed the written examinations 1 & 2 shall be called for an interview usually in January the next year. If the candidate did not pass Paper 1 or 2, they will not be called for the interview.

The Oral Interview is part of the exam and it is possible to fail the interview if the examiners do not feel that the candidate has the right amount of experience to be a Qualified Person. If the candidate fails the interview, he/she just needs to go for the interview again the next year, there is no need to resit Paper 1&2.

Usually the interview will cover the Case Study and the Log Book. It may also ask the candidate how they fared in the Written Papers and how they could improve upon it. It also gauges the candidate’s attitude toward the profession as well as their desire to contribute to society as an Architect. The interview may also have to speak about the mentoring process undergone with their Supervisor and Advisor and how they have gained from the mentoring process.

Qualified Person

Once you have passed the Written Exams and the Oral Interview, the BOA will inform you of your pass and appoint you a Registration Number.

You can then apply for a Practicing Certificate usually in May of the year

4 years after Graduation, Archie can become a Registered Architect who has in force a Practicing Certificate under the BOA.

To all who have completed this process, hats off. You have my respect. It was a long process, it wasn’t easy, and the way ahead will be harder.


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