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Application for entry in the list of architects as an autodidact

The professional title "architect", "interior designer", "landscape architect" and "urban planner" may only be used by those who are entered under the respective title in the list of architects of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Architects, the corresponding directory in another federal state or the directory of external service providers. The same applies to word combinations with one of the job titles or similar designations. The relevant regulations can be found in particular in § 1 of the Lower Saxony Architects Act (NArchtG).

In this way, in order to protect consumers, it is ensured that only sufficiently qualified planners carry out the profession and that they comply with certain professional rules. However, such protection of the professional title makes it necessary for the Chamber of Architects to require those to be registered to provide proof of their qualifications.

Persons without a corresponding university degree can also be entered in the list of architects as architects, interior designers, landscape architects or urban planners (§ 8 para. 1 NArchtG) if they meet the following requirements in particular:

  • at least 7 years of subject-related professional experience under the supervision of a professional
  • Submission of own work
  • Taking a college-level performance exam

Entry in the list of architects in accordance with § 8 para. 1 NArchtG requires, among other things, that you can prove the acquisition of professional/practical knowledge and skills by means of a performance test that is at least equivalent to the completion of a university education in terms of its requirements. The assessment is conducted by at least three members of the registration committee who are professors at a higher education institution. Participation in such a performance test is mandatory.

The performance test consists of a written part, which can be supplemented by an oral part. The written performance test consists of the following parts:

  • Design and design; Processing time 8 hours
  • engineering and construction; Processing time: 6 hours
  • construction and planning law; Processing time 2 hours
  • Execution of construction; Processing time 2 hours

By registering, you become a member of the Chamber. In the case of architects, membership is associated with the authorisation to submit building documents in accordance with § 53 (3) No. 1 of the Lower Saxony Building Code (NBauO).

Type of employment

Entry in the list of architects takes place depending on your activity in one of the following four types of employment:

  • self-employed
  • active in the construction industry
  • employed
  • Civil servant

Process flow

An application for registration must be submitted in writing or online using the form provided. The supporting documents mentioned under "Required documents" must be attached to the application.

The procedure is essentially regulated in § 12 NArchtG


Registration requirements

Registration according to § 8 para. 1 NArchtG is possible under the following conditions:

- The applicant has been engaged in professional practice for at least seven years under the supervision of a professional in the field for which registration is sought,

- the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and competences required for the performance of the professional tasks according to § 2 paras. 1 to 5 NArchtG is proven

(a) by submitting their own work and by means of documents showing the duration of the activity and the practical knowledge, experience and skills acquired in the process, and

b) by subsequently passing an achievement test, the requirements of which correspond to the requirements for the completion of the respective course of study pursuant to § 6 (1) no. 1 NArchtG .

Performance Testing Details

Specialization in Architecture

The performance test consists of a written part, which can be supplemented by an oral part. The written performance test consists of the following parts: 

Design and design; Processing time 8 hours

To be worked on is a design task, which includes the mastery of a differentiated spatial program. The design of a multi-storey "hybrid" building (e.g. residential and administrative building) including urban planning aspects is to be developed. Building law and organisational criteria are taken into account. It is expected that functional, technical and aesthetic interactions will be recognized and reflected in the building design.


  • Sketchy building mass study (representation in spatial sketches)
  • Plans
  • Slice
  • Views
  • Conception of facilities


  • Housing standards
  • Neufert Building Design Theory

engineering and construction; Processing time: 6 hours

From the comprehensive range of services of the execution-oriented elaboration of specified design concepts, questions on shell construction work (masonry and skeleton construction) and on finishing work (heavy/light construction) have to be dealt with. This includes solutions for structural design. Furthermore, questions about technical building equipment (heating, ventilation, sanitary installation, electrical installation, gas and water supply, sewage and rainwater disposal) must be answered. In addition, sufficient knowledge of building materials science, building physics (heat and sound insulation) and fire protection must be demonstrated.


  • Sketchy and graphic representations of constructive cuts
  • Textual descriptions
  • Approximate calculations


  • Relevant standards
  • Construction Table Books
  • Relevant literature on the above-mentioned topics

construction and planning law; Processing time 2 hours

Knowledge of the basics of public construction law is expected, which is oriented towards the general questions of working on a design task. Skills must be demonstrated to apply the knowledge described above in the complex context of architecture-related planning of construction projects, with special attention to urban planning law, building regulations including monument protection and the associated administrative procedures.


  • Textual descriptions (answers) to individual questions (exam tasks)
  • If necessary, sketchy and graphic additions to the above answers


Text editions of the above regulations (e.g. BauGB, BauNVO, NBauO incl. DVO, NDSchG) 

Execution of construction; Processing time 2 hours

Knowledge of private construction law must be demonstrated, which is oriented towards the general issues relating to the implementation of a construction project. Knowledge is expected in particular of the basics of the law on contracts for work and services as well as the general basics of construction site organisation and process planning and cooperation with the client.

Knowledge of the principles of the German Civil Code (BGB) and VOB, HOAI, basic knowledge of public procurement law (VOB/A, VgV) etc. as well as their practical application in the execution of construction is expected, as well as knowledge of the basic features of contractual relationships between client and contractor; the law on work and service contracts in accordance with the German Civil Code (BGB), forms of business use, liability risks and procedural disputes.


  • Textual descriptions (answers) to individual questions (exam tasks)
  • If necessary, sketchy and graphic additions to the above answers


  • Text editions of the above regulations

The aids mentioned in the explanatory notes to the application as well as a drawing board for DIN A 2 and drawing device, drawing and sketch paper as well as writing paper must be brought by the participant.

Specializations Interior Design, Landscape Architecture or Urban Planning

The above remarks on the performance examination in the field of architecture apply mutatis mutandis.

Which documents are required?

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

All documents in non-German language must be accompanied by a translation, which must be certified by a publicly appointed and sworn translator.

  • Practical experience:
  • Certificate(s) from members of the profession in the respective discipline stating that the applicant has worked under supervision for at least 7 years in a specialty-related professional practice.
  • Submission of own work Planning documents for usually at least 7 objects (design plans – scale 1 : 100) as well as at least 2 execution and detail drawings for one object (scale 1 : 50 or 1 : 20)
  • Curriculum vitae and certificates of education and professional career

Type of employment

  • The type of freelance employment must be proven by a certificate from the tax advisor, the tax office or the office partner(s).
  • The type of employment employed is proven by a certificate from the employer. Unemployed applicants submit a certificate from the Employment Agency, if applicable, a copy of the approval notice.
  • Civil servant applicants submit a copy of their certificate of appointment and a current certificate from the employer stating the nature of the activity.
  • Applicants active in the construction industry submit a business registration or an excerpt from the commercial register with a list of shareholders.

For freelance applicants

Proof of continuous liability insurance (see section 4 of the application)


Registration requires that the applicant has a place of residence or a professional establishment in Lower Saxony or that he or she exercises the profession in Lower Saxony in whole or in part, but not only temporarily and occasionally (Section 5 (1) No. 1 NArchtG).

What are the fees?

Registration fee: 1,585.00 EUR

If you do not use the fully electronic application procedure including the online payment function, please attach a receipt to your registration application, e.g. a printout of the transfer to online banking about the payment. The bank details are:

Nord/LB Hannover: BIC NOLADE2HXXX-IBAN: DE55 2505 0000 0101 4747 81

Commerzbank Hannover: BIC COBADEFFXXX - IBAN: DE97 2504 0066 0338 8345

The following payment methods are possible online:

  • Credit card

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

There are no deadlines to be observed.


Possibility of filing a lawsuit before the Administrative Court of Hanover

What else should I know?

Technically approved by

Chamber of Architects of Lower Saxony.

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)