Sustainability and Indigenous engagement at the forefront of priorities

All registered architects in Australia must maintain a certain skill set and knowledge base to practice. This is set out by the AACA and is called the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA). The NSCA also guides the architectural education and assessment framework. 

With one set of standards guiding the profession so closely, they must reflect contemporary architecture practice.
Every five years the NSCA is reviewed, this review process was completed recently and was revised to include two key priorities that were previously overlooked – sustainability and Indigenous engagement. 
The performance criteria that reflect Indigenous engagement are of particular importance. Upon reviewing the updated NSCA there are some important takeaways:
- Indigenous engagement shouldn’t just happen once at the start of a project, it should occur throughout, from conception through to the completion and inhabitation of the project. 
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Listening and consistent, respectful communication is key to understanding what specific communities value and need. 
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples hold very important knowledge that can lead to exciting and respectful architectural outcomes. 
What do you think of the updates to the NSCA?