Frequently Asked Questions

How do I buy PALS?

To buy PALS, just click on the flashing BUY NOW button in the top right corner of the PALS home page and follow the instructions. If you already have a membership or user record, please have your login and password details handy. If not, you will need to use the PALS registration form to create one.

What if I want to pay by cheque?

Contact Knowledge Services on (03) 8620 3877 or write to

Do I have to be an Institute member to purchase PALS?

No, but keep in mind that, depending on your graduate level, it may actually cost less to become an Institute member and then purchase PALS than it does to buy PALS as a non-member.

Is it worthwhile becoming a member to get the PALS discount?

Yes. In addition to the other member discounts and benefits, you can buy PALS for $770 instead of $1200. If you are eligible for A+ membership, PALS is discounted even further to $500. For more information view the benefits of membership and member discounts pages on the AIA website.

How do I become a member of the Institute?

To receive a significant discount on the full PALS price, become a member of the Institute. Find out about all the other benefits by clicking here. To join, visit the Membership section on the AIA website.

What does my PALS subscription include?

Your PALS subscription includes three things: a full year's access to the online modules; the opportunity to attend tutorials at your local Chapter; and a full year's personal, convenient, at-home access to Acumen, our practice advisory resource (formerly Advisory Notes). The fifteen online modules have been developed to cover the essential aspects of Australian architectural practice and are cross-referenced with supplementary reading material from Acumen to give you the in-depth knowledge you need. They will continue to act as a valuable resource even after you pass the exam and start out as a registered architect. The face-to-face tutorials are run by experienced practitioners, enhance the online materials and give you an opportunity to clarify questions and participate in discussions with your peers.

Do I have to attend tutorials?

No, tutorials are not compulsory but they are strongly recommended to get the most out of the program. PALS tutorials are the best forum for discussion and interaction with both practising architects and your peers.

When are the tutorials?

Tutorials are scheduled in the lead-up to the registration exams. Please contact your local Chapter, or click here to view tutorial dates, times and locations.

Is there a limit to class sizes? Do I have to register/secure my place at the tutorial?

Yes, depending on the state there may be space limitations so it is important that you call your local Chapter after registering for PALS to secure your place. 

What if I miss a tutorial?

Each Institute Chapter runs a series of four to five tutorials in the lead-up to the exam. Most are flexible in format so it is easy to catch up. Your local Chapter will also be able to tell you if they plan to schedule any supplementary or refresher sessions should the demand arise.

What if I fail the exam? Can I attend the next round of tutorials?

Of course we hope all PALS subscribers will pass, but you may attend the next round of tutorials. However, it is your responsibility to contact your Chapter to arrange this and your access to Acumen.

Do I need to complete all the modules before attending each tutorial?

No, you do not have to complete all fifteen modules at the one time. Each tutorial is set up to cover material from specific modules (eg. 1-3) but this may vary between Chapters, so please check the schedules or contact them for more information. To get the most out of the tutorials, we strongly recommend that you complete the relevant modules and readings prior to attending each session.

What if I can't get to the tutorials?

At this stage PALS only offers tutorials within each Institute Chapter, but the online learning modules and Acumen access have been designed to make available to everyone the tools and resources to prepare for the exam.

What is Acumen?

Acumen is the Institute's online database of architectural practice advisory material. Acumen content is structured under Practice, Project and Resource streams. Each stream enables the user to 'drill down' to the level of information required to satisfy their inquiry. Purchase of the PALS program includes 12 months subscription to Acumen. Each module contains links to supplementary Acumen material on the main topics to give you more in-depth knowledge. Once the PALS module takes you to the relevant Acumen entry, you will need to log in using the same login details you use for PALS.

I have been out of the workforce for three years, is PALS a suitable refresher course for me?

Yes, the PALS modules cover all the essentials of architectural practice so they make an ideal refresher course for architects returning to work.

I have an overseas qualification and would like to know more about Australian practice - is it worthwhile subscribing to PALS?

Yes, because the PALS modules are an excellent, self-paced and easily accessible learning tool for architects and other design professionals who want to familiarise themselves with the essential aspects of Australian architectural practice.

My office already has access to Acumen - can I get a discount on PALS?

No. PALS and Acumen are sold as a fully integrated package that is set up to give you personal, convenient and at-home access.

Can I get a discount if more than one person from my practice buys PALS?

Yes, and the amount will vary according to the number of users. For example, A+ members get approximately 35% off for 2-5 users. Multi-user options are great for larger firms so click here to download the PALS multi-user price options.

How do I set up a multi-user PALS subscription?

Please contact Knowledge Services at, stating the number of users required and your contact details. The person you nominate will then be contacted to begin the registration process.

How do I view my invoice for PALS?

Log into the PALS site with your member id. and password. Click on the "Buy now" button in the top right corner. You should see this message: 

"You have already purchased the PALS program and cannot purchase it again for the 12 month duration for which it is active.
For support, please contact
Click here to view your receipt."

Click on the link in the last line to view your invoice.

My invoice does not show the correct details. What do I do?

Write to with your correct details and we will update it for you.




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