Our Work

When people think about the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards—or NCARB, as we are better known, they often think about the programs that we administer. Programs like the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) are a big part of what we do, but we do so much more.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies.

Architectural Experience Program

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture. [more]

Architect Registration Examination

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. [more]


NCARB certification facilitates reciprocal registration among all of the U.S. registration boards and Canadian jurisdictions. [more]


With "reciprocity," a registered architect in one jurisdiction can apply for registration in another jurisdiction by presenting documentation (or having NCARB process and present documentation) that he/she meets that jurisdiction's registration requirements. [more]


A degree in architecture provides the foundation in architectural knowledge and process. A professional degree in architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) will satisfy the NCARB education requirements for certification. [more]

Broadly Experienced Architect Program

Architects who do not hold a professional architecture degree from a NAAB-accredited architecture program are eligible to apply for an NCARB Certificate through the BEA program. [more]

Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Program

Foreign registered architects are eligible to apply for an NCARB Certificate through the BEFA Program. [more]


The NCARB Award encourages and supports the creation and implementation of new ideas and methods in an effort to help architecture programs initiate academic activities that will have a long-term, on-going impact on the integration of practice and education. [more]

NCARB Monographs

NCARB produces a variety of publications each year about our programs, important architectural issues, and licensing standards. Additionally, there are 25 titles in the monograph series that explores everything from sustainable design to fire safety in buildings to professional conduct to post-occupancy evaluation. All learning units are Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) and Sustainable Design (SD) units. [more]

International Practice

NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada. We are also administer the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Architects program in the United States. [more]

Practice Analysis

Every five to seven years, NCARB surveys the profession to determine the knowledge and skills necessary to practice architecture independently and protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare. The study is then used to determine future developments to the ARE, AXP, continuing education policies, and NCARB’s contribution to NAAB’s Accreditation Review Conference (ARC). [more]

Related Publications


ARE Guidelines
Updated November 2016! The ARE 4.0 Guidelines is essential reading for anyone preparing for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). The document includes an overview of the exam divisions as well as the exam program, the rolling clock, exam eligibility, and five steps to taking and completing the ARE.

Download (PDF, 2,721K)


The BEA Program
An easy-to-use reference brochure outlining the process to apply for NCARB certification through the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program.

Download (PDF, 187K)

Related Content

NCARB by the Numbers (2012)
Get the inside scoop on key trends in the architectural profession. Published July 2012