Certification and Reciprocity

The NCARB certification often expedites reciprocity—the process through which one can offer his or her professional services in different jurisdictions after earning an initial license.

Certification Overview

Certification Overview
NCARB certification facilitates reciprocal registration among all 54 NCARB Member Boards, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, and can be used to support an application for registration in other countries.

The Value of an NCARB Certificate

Value of an NCARB Certificate
An NCARB Certificate means you have met the highest professional standards established by the registration boards responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Standard Path to Certification

Standard Path
The most straight forward path to certification involves earning a NAAB- or CACB-accredited degree, completing the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), and receiving an initial license from a state registration board.

Alternate Paths to Certification

Alternate Paths
If you didn’t complete one of the standard steps to certification before you received your initial license, you may be able earn the NCARB Certificate through your experience.

Reciprocity Overview

Reciprocity Overview
In terms of architectural registration, reciprocity is when a registered architect in one jurisdiction applies for registration in another jurisdiction by presenting documentation that he or she meets that jurisdiction's registration requirements.

International Practice

International Practice
NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada, and is engaged in similar discussions with additional countries including Mexico. We are also the administrator of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Architects (APEC) program in the United States.


A NAAB or CACB-accredited professional degree is a standard requirement for most U.S. registration boards. If you do not have a degree from an accredited program, you may have your degree evaluated by EESA.

NCARB Certification Guidelines
One Architect's Story:
The Broadly Experienced Architect Program
Rutkowski-Hanks completed the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program in early 2012 in order to get NCARB certified and advance her career. As managing principal at Korte Design, Darlene Rutkowski-Hanks oversees all design and management aspects of the three offices located in St. Louis, MO; Highland, IL; and Las Vegas, NV. Her primary focus is business development, contract negotiation, schematic design, and team management. [more]

Darlene Rutkowski-Hanks, NCARB, AIA, DBIA, LEED AP BD+C
Certification Fees

Find out the fees associated with earning and maintaining an NCARB Certificate.

Click here

Start Your Career
FARB Look Up a License