NCARB Kicks Off Bilateral Accord With China

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards is pleased to officially roll out its Bilateral Accord for Practice in a Host Nation with China’s National Administration Board of Architectural Registration (NABAR). The Accord represents the first phase of a Mutual Cooperation Agreement signed in Beijing in 1999 and later ratified by NCARB’s member boards in 1999.

Under guidelines established by the Mutual Cooperation Agreement, both countries have been determining equivalencies in their educational, training and examination standards. Once such equivalencies are in place, NCARB and NABAR will negotiate the terms of a full Mutual Recognition Agreement—the long-standing goal of cooperative exchanges between the countries since the early 1990s.

The Bilateral Accord provides an interim measure that enables a “foreign” architect, whether U.S. or Chinese, to practice architecture under specified conditions and “in affiliation with a local architect.” Its successful implementation is most evident in the growing number of architects applying for inclusion on a roster for foreign architects established by each country.

Inclusion on the roster is the first step for architects seeking permission to practice in either the U.S. or China. Currently, 17 NCARB Certificate holders and 10 NABAR Class 1 architects have applied for places on their respective rosters. Both NCARB and NABAR will publish updated rosters in January of each year.

NCARB continues to recognize the globalization of architectural practice. In addition to its Mutual Cooperation Agreement and Bilateral Accord with China, the Council has ratified a Full Mutual Eecognition Agreement with Canada and, more recently, ratified a Protocol for Practice in a Host Nation with the Czech Republic.