The public is best served by an architect who has an accredited professional degree in architecture, who has completed the Intern Development Program in order to gain practical experience within the profession, and who then completes and passes the Architect Registration Examination. Each of these components adds separately to the process of ensuring that newly registered architects are competent to practice independently. Each of these components, while well developed, is not perfect in and of itself, and it is in combination that they provide for appropriate protection of the public’s health, safety and welfare. The most objectively defensible of the three is the ARE, and some appropriate components of it should be the last qualification before licensure.
In the decades since the sequential concept of education/IDP/ARE was established in the Model Law , much has changed in the education and training of emerging professionals. Notably, with great credit to the Boyer Report, the practice of architecture is better integrated into the academy, and accredited programs today attract among the very best and brightest of university students. While an emerging professional has much yet to learn after graduation from an accredited program, we recognize that some of them may be prepared to begin taking the ARE after acquiring a prerequisite level of practical experience.
NCARB has collected and analyzed considerable data, debated this subject internally and discussed this matter with our collateral colleagues. After these deliberations, it is our conclusion that there is no evidence of increased risk to the health, safety and welfare of the public if a candidate with an accredited professional degree and who is actively engaged in IDP is permitted to begin to start taking divisions of the ARE. The data revealed that only a very small portion of candidates in those jurisdictions that permit the ARE to be taken out of sequence currently choose to do so.
Commencing with adoption of an appropriate resolution to be presented at an Annual Meeting, NCARB will allow candidates to begin taking the Architect Registration Examination at such time as a candidate has completed 250 Intern Development Program Training Units. Because the ARE is the most objectively defensible of the three licensure requirements of education, training and examination, some divisions of the ARE, yet to be determined, likely no more than three, will only be able to be taken following completion of all IDP Training Units. Appropriate grandfathering and transition provisions will be included within the resolution to be presented to an Annual Meeting, likely the 2007 Annual Meeting, after all implementation issues have been resolved. The Board expects to propose a Model Law amendment at the 2006 Annual Meeting that changes NCARB’s current Model Law recommendation (that candidates only be made eligible for taking the ARE after the candidate has completed IDP) to be consistent with the above policy.
NCARB strongly believes that the present differences among the jurisdictions regarding timing for taking the ARE should not be the basis for any Member Board refusing reciprocal licensure to any NCARB Certificate holder.