NCARB Leaders Help U.S.-based Architects Pursue Professional Opportunities in Pacific Rim Economies

Washington, DC—Leaders from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) represented the regulatory interests of U.S. jurisdictions during the most recent gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Mexico City, Mexico. Fourteen APEC member economies were on hand to conclude the implementation phase of the APEC Architect initiative.

The APEC Architect project provides a framework that will facilitate the mobility of architects who wish to offer their services throughout the Pacific Rim region. Currently, 14 of the 21 APEC member economies are participating in the project. (They are Australia; Canada; the People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; the Republic of the Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; and the U.S.)

Since 2001, NCARB leaders—including current President H. Carleton Godsey, FAIA, of Louisville, Kentucky, current First Vice President Robert E. Luke, AIA, of Meridian, Mississippi, Executive Vice President Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA, and Director of Education and International Services Michiel M. Bourdrez, AIA—have worked to improve the mobility of architectural credentials both nationally and globally. NCARB’s contributions to the APEC Architect project are firmly rooted in such efforts.

The development of the APEC Architect project is directly related to APEC’s primary objective, which is to reduce trade barriers among its member economies. First initiated by the Australian government in 2001, the project has steadily gained momentum as it works toward reducing “unnecessary obstacles” for architects who practice in Pacific Rim economies.

One of the primary resources associated with the project is the APEC Architect Register, which went live in the Fall of 2004. Architects who qualify for the Register have met agreed-upon standards of professional competence that comprise architectural education, practical training, professional examination, and professional experience.

Ultimately, each member economy participating in the APEC Architect project will provide a web site for its section of the Register database. At this time, 10 of the 14 economies have their databases online. (See page 2 for web site links.)

According to APEC leadership, the establishment of the APEC Architect Project and its Architect Register “has been made possible by the willingness of participants to learn about and understand the structure and standards of the architectural profession in other economies, to recognize the needs of those involved, and to work together to find acceptable solutions when differences arose. It has been a significant achievement.”

As the provider of credential certification, processing, and transmittal in the United States, NCARB serves as the primary representative in APEC-related initiatives. NCARB will continue to provide oversight of the negotiating, processing, and adjudication necessary for the holding and keeping of the U.S. portion of the APEC Architect Register. The American Institute of Architects is a US partner with NCARB on the project and fills the important role of promoting the APEC Architect Project to the profession.

U.S.-based architects who meet APEC’s standards of professional competence are encouraged to apply for inclusion on the Architect Register. This qualification, which requires NCARB certification, will help to streamline the registration process when they seek professional opportunities in APEC member economies.

Visit the NCARB web site for more information about the APEC Architect project and the APEC Architect Register.