National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Resolution Designed to Improve IDP Training Reporting

Washington, DC—The Intern Development Program (IDP) has long been considered an integral part of the process for emerging professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to practice architecture. For several years the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has been studying ways to create a better training experience for interns. At the NCARB Annual Meeting and Conference later this month, the 54 Members Boards will vote on Resolution 2008-07 Handbook for Interns and Architects Amendment – Reporting Requirement for IDP Training Units, which addresses both how and when interns report their training units in the
future. The resolution is intended to make every internship experience more constructive and valuable.

In tandem with the proposed resolution, the implementation of electronic employment verification and training unit reporting is part of a re-engineering of NCARB’s record system and customer interface. These changes are essential to improving customer service and will ultimately shorten processing times.

Moving forward with Resolution 2008-07—if passed—is dependent on a “fully tested and operational” online reporting system. The system will be tested by groups of interns and representatives from the National Associates Committee (NAC) and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). NCARB anticipates online reporting will be in place by the end of 2008, which will give all interns a chance to become familiar with the online reporting system prior to the implementation of the reporting time limit.

Resolution 2008-07—also known as “The Six-Month Rule”—is designed to improve both the accuracy of reporting and the overall IDP experience, as well as reduce the amount of time it takes to complete IDP. By documenting training hours every few months (with six months as the maximum), interns and supervisors can review progress made and develop a plan for acquiring training in the remaining areas. This should help prevent an intern from being surprised by falling short of required training units at the end of his or her internship.

Resolution 2008-07 will be phased in. It requires interns establishing a new NCARB Record on or after 1 July 2009 to submit training reports of no more than six-months duration by submitting a form within two months of the end of such reporting period. On 1 July 2010, the “Six-Month Rule” will apply to all interns.

A key element of Resolution 2008-07 deals with the ability to report online. If due to unforeseen circumstances the online reporting system is not fully operational by 31 December 2008, the implementation of the “Six-Month Rule” for new interns will be delayed until six months after the date it becomes fully operational. The timing for implementing the reporting requirement for all other interns will also be delayed.

It is important to note that once an intern files a report for the period in question, the time taken to get a supervisor’s signature, correct errors, or provide supplementary information requested by NCARB will not affect the validity of the report or the training units eventually accepted. And, a provision has been made to accommodate a reasonable extension of the two-month filing period in circumstances where filing is prevented by the birth or adoption of a child, by a serious medical condition, by active duty in military service, or by other like causes.

This resolution is the culmination of more than three years of work by the Committee on the Intern Development Program. Throughout this time, NCARB has had open discussions about the reporting issue with the Intern Development Program Advisory Committee (IDPAC), Member Board Members, Member Board Executives, and interns. NCARB has communicated the different stages of the resolution development to all of its constituents through its print newsletter, Direct Connection; its electronic newsletter, IDP e-news; on its web site; and at its Regional and Annual Meetings. A full scale communications plan has been developed to explain how the resolution impacts all of NCARB’s audiences and will be launched if the resolution passes.

If you have any questions about this resolution or the IDP program, please contact Harry Falconer at 202/454-2235. If you are receiving this information through CACE, please forward it to your State Government Network Representative.

The examples in the Six-Month Rule section explain the basic methodology of the Six-Month Rule by highlighting some extensions that might be requested and describing how these would be handled.