NCARB Board Prepares to Update Strategic Plan

September 2012 NCARB Board of Directors Meeting

On September 19-22, NCARB President Ron Blitch, FAIA, NCARB led the Board of Directors through three full days of presentations and discussions on critical initiatives. Significant time was spent on three key areas: the Strategic Plan Update, the first look at the raw Practice Analysis data, and the future of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

BOD General Business
Updating the Strategic Plan

  • The Board discussed fine-tuning the current Strategic Plan with its consultants at McKinley Advisors.
  • The existing plan was reviewed through a filter of three modes of board governance: “fiduciary,” “strategic,” and “generative.”
  • Previous Long-Range Strategic Initiatives were repositioned into the body of the plan.
  • Some of the plan’s topics were moved into “themes” that permeate the entire plan, such as “agility,” “service,” and “sustainability.”
  • Next steps involve staff development of action plans and proposed measures, review of the plan at the November Member Board Chairs/Member Board Executives Conference, and final approval by the Board at their December meeting.

Practice Analysis

  • Erica Brown, Director, ARE, and Stephen Nutt, Senior Architect and Advisor presented a preliminary look at the initial Practice Analysis data.
  • They reviewed elements of the data collection process, demographic information regarding the responders, and the path forward for analyzing the data at the committee level.
  • 7,902 surveys were included in analysis, and approximately two million data points of information were collected.
  • The data will be used by NCARB committees to:
    • Inform the Council’s position at the National Architectural Accreditation Board’s 2013 Accreditation Review Conference.
    • Review the Intern Development Program’s experience areas.
    • Inform how education and internship could be further blended.
    • Review the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) test specification.
    • Review continuing education subject areas.

Architect Registration Examination

  • This summer, a staff “ARE Research Team” was formed to look into the feasibility of several options for the next generation of the ARE, taking into account timelines, cost, and ability to meet the objectives for the ARE.
  • The team presented its first report to the Board, and sought guidance on areas needing further research or explanation.
  • The Board asked the team to enlarge their scope to take into account variables around the number of sections, items, and vignettes.
  • The research will also be blended with Practice Analysis data and ongoing “blue-sky discussions,” plus the work of the ARE Research and Development Subcommittee, to fully inform discussions around the eventual design of future versions of the ARE.
  • Next steps will include outreach to Member Boards and the development of a standing committee to provide advice toward future ARE development.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Treasurer Dennis Ward reviewed the Board of Director’s fiduciary responsibilities in relation to the budget and long-term and short-term investments.
  • Ward’s report indicated that in FY12 the Council brought in an income above the projected budget due to a combination of more interns signing up for a Record and a great response to the spring 2012 “Welcome Back” campaign for lapsed NCARB Certificate and architect Record holders.
  • Surplus funds were used to keep the Council’s operating and short-term reserve funds within their target range and to expedite critical improvements related to customer support.

CEO Update Highlights
NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong gave the Board updates regarding ongoing activities relating to programs and stakeholders:

  • The Council is gearing up to transition to a new exam vendor partnership.
  • In August, the Board approved new opportunities for the IDP. The Board decided to remove the 930-hour cap for academic internships and approved construction work for elective hours.
  • Armstrong and Director, Council Relations Kathy Hillegas have visited 17 jurisdictions to date through the Member Board Outreach program. In September, they visited Delaware, Iowa, Maine, and Massachusetts. Jurisdictions currently scheduled for October include Wisconsin, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
  • On October 1, a second “Welcome Back” campaign will launch for inactive Record and Certificate holders. The campaign will waive past renewal fees. You can learn more about this campaign [here].


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.


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Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors consists of 12 architects, one public member, and one executive from a Member Board.

Our Work
NCARB's primary function is to design tools and model procedures for jurisdictions to apply to their regulation of the path to licensure. NCARB maintains records for its 54 jurisdictional boards, providing services to architects and interns as key stakeholders.