Member Chairs and Executives Convene to Discuss Common Regulatory Issues

2012 MBC/MBE Conference

13 November 2012

Boston, MA—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards President Ronald B. Blitch, FAIA, NCARB, FACHA, welcomed representatives from 42 of its member registration boards to Boston for the organization’s two-day Member Board Chairs/Member Board Executive Conference. The biennial conference is an opportunity for chairs and the executives to give their input on major strategic initiatives and discuss common legislative issues.

Updating the Strategic Plan
The conference kicked off with review of a proposed update to the organization’s Strategic Plan by President Blitch and consultant Jay Younger from McKinley Advisors, Inc. The current plan was developed with input gathered from Member Boards at various meetings in 2010, and then approved by the Board of Directors in January 2011. It has informed Council activities over the last two years, including development of a continuing education standard and increased engagement with architectural collateral organizations.

“The Strategic Plan was designed to be a living, breathing document,” said Blitch. “We intend to make annual updates in order to remain agile in responding to emerging issues.”

“NCARB is doing a lot of things right today,” said Younger. “Our job is to preserve what is working about the plan and sharpen its focus while still allowing breadth to incorporate blue-sky ideas.”

The draft of the updated plan identifies common themes of agility, service, and financial stability that are the core tenants of how the Council does its work. It also condensed the Council’s goals to facilitating licensure, fostering collaboration, and centralizing credential data. Attendees were asked for their feedback on the revisions, which McKinley Advisors Inc. will take to the Board for final approval in December.

Around the Council
In addition to the Strategic Plan, attendees received updates on several other Council initiatives. These include reviewing the 2012 Practice Analysis data to assess potential modifications to Council programs, evaluating future delivery options for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), and highlighting topics that this year’s committees are examining such as model law changes with regard to reactivating a license and electronic seals and signatures.

NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong discussed the work the Council is doing related to data gathering. “Since NCARB doesn’t issue the license, we can only go so far on our own,” said Armstrong, “We would like the jurisdictions to join us in data sharing as we can all profit from more information on the profession.”

He also talked about his visits to each Member Board. By the end of the year, he and other NCARB staff members will have visited 20 boards. “We have learned so much more about you, how you operate, how we can communicate with you better, and the pressures and stresses executives and boards face with little resources,” he said. “All of this will help us refine and hone our message, and serve you better.”

Building Partnerships
The second half of day one was focused on state legislative issues. The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Director of State and Local Relations Yvonne Castillo gave a presentation on some of the business and legislative trends in the profession and encouraged boards to contact their local components when they need assistance going before legislatures. During open discussion, attendees brought up several topics for Castillo and her colleagues to take back and coordinate with the state components to prepare for the coming year.

Topical Conversations
On day two, attendees discussed several topics related to the regulation of architecture and the future of the profession. Second Vice President Dale McKinney reviewed the current model law definition of “welfare” and presented options for revision. First Vice President Blake Dunn led a discussion about different states’ authority related to investigating and disciplining licensed and unlicensed registrants. President Blitch discussed unlicensed practice and moral character. And, CEO Armstrong asked attendees for their insights on the future of architecture.

Roundtable Discussions
In the afternoon, attendees broke out into roundtable discussion to delve further into topics brought up during the strategic plan presentation on day one. Tables texted their thoughts and ideas, which will be compiled and used to determine areas of the profession that need a sharper focus by the Council.

Chairs and executive will next have an opportunity to meet and discussion issues pertinent to the Council in the spring at Regional Meetings and at the NCARB Annual Meeting in June. 

NCARB Award Recipients
In addition, CEO Armstrong announced that NCARB had just released the names of the winners of the NCARB Award during the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Administrators Conference. Awards were granted to the Auburn University, School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture in Auburn, AL; the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA; and, to the University of Southern California (USC) School of Architecture in Los Angeles, CA.

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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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