NCARB Convenes Special Task Force to Explore Additional Pathways to Architectural Licensure

September Licensure Task Force 

11 September 2013

Washington, DC.—Potential new pathways to architectural licensure are being explored through the work of a new Licensure Task Force launched by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Led by NCARB Immediate Past President Ronald B. Blitch, FAIA, FACHA, NCARB, the group held its first meeting at NCARB offices on September 6-7 in Washington, DC. As indicated by NCARB President Blakely C. Dunn, AIA, NCARB at the Council’s June 2013 Annual Meeting, “the task force will have some of the best and brightest thinkers, from within and outside the Council, considering how the three components of the path to licensure—education, experience, and examination—might be better integrated in that path.”

“We’ve assembled a blue-ribbon panel of representatives from the four architectural collateral organizations, educators, recently licensed architects/interns, and our Member Boards—to convene what I think are going to be very exciting meetings, with a potential goal that could be a milestone in the licensure of architects,” said Blitch. “The Licensure Task Force is going to involve so much trust, and so much confidence in each other’s abilities to make this work—because everybody has to be at the table to make this work—and that’s part of what makes this so exciting.”

The group is analyzing each component of the licensure process as a basis for exploring potential additional pathways that lead to licensure, including determining where there may be overlap and opportunities for efficiencies to be realized. “Part of our goal is to see if there are alternatives to speed up the current average process,” said Blitch. According to NCARB by the Numbers, the median time between graduation and licensure is about seven years. Because emerging professionals have flexibility in mapping out their paths to licensure, variables such as the degree program selected, where and how internship requirements are fulfilled, when the examination is taken, and where initial licensure is sought can all have an impact on the current length of time to achieve licensure.

The NCARB Licensure Task Force is one of several strategic initiatives underway that are positioning the Council to stay at the forefront of an evolving profession. As announced at the NCARB 2013 Annual Meeting, a framework for reinvention of the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA)/Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Programs, in the near-term, is being designed by two multi-disciplinary special project teams. These teams are conducting important research and developing viable options for the NCARB Board of Directors to consider for implementation.



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 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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