NCARB Board Kicks Off Fiscal Year Approving Significant Changes to IDP

September Board of Directors Meeting

September 24, 2014

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors held their first full meeting of Fiscal Year 2014-15 in early September led by President/Chair of the Board Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. It voted to approve significant changes to the Intern Development Program (IDP), to begin drafting a resolution for the membership regarding adjustments to the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program, and to defer for further discussion possible resolution drafts addressing revision of the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program. Other business included a meeting with leadership from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), review of a conceptual proposal for a Broadly Experienced Intern Program, and a discussion on regulated titles in the profession.

Strategic Initiatives

  • The Board of Directors voted to move forward with both IDP-related proposals announced to the membership at the June NCARB Annual Business Meeting. The decision follows the review of feedback from the 54 jurisdictional licensing boards and other interested parties both supporting and opposing the proposals.
    • Streamline: Phase 1 modifies the program requirements to “core hours” only, eliminating the “elective hours” currently required in the program.
    • Overhaul: The future overhaul phase will re-align the current 17 experience-area requirements into six new practice-based experience categories, identified through the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture. The new divisions of ARE 5.0 are also aligning to these six categories.
    • Implementation: While NCARB develops recommended policies and programs for architectural licensing, they are enforced through adoption by the 54 jurisdictional licensing boards. As the Council develops its implementation timeline, it will also develop an administration plan that will include a process to inform interns of the importance of understanding the variables in jurisdictional laws and rules related to the experience requirement when considering where they will apply for initial licensure.
      • The Council expects the streamline phase to be implemented in mid-2015 and the overhaul phase to be implemented in mid-2016. 
  • The Board of Directors also discussed feedback received from the Member Boards and other interested parties on proposals to overhaul two of the alternate paths to NCARB certification—the BEA and BEFA programs.
    • BEA: The Board tasked NCARB staff with facilitating further discussion of proposed changes to the BEA Program with members during the October MBC/MBE Conference and the November Education Committee meeting. Further review by the Board will take place during its next meeting in December 2014.
    • BEFA: The Board voted to amend the proposal for BEFA to require two years of experience in the United States under a licensed architect. The Board will review a draft resolution in December.
    • Next Steps: The requirements for NCARB certification (including alternatives) may only be changed by a majority vote of the Member Boards at an Annual Business Meeting in June. 
  • The Board provided feedback on a Broadly Experienced Internship Program as an alternative to document work experience for interns who have gained substantial experience outside the time limitations of the IDP reporting requirement (five years) and who could not satisfy the IDP in their current roles. The Board will consider the next phase of research during its December 2014 meeting.

General Board Business

  • Treasurer Kristine Harding reported that the Council ended its fiscal year on June 30 with a surplus, assisted by gains in investment portfolios. The Council’s economic performance in the new year to date shows income ahead of projections and expenses below projections.
  • Highlights for Fiscal Year 2014, which ended on June 30, 2014, show that the Council completed the year with a surplus of $451,000 from operations, and the Council’s investment portfolios gained an additional $813,000.
  • The Board took action to approve establishment of a new $5 million line of credit in order to take advantage of current interest rates. There are no fees associated with maintaining this line of credit and there are currently no plans to draw on the line.
  • Past President Blake Dunn reported that the Board’s expenses continue to decline. This is the result of one less Board meeting per year and two less Executive Meetings as well as new travel guidelines for Board members. 
  • NCARB legal counsel provided an overview of the impact of Resolution 2014-05, which requires regional directors and officers to hold an NCARB Certificate by March 2017.
  • FY14 committees have kicked off. The Board heard early updates from the Licensure Task Force, Future Titles Task Force, BEA Committee, Professional Conduct Committee, and Member Board Executive Committee. 
  • The Member Board Chair/Member Board Executive Conference will be held October 31-November 1, 2014, in Indianapolis. Topics on the agenda include early access to the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), use of the title “intern,” proposals to streamline NCARB programs, and legislative trends.

CEO Report
  • NCARB CEO Mike Armstrong reported that the number of NCARB Certificate and Record holders continue to increase—now at an all-time high with over 40,000 Certificate holders and 60,000 intern Record holders.
  • The number of interns completing the ARE has held steady since the advent of computer-based testing in 1997.
  • The My IDP Android mobile app is currently being beta tested.
  • ARE 5.0 new item type development and mapping from ARE 4.0 has begun.
  • NCARB’s monographs are being digitized and turned into mini-monographs. The repacked mini-monographs will be free to NCARB Certificate holders.

Collateral Partnerships
  • Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA): President McKinney led a joint session with the ACSA leadership to understand the education landscape and NCARB’s role in practice preparation. ASCA President Hsinming Fung, presented trends at architectural schools. Discussions then centered on the role of academic institutions in addressing the path to licensure and institutional goals of higher learning.
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB): The Board approved proposed changes to the NAAB bylaws to change the schedule for electing new directors, clarify the process for filling unexpected vacancies, and other housekeeping changes. As one of the organizations that grants NAAB its authority, NCARB, along with the AIA and ACSA, is required by NAAB’s charter to review changes to NAAB’s bylaws before implementation.
    • In addition, the Board nominated former NCARB Region 5 Director Thomas R. Wood, NCARB, AIA, to serve on the NAAB Board of Directors. Wood is the former Director of the School of Architecture at Montana State University and a former member of the Montana Board of Architects.
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA): President McKinney, First Vice President Dennis Ward, Second Vice President Margo Jones, CEO Armstrong, and NCARB Senior Architect/Advisor to the CEO Stephen Nutt were invited to attend the International Union of Architect (UIA) in Durban, South Africa as guests of the AIA, who serve as the U.S. member of the organization. 

The NCARB Board of Directors will next meet December 4-6, 2014.


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