NCARB to Launch Alternative Path to Licensure for Experienced Professionals

March 8, 2016

Starting this summer, design professionals with more than five years of experience will be able to pursue licensure through NCARB’s new e-Portfolio option.

Washington, DC—In a continued effort to make the path to architectural licensure more inclusive, design professionals with substantial experience working for an architect will have an opportunity to satisfy the Architectural Experience Program’s (AXP) requirements through an online portfolio. Developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the e-Portfolio is designed solely for professionals who put licensure on hold due to career, personal, or economic decisions.

This alternative option, which will launch June 29, 2016, was approved by NCARB’s Board of Directors following feedback from state licensing boards. The e-Portfolio will only be available to professionals who can document two years of experience that is older than five years. To qualify for licensure through this alternative option, candidates will also need to meet their licensing board’s education and examination requirements, and have an active NCARB Record.

“This is an exciting opportunity for professionals who had to put their licensure goals on hold to care for loved ones, serve in the military, or any number of reasons,” said NCARB President Dennis S. Ward, FAIA, NCARB. “The e-Portfolio will appeal to designers and managers who want to take their career to the next level.”

"The new e-Portfolio alternative is a great example of NCARB leading the charge in the equitable practice movement,” said AIA San Francisco Treasurer and Equity by Design Founder Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED APBD+C. “This program will create a long discussed and much needed pathway for those who have more unique career journeys in becoming an architect. Our profession should reflect the diversity of the population we serve and this program supports that goal."

Under the AXP—currently known as the Intern Development Program (IDP) until June 29—aspiring architects can earn full credit for experience reported within eight months, and half credit for experience beyond eight months and up to five years. This new option opens the door for those with experience beyond five years to seek licensure.

“Completing the AXP through the traditional path of reporting 3,740 hours will remain the primary way to satisfy a licensing board’s experience requirements,” said Ward. “However, the e-Portfolio option will enable accomplished professionals to complete the AXP through demonstrated competency for the AXP tasks through exhibits.”

In the coming months, NCARB will work with state licensing boards that intend to accept the e-Portfolio option.

For more information on earning a license to practice architecture, visit www.ncarb.org.

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About NCARB
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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