Q & A
Terry L. Allers, AIA, NCARB
I was a member of the Iowa Architectural Examining Board for nine years, and during that time I served as chairman of the board three times. I also became involved in several NCARB committees, including the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Committee for five years and the Education Committee. This experience, as well as serving on four NAAB accreditation visits, gave me the knowledge and experience I needed to understand how important NCARB is to our profession.
Through my experience as director of Region 4, I was able to establish relationships with other architects in our region and receive input on their concerns and suggestions regarding what NCARB needs to address. It was truly a “grassroots” experience. When I was campaigning for the position of secretary of the NCARB Board of Directors, contacting members of other regions to receive their input was also helpful. Because of these experiences I feel very comfortable discussing NCARB’s different programs with other members of our organization and then having the confidence to contribute to the discussions at the Board level.
In 2017, architects without a degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) will be able to pursue NCARB certification through a new path—replacing the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program.
This decision is the result of over two years of research and deliberations, as well as feedback from Member Boards. After a similar resolution failed by one vote at the 2015 Annual Business Meeting, President Dennis Ward appointed a work group charged with designing a new alternative to the BEA. The Board of Directors voted to adopt the work group’s recommendations and submitted a new resolution (2016-02), which passed 49-5.
This revised path recognizes the value of licenses issued by each jurisdiction while ensuring that each architect has documented the relevant experience needed to overcome education deficiencies. So far, we have received positive feedback from both Member Boards and architects eligible for this path.
This new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) will enable U.S. architects to earn reciprocal licenses in Australia and New Zealand through the NCARB Certificate. A special evaluation team’s analysis revealed that the path to licensure in these two countries parallel U.S. requirements, with a strong emphasis on the three pillars of licensure: accredited education, structured experience, and comprehensive examination.
This exciting opportunity, which was inspired by a similar agreement with Canada, will help open doors for architects who wish to expand their careers internationally. To implement the MRA, a minimum of 28 U.S. licensing boards will need to sign the arrangement by December 31, 2016.
Seventeen accredited architecture programs have been accepted to NCARB’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative, which encourages schools to incorporate the AXP and ARE into curricula. Currently, exam candidates have to wait until they have graduated to sit for the exam, so NCARB now recommends IPAL students have access to the ARE while in school.
Inspired by national initiatives to help returning servicemen and women enter the workforce, NCARB recommends that boards accept applicable military training toward fulfilling experience requirements. Military personnel seeking licensure will still need to complete the AXP and pass the ARE.
NCARB also recommends granting retired practitioners with an honorary title of “Emeritus Architect.” Since each board sets its own requirements for licensure, not every state will implement these changes. However, NCARB’s official documents serve as a helpful guide for jurisdictions looking to update their laws and regulations.
Members can stay up-to-date on Board activities by visiting the Registration Board section of
My NCARB. Board minutes and BOD Briefs are uploaded to the website or sent to members after meetings. The public can find the latest news on NCARB’s programs on ncarb.org and our social media channels.
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