Paths to Certification
NCARB by the Numbers
Architect Licensing Advisors
Licensure Across Borders
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In the Profession
Path to Licensure
Partners in Collaboration
Through collaboration, exploration, and discussion with our Member Boards and volunteers across all areas of practice, NCARB continues to go further for the architecture profession. Over the last fiscal year, we’ve launched revised paths to NCARB certification, shared important information about the state of licensure, delved deeper into the supervisor-candidate relationship, and opened new doors to practicing abroad.
The NCARB Certificate is a valuable credential for architects that facilitates reciprocal licensure across the 54 U.S. jurisdictions and several countries, among other benefits. To qualify for certification, applicants must meet NCARB’s education, experience, and examination standards and be licensed in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.
Following approval from the state licensing boards at the 2016 Annual Business Meeting, NCARB launched two new alternative paths to certification in FY17: the education alternative and the foreign architect path to certification. Together, they ensure that career advancement remains a possibility for architects from diverse career paths.
The new education alternative includes two options for architects without a degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), replacing the former Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program. Depending on educational background, applicants can satisfy the education requirement by:
To be eligible for either path, applicants must have been licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction for at least three years. Both the NCARB Certificate Portfolio and two times AXP option are offered at no additional charge to active NCARB Record holders and eliminate the BEA’s $5,000 review fee. Applicants will also need to meet NCARB’s experience and examination requirements to earn an NCARB Certificate.
On July 1, 2016, NCARB launched a new path to certification for foreign architects, replacing the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program. This revised path allows individuals licensed in a foreign country to meet the requirements for licensure in the United States by completing the AXP and passing the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)—ensuring that foreign applicants are held to the same rigorous standard as U.S. licensure candidates. The path eliminates the need for foreign architects to prepare a dossier for committee review, participate in an interview, and document seven years of credentialed practice. It is also offered at no additional cost to active NCARB Record holders, removing the fees associated with the
Thanks to the simplified process and reduced fees, the volume of enrollees for the first year of these new programs has already exceeded double the volume of the 19-year history of both the former BEA and BEFA programs. With these new options, we’ve made certification available to more architects—while maintaining the standards needed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
The 2017 edition of NCARB’s annual data report, NCARB by the Numbers, included exclusive insight into the number of U.S. architects, the value of graduating from an accredited program, and the timeline to licensure.
This year’s publication also revealed that licensure candidates and new architects are more diverse than ever before: 42 percent of new AXP participants and 30 percent of new ARE candidates identified as non-white, a three percent increase for both groups. In addition, gender equity in architecture improved along every career stage.
The Ethics Task Force—founded in June 2015 to explore the role that ethics play in architecture regulation—continued its work in FY17, recommending changes to NCARB’s Code of Professional Conduct. The task force also submitted suggestions on how to give ethics a stronger presence in our programs and policies, which will be considered by the related committees in FY18.
Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB
NCARB STAFF LIAISON
Stephen Nutt, AIA, NCARB, CAE
NCARB Senior Architect/Advisor to the CEO
Michael Archer, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
John Cameron Jr.
John Ehrig, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP
Florida Member Board Member
David Hinson, FAIA
George Miller, FAIA, NCARB
New York Member Board Member
Carl Sapers, Esq.
Massachusetts Member Board Member
Alfred Vidaurri Jr., FAIA, NCARB, AICP
Photos from the 2016 Licensing Advisors Summit in Chicago.
Architect licensing advisors are Member Board Members, practitioners, educators, and students who volunteer to guide candidates and architects through licensure and reciprocity. NCARB hosts regular Licensing Advisors Summits to provide important tools and training, as well as give advisors the opportunity to network and share best practices. In August 2016, over 250 advisors gathered in Chicago to gain the valuable insight they need to confidently guide the next generation of architects.
Architects serving as AXP supervisors and mentors play a huge role in the licensure process, and the relationship between candidates and their supervisors has long been a topic of conversation for NCARB. This year, we collaborated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to conduct a survey investigating supervisors’ and candidates’ perceptions of each other. The survey focused on asking each group about their perceptions on obtaining licensure,
firm support along the path to licensure, and the relationship between the candidate and
While the results revealed that 98 percent of supervisors surveyed believe it is important for candidates to obtain licensure, just 66 percent of candidates believe their supervisor thinks it is important for them to become licensed.
Larger differences emerge when it comes to the perceived role of the supervisor in preparing a candidate for licensure. According to the survey, supervisors view themselves as having more responsibility than their supervisees are expecting.
The survey also revealed significant gaps between the assistance supervisors believe they provide and the assistance candidates feel they receive; the largest perception gap regards whether or not supervisors are reviewing experience progress with candidates. Throughout FY18, NCARB will continue to look into how supervisors and candidates can work together to improve their relationship and close the perception gap.
In June 2016, NCARB President Kristine A. Harding, NCARB, AIA, created a new work group to examine how NCARB’s mission and programs can encourage and promote awareness regarding sustainable design, energy conservation, and disaster mitigation. The Resiliency Work Group met throughout FY17, issuing an inspiring statement of purpose and recommending actions for further consideration by NCARB committees. We will continue to explore how resilient and sustainable design can be incorporated into NCARB programs in FY18 and beyond.
John E. Mateyko, AIA
Delaware Member Board Member
NCARB STAFF LIAISONS
Jared N. Zurn, AIA, NCARB
NCARB Director of Examination
Allen J. Bacqué, AIA, NCARB
Louisiana Member Board Member
Chris E. Brasier, FAIA
Suni Dillard, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Oregon Member Board Executive
Harley H. Hightower, FAIA, NCARB
John R. Klai II, FAIA, NCARB, NCIDQ
Nevada Member Board Member
Joyce Noe, FAIA
Hawaii Member Board Member
Jim Oschwald, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
New Mexico Member Board Member
R. K. Stewart, FAIA, NCARB
Hon. FRIAC, Hon. JIA, Hon. AIA
Rachel Minnery, FAIA
A new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between the architectural licensing authorities of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand took effect on January 1, 2017. Approved by state licensing boards at the 2016 NCARB Annual Business Meeting, the MRA provides U.S. architects with the opportunity to earn a reciprocal license in Australia and New Zealand. To take advantage of the arrangement, architects must hold the NCARB Certificate and have 6,000 hours of post-licensure experience in their home country.
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