Thank you for allowing me the privilege of leading the Council through the next year. To be able to serve during our Centennial year is a unique honor and a singular opportunity to create an honest and grounded celebration of our Council’s efforts and accomplishments over the last five generations.
The work of our board members, board executives, and volunteers should not be under-estimated. Their work is what makes the 100-year efforts of our volunteer-supported, non-governmental organization—to create and support services critical to the public’s health, safety, and welfare—successful. As President Erny referenced in his remarks, our efforts as a Council are admired around the world. NCARB’s ability to evolve has not always been painless; however, that ability ensures our credibility and relevance in this age of second-guessing regulation and governmental oversight.
FY19 will be a year to integrate and digest. We have done so much in a relatively short period of time, and we need to use this year to check our progress, confirm our milestones, and make best use of the results of your efforts.
The Model Law Task Force is entering its third year, and the Interior Architecture Work Group is entering its second year. Their work will result in significant outcomes in the next two years, and I expect we will start relevant conversations much earlier.
The Futures Task Force, a diverse group of volunteers led by Past President Harding, will continue to examine how the regulation of architectural practice could—and should—evolve in response to changes in our profession and the regulatory climate. We anticipate that preliminary findings will be reported during next year’s Centennial Annual Business Meeting.
It’s important to understand that these ongoing efforts do not preclude our continuing evolution on the programmatic side. Here’s what’s coming:
A product of the current political culture is the effort to reduce regulation of occupations and professions in proportion to the degree that health, safety, and welfare protection is perceived as needed. A 10-level, upside-down pyramid published by John Ross with the Institute for Justice illustrates the concept of graduated government enforcement layers, from least to most restrictive. This diagram has been used in legislative efforts in several of your states in the past year. Coordinated regulatory reduction efforts have been active in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio.
Legislation proposing multi-state compacts and temporary licenses has been attempted and rebuffed in Arizona, New Hampshire, Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah. It is anticipated that similar legislation will be reintroduced next year in Arizona, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.
Legislatures are also looking at introducing executive oversight of regulatory agencies in response to perceived restraint of trade risk exposure created by the Supreme Court’s North Carolina dental board decision. Legislation to add board oversight is active in Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.
[CEO] Michael Armstrong’s visits to state boards and American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapters are paying dividends. Not only have they cemented relationships, the Council is becoming the go-to entity to assist in addressing these regulatory challenges. Mike and staff will visit about 20 states in FY19. When requested, Council response teams can assist with legislative efforts and have developed tactics and resources to tackle common issues. The 2019 legislative round will probably be busy.
Many of you remember the severe impact that compromises to the examination have had in the past: they were a major shock. NCARB Secretary Alfred Vidaurri offered the sage observation that should our exam data base be compromised, the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) would immediately come to a complete stop. This would put careers on hold and necessitate the development of an entirely new exam, quickly and with unknown cost exposure.
The Board of Directors has authorized staff to start planning to address this threat through the creation of a “shadow exam.” When completed, we will have an untouchable back-up, cloud independent, fully developed and functional exam at the ready. After a year of planning, estimated costs will be about $1.3 million, which will be allocated over the next three years.
Our long-awaited efforts to facilitate more effective continuing education (CE) auditing for our Member Boards should come to fruition with a new system that will be in development this year. This system will utilize the Records of our Certificate holders and incorporate architects’ existing information, including data integrations from a variety of sources. I’d like to note that the Council’s constituency includes all architects: there are over 113,000 licensed architects in the United States. As of today, NCARB tracks only 45,200 Certificate holders. In order to assist our Member Boards, the Council has a responsibility to serve a much wider audience.
Another continuing education concern has been the quality and effectiveness of health, safety, and welfare (HSW) courses offered across the country. Some can be very weak, yet still receive the qualification. In FY19, a group of roughly 100 volunteers will embark on a new continuing education auditing initiative designed to provide feedback on continuing education course quality through an NCARB-funded “secret shopper” program. The operational details and criteria are being developed currently with more information to come.
Notice that with both the CE system and HSW course validation I used the term “audit.” These activities fall squarely within our mission to support our Member Boards in assuring licensees are qualified to protect the public.
The Council has ongoing international responsibilities, including:
As we explore other opportunities, we will need a standing committee of volunteers with experience and background to conduct analysis and linking exercises to determine whether our education, experience, and examination requirements and the elements of foreign licensing models are equivalent.
It is interesting to note that the Council’s certification pathway for foreign architects has 240 candidates in the pipeline and that five have attained certification to date—the interest is there.
For the past year or so, many volunteers have participated in focus groups, surveys, individual interviews, and the 2017 Annual Business Meeting workshop as part of our comprehensive effort to exhaustively obtain stakeholder input into the update of our refreshed Strategic Plan. The results have affirmed that much of our current plan is viable, that we should make adjustments to reflect emerging priorities, and that users of the plan should see themselves reflected in the language itself.
Early drafts of the plan address all these findings. We are now entering the final review phase: the Board will see a full draft in September, after which it will be reviewed at the Member Board Chairs/Executives Leadership Summit in October to receive the last key stakeholder reactions. A revised plan will go back to the Board in January. After final editing and formatting of the plan, it will be considered at the April Board meeting for a final blessing. The final version of the Strategic Plan will be unveiled at our 2019 Centennial Annual Business Meeting. It’s a long road, but worth the effort. Thank you all for your patience and input.
As 2019 is our Centennial, it will be a unique, celebratory and introspective year for the Council. Over the past year, our distinguished Centennial Advisory Committee has worked hard on bringing you a memorable and appropriate series of events, as well as documentary publications and traveling exhibits. We not only have much to celebrate, but much to learn. This Centennial year will provide us a platform to do both, including new information regarding our 100-year journey, a look forward from our Futures Task Force, and the unveiling of our refreshed Strategic Plan.
We have a lot to get done—so let’s get started!
Note: This report is adapted from First Vice President David L. Hoffman’s 2018 Annual Business Meeting speech.
2017-2018 First Vice President/President-elect
2nd Vice President
1st Vice President
David L. Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB, Hon. FCARM
Members and Volunteers
Serving Member Boards
NCARB + NAAB
2018 Annual Business Meeting
Paths to Certification
Futures Task Force
NCARB + AIA
Professional Practice Initiatives
NCARB + AIAS
NCARB by the Numbers
Architect Licensing Advisors
Corporate Social Responsibility
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© 2018 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards