One of the primary benefits enjoyed by NCARB Certificate holders is the ability to pursue additional licenses through what’s known as “reciprocity”—an agreement to recognize licenses issued by other authorities. The NCARB Certificate offers reciprocity among the 55 U.S. jurisdictions as well as select international locations through mutual recognition arrangements/agreements, or MRAs.
In June 2022, NCARB’s member licensing boards passed a resolution ratifying a new MRA between NCARB and our counterpart in the United Kingdom, the Architects Registration Board (ARB). This agreement will enable eligible architects to benefit from a more straightforward process to get licensed/registered, helping them to establish professional contacts, seek work, and perform services as a registered architect in each country.
Now that NCARB’s members have ratified the MRA, the next step is for the ARB to be authorized to sign the agreement, which requires legislation in the United Kingdom. Then, NCARB and the ARB will sign the agreement officially, and the MRA will go into effect 60 days after both organizations sign the agreement. NCARB and the ARB hope to implement the MRA in early 2023.
Because the United States does not offer a national license, each of the 55 U.S. licensing boards can determine whether or not they will accept the MRA as a path to reciprocal licensure within their jurisdiction. NCARB will provide a list of participating jurisdictions on our website.
The MRA is based on similarities in architecture licensing standards established by NCARB and the requirements for registration in the United Kingdom. Modeled after similar arrangements with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the agreement has three key requirements. To apply for a reciprocal license in either country, architects must:
- Hold a valid license/registration in good standing from their home licensing authority (the United States or United Kingdom)
- Have lawful authorization to work in the locality in which they are registered
- Hold an active NCARB Certificate for U.S. architects (qualified U.K. architects will be issued an NCARB Certificate as part of the application process)
These requirements are based on a comprehensive review of the paths to licensure/registration in each country by subject matter experts.
To learn more about earning a license to practice architecture abroad, visit www.ncarb.org/international.