Your supervisor has three key responsibilities when it comes to the AXP:
- Exercising direct supervision over your work
- Helping you create a strategy to gain the experience needed to develop competency in the tasks identified in the AXP
- Providing coaching and instruction throughout a project, followed by reviewing your experience reports
Exercising Direct Supervision
Your AXP supervisor must have direct supervision over your work, whether you work in person or remotely. This means they have responsibility for your work on a daily basis and have the professional knowledge to certify that your work meets an architect’s standard of care.
Creating a Strategy
Your supervisor should help you create a strategy to gain the experience needed to complete the AXP. Be sure to meet regularly with your supervisor to discuss how you can expand your skills across each of the experience areas.
Reviewing Experience Reports
To complete the experience program, you’ll record your AXP progress through hourly experience reports. Meet with your supervisor to discuss expectations, such as how frequently to submit experience reports. Before submitting a report, you should meet with your supervisor to review what will be documented in that report.
Your supervisor must then review each experience report that you submit and verify that the information it contains is accurate. They’ll have the opportunity to approve the report, return the report for edits, or reject the report entirely. Your supervisor should only reject reports if the the candidate did not gain any AXP experience during that time frame at that firm—if your supervisor rejects your report, be sure to discuss it with them to understand why.
Your experience reports must always be reviewed by a supervisor who meets the qualifications for that experience opportunity, as outlined in the AXP Guidelines. There are no experience opportunities where you are able to review and approve your own experience reports.
NCARB offers a number of resources that can help AXP supervisors and mentors become familiar with the program’s requirements, how to review reports, and more. This includes a Continuum Education course that is available for continuing education credit.
Ensure that you and your supervisor have established clear, reasonable expectations with the AXP Candidate and Supervisor Expectations guide.
Addressing Problems With Your Supervisor
Most supervisors understand the importance of guiding the next generation of architects through the process of becoming licensed. However, if you have difficulty working with your supervisor to document your experience, consider taking the following steps:
- Ask NCARB to resend the report: If your supervisor cannot find the experience report you submitted for review, NCARB can assist you by resending the reminder to review your report.
- Meet with your supervisor: Be sure to discuss the matter with your supervisor to understand the root cause of any issues.
- Reach out to other individuals at the firm: If your supervisor is unwilling to review your reports or is not reviewing them in a timely manner, reach out to other architects (if available) at the firm or a trusted mentor in the profession for assistance. In many cases the issue can be resolved if you have your mentor engage with your supervisor.
- Report misconduct: NCARB’s Model Rules of Conduct and the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct require architects to behave ethically toward their candidates and review experience reports in a timely manner. You can report failure to fulfill this ethical requirement to either organization. You can also review the rules and regulations of the licensing board where your supervisor is licensed to understand if they have additional requirements regarding AXP supervision. Please note: This step should only be taken after attempting other methods of resolving the issue.