New for 2018, this section investigates attrition along the path to licensure.

NCARB has spent the past several years updating and aligning our programs to remove unnecessary burdens while maintaining the rigor needed to protect the public. A key component of this process is identifying pinch points where candidates fall off the path to licensure—and understanding how those pinch points may vary for candidates from different backgrounds.

Most Candidates Stay on the Path to Licensure

Of all the candidates who started their NCARB Record in 2008 (10 years ago), over two thirds have either finished their core requirements for licensure (43 percent) or are still actively working to complete them (28 percent). Twenty-nine percent have stopped working toward licensure and have fallen off the path. When compared to more recent years, fewer candidates have completed the core requirements for licensure, and only a small proportion have fallen off the path.

An assessment of 2016 data (candidates who started a Record two years ago), reveals that 3 percent have completed core licensure requirements, 88 percent are actively working toward licensure, and only 9 percent have been lost. This cohort has had less time to complete their education, experience, and examination requirements.

Female Attrition Has Reduced in Recent Years

Gender equity has been gradually improving in the profession. Since 2012, historic differences in attrition between genders have disappeared.

Of those who started their NCARB Record in 2008, 32 percent of women and 27 percent of men have fallen off the path to licensure. Similarly, 29 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the 2010 cohort have stopped pursuing licensure, while 33 percent of women and 37 percent of men have completed the core requirements.

The data reveals a different trend for women who began the path to licensure more recently. While women who began their Record in 2014 or 2016 are still less likely to have completed the path to licensure than their male counterparts, they are also less likely to have stopped pursuing licensure—a reversal from 2008 and 2010 candidates.

Non-White Candidates More Likely to Fall Off the Path to Licensure

While racial and ethnic diversity has been gradually improving in the profession, candidates who identify as non-white or Hispanic are less likely to complete the path to licensure than candidates who identify as white.

Of non-white candidates who started their NCARB Record in 2008, 33 percent had completed the core requirements for licensure by 2017—15 percentage points less than their white counterparts and 10 percentage points below the national average. Thirty-three percent of non-white and 25 percent of white candidates who began their NCARB Record in 2008 are still actively pursuing licensure, while 34 percent of non-white and 27 percent of white candidates have fallen off the path.

This trend continues in more recent years, with non-white candidates typically 25 percent more likely to fall off the path to licensure than their white peers. This is in contrast to the gender comparison of attrition, which has evened out since 2012.

Note: NCARB uses the same categories for race and ethnicity as the U.S. Census Bureau. Non-white combines those who identified as Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic or Latino.