Washington, DC – The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) announce the next phase of their joint study: Building on Belonging, a series of surveys and action items following up on initial findings from Baseline on Belonging and identifying additional opportunities to make the architecture profession more equitable.

“The Baseline on Belonging project has provided invaluable data to NCARB as we regularly evaluate our programs and services, and our ongoing partnership with NOMA will enable us to continue to make strides toward a more equitable licensure path,” said NCARB CEO Mike Armstrong.

The first Building on Belonging survey, conducted at the end of 2023, investigates licensure awareness and accessibility among candidates and their impact on their career choices. The subsequent surveys will explore topics including firm support for the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®), difficult areas to gain AXP credit, and potential overlap in the AXP and Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

"Changing the industry to increase accessibility and create a more equitable profession requires collaboration from all industry partners and firms as we’re all responsible for the solution,” said Tiffany Brown, NOMA, Assoc. AIA, NOMA Executive Director. “Our members know the obstacles to licensure because we experience them each day. It’s time to partner across the industry to develop programs and policies that address these disparities, and we’re pleased to continue to work alongside NCARB to create solutions.”

Findings from the first survey on awareness and accessibility have been published. Survey respondents included licensure candidates, recently licensed architects, and design professionals who stopped pursuing licensure. The findings highlighted two related issues that impact a majority of individuals on the path to licensure:

  • Licensure awareness happens too late to make strategic choices
  • Most candidates need flexibility on the licensure path

NCARB is in the middle of a multi-year effort to re-envision the process of becoming an architect. The findings from this survey and the following surveys will help NCARB figure out how best to measure and assess competency while protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare. Stay up-to-date on new surveys and learn how you can participate by subscribing here. To read past NCARB and NOMA reports on Baseline on Belonging, visit NCARB.org/BaselineonBelonging

About NCARB   

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural licensing boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB, in collaboration with these boards, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.   

To achieve these goals, NCARB works with its Member Boards and volunteers to develop and facilitate standards for licensure, including the national examination and experience program. NCARB also recommends regulatory guidelines for licensing boards and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate. Connect with NCARB on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube

About the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)  

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) was formed over 50 years ago to represent the needs of African American architects. Founded in 1971, the purpose of NOMA was to bolster and provide support for the handful of Black licensed architects around the country. Today, NOMA is a haven for architects of all origins who seek inclusion in the design industry. We continue to advocate for the licensure of African American architects (who account for only two percent of all licensed architects today), as well as those from other underrepresented backgrounds. 

NOMA has more than 35 professional chapters across the U.S. and over 80 student chapters, National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) — mentored by regional NOMA chapters. NOMA Columbus (Ohio) and NOMA Utah are the newest chapters in 2022. NOMA and NOMAS membership is predominantly African-American, with other minority members including Native American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, East Indian, and Asian, as well as an increasing segment of non-minority members who support NOMA’s mission. NOMA supports its student members by providing mentorship, scholarships, and job opportunities to ensure their successful transition into the profession. www.noma.net