Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors has voted to approve significant changes that will streamline and overhaul the Intern Development Program (IDP), which most states require to satisfy experience requirements for initial licensure as an architect. The changes will only be applicable where adoption has occurred by individual jurisdictional licensing boards.
The changes will be implemented in two phases. The first will streamline the program by focusing on the IDP’s core requirements and removing its elective requirements. The second phase will condense the 17 current experience areas into six practice-based categories that will also correspond with the divisions tested in the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).
NCARB announced the proposals to modify the IDP in late June at its Annual Business Meeting, which was attended by representatives of its 54 member jurisdiction boards that oversee architect licensing in their states or territories. After reviewing the feedback from the boards, the Board of Directors voted to move forward with both proposals for implementation in mid-2015 and mid-2016.
“Streamlining of the IDP requirements will reduce complexities while ensuring that intern architects still acquire the comprehensive experience that is essential for competent practice, and result in a program that is both justifiable and defensible,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA.
Phase 1: Focusing on Core Requirements
The IDP currently requires interns to document 5,600 hours of experience, with 3,740 of those hours as core requirements in specific architectural experience areas. The remaining 1,860 hours are elective hours. The first reinvention phase will streamline the IDP by removing the elective hour requirement, with interns documenting only the 3,740 hours in the 17 core experience areas.
In making its decision to eliminate the elective hours, the Board considered several important statistics:
- The average intern currently takes five years to complete the hours required for IDP and another 2.2 years to complete the ARE, totaling an average of more than seven years from graduation to licensure.
- With this reduction in required IDP hours, it is likely that the average intern will take roughly three to four years to complete their IDP requirements following this change.
- Combined with the time required to complete the ARE, the Board anticipates that the average intern will have five to six years of post-graduation experience prior to qualifying for initial licensure.
Implementation and Jurisdictional Adoption
NCARB expects to implement the first phase on or before June 2015. Many states will need to formally adopt the streamlined program because of how experience requirements for licensure are written in their laws or rules.
“Our planning efforts will include development of a campaign to inform interns of the importance of understanding the variables in jurisdictional laws and rules related to the experience requirement when considering where they will apply for licensure,” McKinney said.
Phase 2: Aligning Internship and Examination
The Board also agreed to a future realignment of the framework of IDP requirements into six experience categories reflecting the six general areas of practice, which were identified by the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture. These changes will mirror the six divisions of future version of licensing exam—ARE 5.0.
NCARB’s internship-related committees will provide guidance on mapping the existing requirements into the new, overhauled format. This work should be completed and ready for introduction in mid-2016, before the launch of ARE 5.0 in late 2016.
To learn more, interns, architects, and other stakeholders should visit the NCARB website, blog, and frequently asked questions for information as the IDP implementation plan develops.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.
NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.