Sanctions Issued for ARE Candidate Misconduct

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has issued sanctions for eight candidates who violated the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) Candidate Agreement.

The ARE plays a crucial role in ensuring the public’s health, safety, and welfare by affirming that candidates have the required knowledge and skills to competently practice architecture. To ensure the validity of exam results, NCARB takes several steps to protect the security of ARE—including administering the exam at Prometric’s secure test centers and requiring that all candidates abide by the ARE Candidate Agreement. The agreement prohibits candidates from attempting to access or distribute exam content before or after taking any ARE division, and outlines other responsibilities of each candidate for licensure.

In 2018, an anonymous whistleblower alerted NCARB of the alleged misconduct of several individuals. Each case underwent substantial investigation by NCARB staff members, who were able to confirm violations of the Candidate Agreement. Following the investigation, each case was reviewed by NCARB’s Professional Conduct Committee, and final disciplinary decisions were made by NCARB’s Board of Directors at their January 2019 meeting.

Each candidate is receiving a public reprimand and is required to complete six hours of ethics continuing education within the next 12 months. In addition, candidates found to have had knowledge of exam questions prior to testing have had those exam scores invalidated, along with additional exam scores invalidated for any exam division for which they were found to have shared identifiable exam content.

NCARB is dedicated to reviewing and strengthening the role of ethics in the regulation of architecture, and released updated Model Rules of Conduct in June 2018. Going forward, NCARB will maintain a public database of all disciplinary actions receiving a public reprimand. The candidate misconduct has been reported to the appropriate licensing board. Additional sanctions may be taken at the discretion of individual jurisdictions.

Individuals who wish to learn more about ARE security can learn more on the NCARB blog or visit the ARE 5.0 Community to discuss the topic with NCARB’s examination experts.

Editor's Note: This page was updated on April 8, 2019 and January 14, 2020.