NCARB makes changes to the licensure process for 2015

Architecture National Professional Practice
The Architect's Hand. (Courtesy George Smyth)

The Architect’s Hand. (Courtesy George Smyth)

Architectural professionals who set their path to licensure aside can soon receive full credit for relevant experiences “that identifies proficiency in the IDP experience categories.” This is one of several changes the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is making to the licensure process.

Currently, licensure applicants can only earn full credit for experiences reported within 8 months and half a credit for experiences gained up to 5 years prior. “The facilitation of licensure is a primary goal for NCARB,” said NCARB president Dale McKinney. “This proposal is one of many that redefines the path to licensure without sacrificing the value that we place on experience, education and examination.”

An estimated 12,000 professionals with more than five year of experience will benefit from this program, with 80 percent of them expressing their interest in the program.

For foreign architects seeking to obtain an NCARB certificate, their program has been simplified as well. Foreign licensees are now required to provide documentation stating the completion of the IDP experience requirements and also completing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to be NCARB certified. This alternative replaces the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program’s current requirements, which entails a committee dossier review and seven years of credentialed practice in a foreign country. An NCARB certification, McKinney stated, will allow for more job opportunities in the United States for foreign architects and it also offers free online continuing education classes. “We wanted to remove some of the unnecessary financial and administrative impediments for this group by refocusing on the nationally accepted standards for licensure,” McKinney said.

As for the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program, a proposal for a new alternative is not set until next year according to NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong. Board members fell one vote short out of the 28 needed to implement a simplified alternative that proposes twice the IDP requirements for work experience for individuals with a pre-professional architectural degree, five times the IDP requirements for those anything less than a pre-professional degree, and also a required five-years of post-licensure practice for all licensees without accredited education.

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