The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) have helped form a new coalition intended to educate policymakers and the public on the importance of high, consistent licensing standards across various technical fields. Architects, engineers, surveyors, landscape architects, and certified public accounts make up the newly-established Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL).
“Complex professions are at risk of being swept up in broad calls to reduce licensing requirements for occupations and vocations,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong in a statement. “It is important for us to work with other technical professions to ensure public safety isn’t compromised by broad brush deregulatory efforts.”
In other words, rigorous licensing standards across these industries should stay in place in order to keep their professional work from harming the American people. According to NCARB, it’s up to ARPL members to stop sweeping legislative cuts from stripping key standards of practice from authoritative licensing boards such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and more.
Professional licensing is getting more political year after year. The debate and criticism surrounding architectural regulations, at least, has been going on for quite some time within the field itself. NCARB, for example, has been working to minimize the burden that licensure candidates have when trying to pay and study for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), as well as the amount of earned experience hours it takes to get there, by, as they’ve described it, “modernizing the path“ to licensure.
Together with the ARPL, NCARB will clarify their moves to make the licensure process stronger, while maintaining the rigorous standards that ensure a safe built environment. According to a press release, the coalition’s mission is exactly that: to protect the public and represent the voices of these various professions when it comes to reasonable regulation and licensing.
AIA CEO Robert Ivy echoed Armstrong’s statement, saying any attempts to “weaken or undermine” these requirements for architects harms both the profession and could endanger the health, safety, and welfare of the public they build for.
“When an architect designs a hospital or a school, the public must have confidence in its safety and structural integrity,” said Ivy. “The best way to maintain the public’s confidence is to continue to require that architects demonstrate rigorous and ongoing education, examination, and experience.”