I recently had the pleasure to represent AIA Virginia as the NCARB Liaison at the NCARB Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The conference is held every two years to bring together liaisons from the professional and educational sector, which is comprised of both educators and students.  For two days, we hunker down and attend presentations, lectures, and networking events where we are updated on everything NCARB is doing to provide for students of architecture, those working towards their licensure and those already licensed. With the exams moving completely to the ARE 5.0, much of what was discussed was using the correct terminology (AXP instead of IDP), how ARE 5.0 differs from previous versions, and what information NCARB is providing for those in need.  Having taken all my exams in ARE 5.0, many of the topics were a refresher for me. It was more about those at NCARB explaining why they did the many things that they did when transitioning from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0.  However, there were two areas they focused on at the conference that I felt would be worthy to relay and are areas when I accepted this position I didn’t fully expect I would be able to assist in.

First, as the NCARB Liaison, while I have a duty to help those setting up their NCARB account, accruing credits via AXP, or taking exams, I also have the ability to be of great assistance to the supervisors and mentors of those progressing towards licensure.  So for those who are supervisors or mentors to licensee candidates, I’m here to assist with any questions you may have as far as your duties in the role you are taking on. I’m sure there are moments when those you are supervising ask you questions that you simply do not know.  That’s perfectly okay and feel free to reach out.  Currently, NCARB is putting together a matrix of duties and responsibilities supervisors should aim for. That matrix should be released soon.

Second, how many have heard of NCARB Certification?  It’s understandable if you have not, as I was not quite sure what it exactly entailed either when I first took the position.  Once you have received licensure you likely keep your NCARB record paid for and current.  The best course of action, if desired, would be to apply for your NCARB Certificate.  The NCARB Certificate acts as the main component for reciprocity in other jurisdictions.  Every state is different and will likely require you to do something a little extra (Virginia has the DPOR exam), but having your NCARB Certificate lets the jurisdiction you apply to know your records are all in one spot and in safe holding with a recognized organization.

If it has been a while since you have visited the NCARB website now is as good of a time to visit.  There is a litany of information and resources on their website.  Check out NCARB: By the Numbers (2019) for numbers on exam pass rates, timelines on averages to complete the process, numbers on demographics, and plenty more. As well, NCARB has provided an interactive map that can help those working towards licensure figure out what their jurisdiction requires of them, but it can also assist those already licensed to figure out what a jurisdiction will require of them if they’re seeking reciprocity.

As always, if you have questions about any and all things AXP, ARE, or NCARB, you can reach me at mhammon@glaveandholmes.com.

Michael Hammon, AIA
AIA Virginia Licensing Advisor