Mutual Recognition Arrangement with Australia and New Zealand

A new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between the architectural licensing authorities of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand enables U.S. architects to earn reciprocal licenses abroad, effective January 1, 2017.

Spearheaded by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the arrangement was signed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB). To take advantage of the arrangement, eligible architects must hold a current NCARB Certificate—a credential that facilitates licensure across borders. To date, 29 U.S. licensing boards have accepted the arrangement including Virginia, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“The arrangement is an exciting opportunity for architects seeking to expand their careers internationally,” said NCARB President Kristine Harding, NCARB, AIA. “NCARB Certificate holders have been able to pursue licensure in Canada and Mexico for some time, and this arrangement represents a significant step in providing additional benefits to these architects.”

This decision is the result of over two years of research and negotiation by a special NCARB evaluation team. The group’s analysis concluded that the path to licensure in Australia and New Zealand parallels U.S. requirements, with a strong emphasis on the three pillars of licensure: accredited education, structured experience, and comprehensive examination.

Inspired by a similar agreement with Canada, U.S. and foreign architects interested in earning a license in Australia or New Zealand must meet the following requirements:
• Citizenship or lawful permanent residence in the home country
• An active NCARB Certificate
• A license to practice architecture from a U.S. jurisdiction that has signed the arrangement
• 6,000 hours (approximately three years) of post-licensure experience in the home country
• Validation of licensure in good standing from the home authority
• Licensure in the home country not gained through foreign reciprocity
To learn more about earning a license to practice architecture abroad, visit

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.


Congratulations New Architects

We understand the dedication and effort required to study for and pass the ARE. Congratulations to the following members for passing their exams and gaining licensure. This is great news that thrills all of us and we are so proud to call you architects!

Have you recently passed the ARE? Please send an email to your Membership Manager at to upgrade your membership and be featured in the next newsletter.

Christopher J. Moore, AIA
Carrie L. Parker, AIA
Neil Walls, AIA
Erin M. Webb, AIA

NCARB Announces IDP Overhaul Details

On Nov. 3, 2015, NCARB announced details on its IDP Overhaul. The new IDP will allow up to 20 hours of AIA CEUs in each experience area (up to 120 total), but they all must be HSW. You can see the complete description of the overhaul on NCARB’s website at

NCARB has also created a visual map of the transition. In the coming months, be on the lookout on the NCARB site for video webinars, blog articles, social media updates, and more.

Also note: when the overhauled IDP launches, the following opportunities will no longer be eligible for IDP or additional jurisdictional experience:

  • Emerging Professional’s Companion (EPC)
  • GBCI LEED AP Certification
  • Advanced Degrees
  • AIA Continuing Education LUs
  • CSI Certificate Program: CDT
  • Teaching or Research in a NAAB-accredited program

Specific questions should be directed to NCARB Customer Service at (202) 879-0520 or

Virginia Ranks Among the Top Ten

Virginia’s Young Architects lead over most States according to NCARB

NCARB has announced their national statistics for 2015, and Virginia is a leader in multiple significant metrics. Virginia ranks among the top ten states for highest number people in the Intern Development Program (IDP). Virginians complete the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) tests in a shorter time period than the national average. Of the 327 people in Virginia currently taking the ARE, not only are candidates completing the testing 8 months faster but they also have a higher pass rate (75% compared to the national average of 65%). Some of this success may be attributed to the licensing board adopting rules allowing candidates to start the ARE before completing IDP.

National statistics also include good news. Last year the number of architects in the United States increased 2%, and this represents a sharp gain compared to 2014. It also is the third consecutive year of growth in the number of architects. Read the full report>>

AIA Virginia congratulates all the recently licensed architects for their superior progress.

NCARB Endorses New Path to Licensure

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.
© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors has announced their endorsement of the concept of an additional, structured path that leads to licensure in a U.S. jurisdiction. The new path—licensure upon graduation from an accredited program—would integrate the rigorous internship and examination requirements that aspiring architects must fulfill into the years spent completing a professional degree in architecture.

The concept was designed by a distinguished group of volunteers convened by NCARB, which recommends national architect registration standards, called the Licensure Task Force. This group, which was initially formed in mid-2013, is headed by NCARB’s Immediate Past President Ron Blitch of Louisiana, and it includes former and current leaders of NCARB, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Association of Colleges and Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), as well as interns, recently licensed architects, program deans and instructors, and jurisdictional licensing board representatives.[adrotate banner=”59″]

Describing the work of the Licensure Task Force, NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong said, “NCARB is engaged in streamlining and simplifying the licensing process for aspiring architects, and we are actively re-engineering all elements of the architectural licensing process—education, experience and examination—to focus on facilitation of licensing.”

“This additional path to licensure is another concrete step to reimagining and reconfiguring each part of the process while upholding the rigorous standards needed to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare,” he said.

This progressive concept was borne of research and development efforts by the Licensure Task Force, with leaders from diverse segments of the architectural community to analyze each component of the licensure process to identify overlaps and redundancies to existing programs.

Now beginning the second year, the Licensure Task Force will start to identify schools interested in participating in the program. NCARB expects to issue schools Requests for Information later in the year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.

In addition to the licensure work, NCARB also announced this month that a transition plan is underway to guide the implementation of major improvements and changes to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), the test that all prospective architects must take to get their licenses. The new ARE 5.0 will launch in late 2016, while ARE 4.0 will remain available for at least 18 months after the launch.

The exam is required by all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for initial architectural licensure by assessing candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide all services required in the practice of architecture.

ARE Rolling Clock Ticking

Sorg AIA 2003362The rolling clock is ticking down to zero for candidates who began passing sections of the Architect Registration Exam prior to 2006.  Those who passed a section before January 2006 but have not completed the full exam need to do so before July 1, 2014.  If they do not, their hard work will be discarded.

The rolling clock idea was initiated by the National Council of Architectural Review Boards (NCARB) in 2006 and revised in 2009.  To allow those who had passed earlier versions of the ARE — including those who had successfully completed some tests on the paper versions — NCARB established a grace period.  This ends on July 1, 2014.

If a candidate passed one or more sections prior to January 2006 but does not successfully complete the remaining parts of the exam before July 2014, the pre-2006 results will be erased.  Candidates then must retake those deleted portions again.

This deadline does not affect those parts successfully completed after January 1, 2006.  Those have always been controlled by the rolling clock.  The clock starts with the successful completion of an exam segment.  From that date, candidates have five years to complete the entire exam successfully.  At the five-year mark, the candidate either has passed all portions, or the first exam is deleted and must be retaken and the five-year start date moves to the second successfully completed portion.

Questions may be directed toward NCARB at (202) 879-0520 or

IDP Changes Effective Dec. 16

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.
© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

The AIA recently commended the decision of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors to remove the employment duration requirement in the Intern Development Program (IDP). This change will allow interns to earn IDP experience regardless of time spent on a project. The eligibility requirement is also being simplified to allow interns to begin earning credit upon graduation from high school. The changes go into effect Dec. 16, 2013.

“This is an exciting development many of us have worked for, and for me proof that together the AIA and NCARB have taken the first steps down a road that will have immediate benefits for the young men and women who are the future of our profession,” said AIA President, Mickey Jacob, FAIA.

Internship Advisory Committee co-chair, John A. Padilla, AIA, added, “The elimination of the minimum IDP Duration Requirement for our interns responds boldly to today’s changing nature of architectural practice. This change is monumental in allowing our interns to earn credit for all experience hours gained during the performance of their work no matter the length of their employment with a firm.”

Read the NCARB announcement>>


NCARB Launches My Examination for ARE

ARE Candidates can now schedule exams and view their exam history though My Examination. Log in today to explore the service’s new features.

The blackout has ended, which means My Examination is up and running, and it’s time to start testing again. In addition to being able to schedule appointments, ARE candidates will have easy access to score reports, exam history, rolling clock dates, eligibility to test information, the latest ARE news, and more. Best of all, testing information is now in one place. Learn more about My Examination’s featuresin this introductory video.

Updated ARE Guidelines & Exam Guides
The August 2013 ARE Guidelines includes all the new processes related to My Examination, an overview of the exam divisions as well as the vignette software, the rolling clock, exam eligibility, and five steps to taking and completing the ARE.

The ARE Exam Guides have also been updated, so be sure to download a copy here.

ARE Changes Coming the Summer

Two AIA Members
© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

Last December, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced that changes to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) process were coming this summer. NCARB sets the record straight on a few rumors and shares what these changes mean for candidates.

TRUE: NCARB is launching a new ARE service in 2013, called My Examination.

In late August 2013, NCARB will launch a new service within My NCARB for ARE candidates to access their examination information and schedule appointments. The new service—called My Examination—will be located within your online NCARB Record and will offer several new benefits, such as easy access to exam history, authorization to test information, rolling clock dates, score reports, and more.

FALSE: The exam content is changing in July 2013.

Test specifications for each division will remain the same. The only thing changing from a candidate perspective is the process for scheduling a test, receiving a score report, and accessing exam history data.

TRUE: Exam divisions can’t be scheduled during the blackout period.

In order to support this new service, there will be an estimated eight-week blackout period for candidates beginning July 1, 2013. During this time, exams cannot be administered or scheduled, and registration boards cannot create eligibilities for exam candidates. The blackout period is expected to end in late August.

FALSE: Prometric will no longer be administering the exam to candidates.

You will continue to take exams at Prometric test centers. When My Examination launches, you will schedule exam appointments through your NCARB Record, but the process will still be managed by Prometric.

TRUE: NCARB will automatically grant a 12-week extension to candidates’ rolling clocks due to the July 2013 blackout.

NCARB will grant an automatic 12-week extension to the rolling clock and is working with jurisdictions with their own rolling clock rules to ensure all candidates receive the same extension. Candidates will receive the full 12-week extension regardless of the length of the blackout period.

TRUE: The extension to the rolling clock does not apply to the 1 July 2014 deadline for divisions passed prior to 2006.

Candidates who have passed exam divisions prior to 2006 and have not completed the ARE will need to pass all remaining divisions by July 1, 2014 to prevent those divisions from expiring.

TRUE: The rolling clock extension is based on a candidate’s current expiration date.

If your rolling clock is scheduled to expire during or after the blackout, the rolling clock extension will be based on your current expiration date. For example, if your rolling clock is set to expire on July 20, 2013, you will receive a 12-week extension from that date. The new end date of your rolling clock will then be Oct. 20, 2013.

However, if your rolling clock is set to expire prior to the blackout, the extension does not apply, so it’s recommended that you schedule and take your exams before your rolling clock expiration date.

FALSE: The cost of the ARE is going to increase in 2013.

Fees to take the ARE will not increase in 2013 when My Examination launches—the cost of each division will remain the same. However, the fee to reschedule an exam will be based on the following tiered structure when My Examination launches:

  • 0-3 days before appointment: Rescheduling not permitted
  • 4-15 days before appointment: $80
  • 16 or more days before the appointment: $60

FALSE: NCARB Record holders have to pay a fee to use the new My Examination service.

There will be no additional cost to active NCARB Record holders for access to My Examination; it will be included with the current cost of establishing and maintaining a Record. Inactive Record holders will be required to renew their Record. Non-Record holders will need to create an NCARB account and establish access.

TRUE: An NCARB Record is needed to take the ARE.

This has been a requirement for all new candidates since May 2008 and will now be a requirement for all candidates in order to access My Examination.

FALSE: NCARB makes a profit from the ARE.

NCARB does not make a profit from the exam and has held fees down since 2010. While it is not widely known, the cost of the ARE to candidates is subsidized by fees collected from other NCARB services (e.g., Record transmittals).

For more information, see the related FAQs on


NCARB Tests New Way to Access ARE Practice Programs

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is beta testing a cloud-based service that will allow customers with 64-bit Windows operating systems and Macs to access the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) Practice Programs software.

The software, which offers sample vignettes for candidates to solve, is designed to run on 32-bit operating systems. In response to customer feedback, NCARB has been working to develop a solution that allows customers with 64-bit systems and Macs to access the practice programs.

Beta Test Runs Jan. 22–March 18, 2013
A beta version of the ARE Practice Programs service will be offered free of charge through an NCARB account from Jan. 22–March 18, 2013. The beta test will help NCARB troubleshoot any technical issues, determine potential usage levels, and gain customer feedback.

Start Your Free Trial Today
Users with an NCARB account can participate in the free trial by following these instructions:

1) Log in to

2) Click the ADD button next to ARE Practice Programs to add the service.

3) On the NCARB Services page, press the Start Trial button to begin your free trial. Please note: This service requires an internet connection.

4) On the ARE Practice Programs Access page, follow the instructions, and use the login information to access the service.