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Fiona Mckay

The AIA UK Chapter recently caught up with Stephen Nutt, AIA (Sr. Architect / Advisor to the CEO of NCARB) on his recent trip to Paris and London. Stephen met with several international architecture groups on his visit including the Architects’ Council of Europe, International Union of Architects, ARB and RIBA. The relationships between these groups, NCARB and AIA are very complex and potential for reciprocity arrangements are still somewhat distant. However Stephen did update us on a few relevant items in which NCARB is involved.

The Intern Development Program is being repositioned and renamed as the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) on June 29.  Those on the path to licensure are able to complete the program while working abroad if their supervisor is licensed in the U.S.  Half of the program (1,860 hours) can be completed if the supervisor is a foreign architect.  Candidates can also sit for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) in test centers in London, Abu Dhabi, and Hong Kong.  NCARB believes in and supports the international experience of emerging professionals and strongly encourages their regulatory counterparts in other countries to follow their lead.  

NCARB will offer a new program for foreign-licensed architects seeking licensure in a US jurisdiction. The Foreign Architect Certification Path begins July 1, and will replace the current Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Program (BEFA). The new path recognises the education  of foreign-licensed architects and requires the completion of the AXP and the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). More information here

This could set a precedent for other countries to grant similar arrangements for foreign architects, including American architects practicing abroad. However it is unlikely that RIBA or ARB would grant a similar arrangement for American or other foreign (non-EU) architects, given their current relationship with the EU. 

If the UK decides to exit the European Union (referendum vote on 23 June), there may be an impact on agreements between international licensing bodies, including relations between NCARB and the ARB. This may speed up discussions toward mutual recognition of architectural education, i.e. NAAB-accredited programs in the US equivalent to RIBA-accredited programs in the UK.

NCARB currently has recognition arrangements with Canada and Mexico.  And is finalizing a new arrangement with Australia and New Zealand, as both countries’  path to licensure is closely compatible with that of the US.

Thank you to Stephen for this valuable update. We will stay tuned to developments in international reciprocity.

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