NCARB Board Amends Intern Development Program

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) voted to approve two significant changes that will streamline and overhaul the Intern Development Program (IDP).

Phase One focuses only on the IDP’s core requirements by removing the required 1,860 elective hours. Once implemented in mid-2015, interns will have to complete 3,740 hours, instead of the current requirement of 5,600 hours.

The board estimates that the average intern now takes over seven years to obtain licensure (five years to complete the mandatory IDP hours and another 2.2 years to pass the licensing exam). With the elimination of elective hours, the average intern will need an estimated three to four years to complete the internship requirements. Combined with the average of 2.2 years on the exam, the path to licensure will take about five or six years.

Phase Two involves a contraction of the current 17 core experience areas into six practice-based categories, identified in the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture. These six subjects correspond to the six sections tested in the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0, expected to launch in late 2016. NCARB plans on implementing the new six-category internship format just before the release of the next exam in mid-2016.

“Streamlining of the IDP requirements will reduce complexities while ensuring that intern architects still acquire the comprehensive experience that is essential for competent practice, and result in a program that is both justifiable and defensible,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, in a press release.

NCARB introduced the proposed modifications in June at its annual business meeting, attended by representatives of its 54 member jurisdiction boards. NCARB then held a comment period to elicit feedback from the boards. Finally, the board voted to amend its program and is now working on the implementation of the two initiatives.

NCARB develops policies pertaining to licensing, but those policies are only enforced through the adoption by the 54 jurisdictional licensing boards. Most states require the IDP to satisfy experience requirements for licensure.

“The decision to streamline the IDP in Phase One was not an easy decision, and we know that a number of jurisdictions around the U.S. may not yet be willing to move forward with this change,” said McKinney in a press release. “However, a majority of our members have indicated support for this change and we believe the justification is sound. … today’s interns gain their experience very differently from those who first enrolled in IDP many years ago. While the profession has evolved, the IDP has not kept pace.”

Source: ARCHITECT Magazine