The U.S. Constitution grants individual states the responsibility to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. The regulation of the architecture profession and the licensure of its practitioners are ways in which states exercise that power. Licensure is the highest form of professional regulation, and all 50 states require an individual to be licensed in order to call him or herself an architect.
State licensing boards, designated to oversee regulatory responsibilities in architecture, exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Together, the 55 boards form the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Each member board has the authority to set its own set of standards for licensure, and the criteria vary considerably among jurisdictions, but all boards require that a candidate for licensure satisfy standards for education, experience, and examination.
To satisfy their examination requirements, every NCARB member board requires interns to pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), owned and operated by NCARB. The ARE is administered on a year-round basis and consists of nine divisions: pre-design; site planning; building planning; building technology; general structures; lateral forces; mechanical and electrical systems; materials and methods; and construction documents and services.
Chronology of Architectural Licensure
A paper, titled "NCARB and How It Relates to Architectural Professional Associations," is published by NCARB. This paper explores how two principle considerations, federal antitrust law and public credibility, collectively define the extent to which NCARB can engage in joint undertakings with the other collateral architectural organizations.
"A White Gentlemen's Profession?" by John Morris Dixon, is published in the November issue of Progressive Architecture.
The Final Report of the AIA Licensing and Reciprocity Task Force is released by the AIA. This report identifies the need for the AIA to be a more effective advocate in the area of registration standard setting.
The last paper-based version of the ARE is administered during the week of June 17-20.
In May, the first issue of what would later become ArchVoices newsletter is published.
In June, the Union of International Architects (UIA) Accord on Recommended International Standards of Professionalism in Architectural Practice is approved at the XXI UIA Assembly in Beijing, China.
"Common Good," an expose on NCARB, is authored by Eric Adams and published in the June 1999 issue of Architecture.
The AIA Board adopts a policy advocating that students of accredited degree programs be eligible to take and be prepared to pass the Architect Registration Examination immediately upon graduation. (Experience, in addition to the examination, would still be required of graduates in order to obtain licensure.)
NCARB issues its 2000-2001 Practice Analysis Report in February, 'validating' the IDP and ARE. The report is based on an 18-month study called "A Survey of the Practice of Architecture," which garnered a statistically insignificant response from interns.
The NCARB Board rejects, 11-1, that students should be able to take the licensing exam immediately after graduation, as recommended by the CITF. It also rejects, unanimously, conferring the title of 'Architect' on new graduates, as recommended by the CITF Final Report.
Effective October 25, the Texas Board of Architects and Engineers allows interns to begin taking the ARE if they have completed a professional degree program and have completed six months' experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect.