2016 Edition, Issue 3

New Path for Foreign Architect Certification

A foreign architect is an individual holding a current registration in good standing granted by a country other than the United States or Canada that allows them to use the title "architect" and to engage in the unlimited practice of architecture in that country. As of July 1, 2016, foreign architects may receive certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) using one of the three methods below:

  1. Meeting the requirements set forth in Section 1 of the NCARB Certification Guidelines;
  2. Under a mutual recognition agreement with the respective country that is ratified by the NCARB membership; or
  3. Using the new alternative path detailed in Section 4 of the NCARB Certification Guidelines.

On July 1, 2016, foreign architects seeking an NCARB Certificate are required to complete the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), the national exam used to test the knowledge and skills of licensure candidates, and Architectural Experience Program (AXP), a program designed to guide licensure candidates through the various phases of architectural practice.

The new alternative replaces the former Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Program and eliminates the need for foreign architects to prepare a dossier, participate in an interview, and document seven years of credentialed practice in a foreign country. The new path was adopted through a vote of the NCARB membership at its 2015 Annual Business Meeting.

To be eligible for this new alternative path, foreign architects must meet the following requirements:

  • Education: Have a recognized education credential in an architecture program that leads to registration/credential in a foreign country.
  • Registration: Hold a credential in a foreign country that has a formal record-keeping mechanism for disciplinary actions in the practice of architecture.

As stated by NCARB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Armstrong, This new path will simplify the process for foreign architects who are licensed but do not currently meet the requirements for NCARB certification. He further said, By requiring completion of the AXP and ARE, this group will be held to the nationally accepted standards for licensure in the United States.