The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) came off of its annual meeting held last week in Seattle with a number of announcements for the practice in North America and globally. Among them, a list of the latest programs to join the council’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure initiative and the launch date for version 5.0 of the Architect Registration Exam. NCARB has kept the news rolling with another round of announcements:

Beginning in 2017, architects with a degree from an institution not accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) can show evidence of three years of continuous licensure in one jurisdiction along with documentation of their professional experience and education in order to earn their certificate, in lieu of completing NCARB’s Broadly Experienced Architect Program. A reduced application fee of $1,100 will be applied to new and existing NCARB Record users. NCARB will work with participants of the Education Evaluation Services for Architects program to determine whether additional licensing requirements must be satisfied.

NCARB has entered into a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with architectural licensing authorities in Australia and New Zealand, which would enable architects to earn reciprocal licenses to practice in those countries and the U.S. The agreement requires the signatures of at least 28 U.S. licensing boards by Dec. 31, 2016. The MRA is similar to the one NCARB struck with Canada in 2014 and calls for U.S. architects who want to practice in Australia or New Zealand to have, among other requirements, three years of post-licensure experience in the U.S. and validation of licensure in good standing.

The council is partnering with the American Institute of Architecture Students’ Freedom by Design program for the upcoming academic year by providing local chapters with grants for building materials as well as the mentoring support of individuals from state licensing boards and area architectural firms. The volunteer program incorporates accessible design into communities. Additionally, students can earn Architectural Experience Program hours for their participation in Freedom by Design.