At its 2015 Annual Business Meeting today, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced plans to develop a path to licensure for professionals who have qualified experience from more than five years ago. NCARB will work with U.S. licensing boards to begin documenting valid professional experience that fulfills the intent of the Intern Development Program (IDP) but falls outside the timing limits of current IDP reporting requirements. The current requirements allow licensure candidates to earn full credit for experience reported within eight months and 50 percent credit for experience earned after that and up to five years. Any experience older than fiver years does not qualify. Today's proposal, however, dismisses the five-year limit and allows applicants to report any experience, regardless of when it took place, that displays proficiency in the IDP experience categories. Today's proposal, however, would allow applicants to report experience beyond five years that displays proficiency in the IDP experience categories.

The new program could benefit an estimated 12,000 professionals who have experience that is older than five years for which they never collected credit, according to NCARB. A recent poll of these aspiring architects revealed that 80 percent would be interested in a program like this if it became available.

Throughout the summer and fall, NCARB will seek feedback from its member boards, which handle the licensing rules in their jurisdictions, with the hope of making the new program available by July 1, 2016.

"We all know of folks who had to step away from the path to licensure and want to come back," said NCARB president Dale McKinney, FAIA, in the press release. "Most of these people have degrees from programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, loads of experience that is older than five years, and now want to move up from being a project manager to a licensed architect."

In addition to developing this new proposal, NCARB has also recently initiated a streamline and overhaul of the IDP and North American mutual recognition agreement, amongst other changes to the licensure process. Last month the organization shook up the architectural community when it recommended the restriction of regulatory language to post-licensure status and the discontinuation of the word "intern."

"The facilitation of licensure is a primary goal for NCARB," said McKinney in the press release. "This proposal is 

one of many that redefines the path to licensure without sacrificing the value that we place on experience, education, and examination."

Read more about NCARB's recent changes to the licensure process here.

Homepage image used via a Creative Commons license with Flickr user Steve Grant.

Note: The original publication of this article incorrectly stated that the new program would dismiss the five-year limit. We regret the error.