At the 2015 AIA Convention this past May, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced plans to sunset the use of the term “intern” when referring to a professional who is working to become an architect. Today, NCARB stated that in an effort to discontinue the terminology, the Intern Development Program, a requirement for aspiring architects to achieve licensure, will be renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), beginning June 29, 2016. The launch of the new name coincides with program’s realignment of experience areas.
Only individual licensing boards can make decisions pertaining to legal language; NCARB can advise those licensing boards through resolutions, model laws, and guidelines. Therefore, the program’s new name will have a caveat: “formerly known as the Intern Development Program, or IDP.” The language is meant to accommodate existing rules that refer to the program’s current name.
“Renaming the IDP is another step in realigning our programs to better reflect current practice and terminology,” NCARB President Dennis Ward, AIA, said in a press release. “For example, one firm may refer to a non-licensed employee as a ‘senior designer’ while another uses the title ‘project manager.’ Yet, neither is likely to introduce that individual to clients as an ‘intern’.”
NCARB will continue to refer to those working toward licensure as “aspiring architects” or “exam candidates,” but licensing boards have the authority to prescribe their own terminology for unlicensed professionals.