AIA|LA and the ROAD MAP to LICENSURE  :: 5600 & ONE

Photos of Miami taken by Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA

Last week, on behalf of AIA|LA I had the unique opportunity to visit Miami, Florida for the annual  Intern Development Program (IDP) Coordinators Conference hosted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).  My objective was simple:  to learn more about what I can do to help emerging designers in Los Angeles become architects.  Oh, and to enjoy Miami - a city I've never had the chance to visit before.

As the Director of Government & Public Affairs for AIA|LA, I often receive questions about licensure and yet rarely have the answers.  The alphabet soup of ARE, IDP, NCARB and EPC has always remained a bit hazy to me, so I was motivated to listen to as many people as possible and return to LA with a re-invigorated plan to establish a road map to licensure in Los Angeles.

Inspired by Michelle Railsback from AIA San Francisco, I learned that many of the programs that we already offer at AIA|LA can easily translate into IDP hours.  We just need to make that fact more obvious in our manner of marketing our programs to students and emerging professionals.  Likewise, I learned about AIA San Francisco's ARE Pact, which financially incentivizes designers to take all seven exams within twelve months.  Additionally, I discovered that we can easily begin coordinating professional development sessions in tandem with the Emerging Professionals Companion, which will enable LA-area designers to accrue additional IDP hours (up to 40 hours per area).

Some of the conference attendees that I connected with included Norman Millar, AIA (Dean of Woodbury School of Architecture) Stephanie Silkwood, AIA (the IDP State Coordinator for California) and Catherine Roussel, AIA (the IDP Coordinator for Woodbury University).  We pledged to find a way to work together more often and identify opportunities to partner on programs that will promote the the path to licensure.  Student Coordinators, Jessica Labac (Cal Poly SLO) and Linaea Floden (USF) also shared ideas for what AIA|LA could do to streamline opportunities to assist emerging professionals navigating through the IDP process.

By the end of the two-day conference, the framework in my mind for what was missing was much more established.  By following the right steps, one could become an architect in as little as seven (maybe eight) years (including your time in architecture school)  if there was only a more straightforward road map offered at the beginning of the process.  Sure, it's not exactly this simple  - but for now, let's just paint the outline as bold as we can:

To become an architect all you need is the following:
- 5600 hour of IDP credits
- Successfully pass 7 architecture registration exams (8 in California w/ the oral exam)
- A degree from a NAAB/CACB- accredited degree program (or) equivalent employment in a work setting

Three simple ingredients, right.  

So the path to becoming an architect looks a little like this:

1.  Enroll in NAAB/CACB- accredited degree program
2.  Establish your NCARB record
3.  Document your IDP Eligibility Date
4.  Identify your IDP Supervisor
5.  Identify your Mentor
6.  Document your experience
7.  Document your experience again
8.  Keep documenting your experience
9.  Yep, almost there.....
10.  Document your education
11.  Transmit your NCARB record
12.  Take the ARE (and pass, of course!)
13.  Get licensed as an architect
14.  Now you're an entrepreneur - anything is possible!

Sure, I may smoothed over most of the details but for a comprehensive resource be sure to read the IDP Guidelines.

For the next several months, as we begin shaping the 2014 AIA|LA Roadmap to Licensure, I encourage you an an emerging professionals to reach out to me so that I can have a better understanding of what type of framework will work best for you.  As I begin adding details to the roadmap, I'd enjoy adding layers that will enable all of you to more readily enjoy the process.  After all, it's mostly about the journey, right?

For now, let's call it 5600 and ONE :: AIA|LA and the ROAD MAP to LICENSURE.
Last updated: 02-Aug-2013 03:13 PM
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