IDP Streamlining and Overhaul
During its June 2014 Annual Meeting, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) proposed two significant changes to the Intern Development Program (IDP) that would be phased in over the next two years. The first change streamlines IDP by reducing the required hours for completion of the program. The other change aligns IDP with the divisions of the new version of the Architect Registration Examination, ARE 5.0, planned for launch in late 2016. Based upon the feedback provided to the NCARB Board of Directors, the changes were approved at its September 2014 meeting.
Streamlining - July 1, 2015
Currently, IDP requires candidates to document the completion of 5,600 hours, of which 3,740 hours fulfill core requirements and 1,860 are elective. Core hours are the minimum number of hours candidates must earn in a given IDP experience category or area. Elective hours are those supplemental hours candidates earn outside the core hours to help fulfill the 5,600-hour requirement of IDP.
Under the approved change, the 1,860 elective hour requirement will be eliminated and candidates will only need to document the 3,740 core hour requirement. This will mean that candidates who are currently working toward the higher hour requirement could be finished with IDP when the streamlining becomes effective (or shortly thereafter, depending on the number of hours already documented on July 1, 2015). The California Architects Board is accepting the new streamlined IDP; therefore, the 3,740 will meet the Board’s structured internship requirement for candidates. It is important to note, however, that not every NCARB Member Board will adopt the new streamlined IDP. Consequently, it may be necessary for a candidate to document additional IDP hours or other work experience should they seek licensure in another jurisdiction.
Aligning IDP with Examination - July 1, 2016
The final phase of the two-phase process for reinventing IDP will be to align the current experience areas with the results from NCARB’s 2012 Practice Analysis of Architecture. The approved change realigns the current 4 IDP experience categories and 17 experience areas into 6 broader practice-based experience categories. The 6 categories would directly align with the practice-based areas of architecture that serve as the foundation for the 6 divisions of ARE 5.0. This would align IDP with the current realities and challenges of contemporary architectural practice.
For California candidates, the implementation of these changes over the next two years should be seamless. Candidates will still request NCARB transmit their respective NCARB Record (which includes documentation of IDP) to the Board after completing the ARE. Board staff will continue to review the NCARB Record upon receipt and notify a candidate when they are eligible for the California Supplemental Examination. What should be noticeable to candidates is the greater ease of reporting experience hours into six broader practice-based categories and a potential reduction of the amount of time necessary for completing IDP.