2016 Edition, Special Issue

Executive Officer’s Message

The licensing process is not easy. This is because the high stakes of architecture, the built environment, and the health, safety, and welfare of the public require a comprehensive, robust requirement for education/experience and the examinations.

The good news is that the process has been streamlined and is now more integrated. For example:

  • The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) has been reduced from 9 divisions to 7 (and will soon be 6);
  • The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) (formerly named the Intern Development Program [IDP]) has been simplified by removing the "elective hours" and reducing the overall time by one-third;
  • The Board’s California Supplemental Examination (CSE) is now offered at testing centers 6 days per week, 52 weeks per year, compared to just 6 times per year under the previous oral format;
  • The Board’s Comprehensive IDP has been repealed; and
  • The "occupational analysis" for the ARE is now used to shape both AXP and the national accreditation standards for schools of architecture.

These actions clearly have made the licensure path more efficient and established a stronger connection to practice. They can also help promote licensure as well. In addition, the "integrated path" degree programs, which are being piloted at 18 schools (including NewSchool of Architecture, University of Southern California, and Woodbury University) also show promise as positive catalysts that promote licensure.

It is an exciting time in architectural licensing. The reforms to the process are significant and meaningful. The potential for additional improvements is promising. The Board looks forward to continuing to work toward a more efficient licensing process.