Starting this June, architects and licensure candidates will benefit from updates to two key programs: the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the NCARB Certificate. Developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), these programs facilitate initial and reciprocal licensure across the United States.

“By streamlining the requirements and fees for our programs, we’re able to provide customers with greater flexibility and, over time, reduce the cost to licensure,” said NCARB President Dennis Ward, FAIA, NCARB. “The simplified fee structure is the result of improved processes at NCARB and the Board of Directors’ desire to make the path to licensure more accessible.”

Architectural Experience Program (AXP)

On June 29, the Intern Development Program (IDP) will be updated to reflect six broad areas of architectural practice—and renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). These areas also align with the six new divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE 5.0), slated to launch later this year. The AXP, which guides licensure candidates through the early stages of their career, will continue to require 3,740 hours.

The program will also feature a new Portfolio option. Through this alternative, experienced professionals will have the opportunity to satisfy AXP requirements through an online portfolio. To be eligible for this option, applicants must have more than five years of experience working for an architect. The simplified fees associated with the AXP will go into effect June 29. Based on the average time it takes to complete the program, NCARB anticipates the new pricing will save new customers around $60.

NCARB Certificate

On June 29, the application fee for the NCARB Certificate will be reduced to $1,100—a $400 saving. Awarded by NCARB, the credential facilitates licensure across the United States. Certified architects also have access to free continuing education opportunities through NCARB’s Monograph Series.

On July 1, NCARB will launch a new alternative to certification for foreign architects. To gain certification, eligible applicants will need to complete the AXP and pass the ARE, the national exam used to test a licensure candidate’s knowledge and skills.

These updates were approved by NCARB’s Board of Directors following feedback from state licensing boards. To learn more about earning a license to practice architecture, visit