Frequently Asked Questions by participants in the IDP program

Q1. Who must meet the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) requirements in Illinois?

A. All candidates for licensure in Illinois. The only exception is an architect who has already received a license to practice in another state when that state's licensing requirements were the same or more stringent than Illinois' requirements at the time the other state's license was received - for instance, if an architect was licensed in Michigan prior to June 27, 1994, that architect can be licensed in Illinois "by endorsement" (reciprocity) without going through the AXP process because neither Illinois nor Michigan required AXP at that time.

Q2. How do I begin to establish my NCARB Record?

A. You can start an NCARB Record online

Q3. What type of an academic degree must I obtain to be eligible to take the Architectural Registration Examination in Illinois?

A. You must have a professional NAAB-accredited degree in architecture -- B. Arch. or M. Arch.

Q4. How much does it cost to establish an NCARB Record?

A. $100.00 one time up-front fee paid to NCARB now to establish your NCARB Record, plus $85.00 per year after the first three year until you are licensed in one state.


Q5. How long will it take to complete my internship under AXP?

A. The AXP will take 3,740 Experience Hours, or a little less than 2 years. Since there is no distinction between overtime hours spent to accumulate training hours, the actual duration of training could be somewhat shortened by working overtime. AIA-approved or sponsored seminars and workshops could also be done after hours or on weekends to apply toward some of the required training hours. In reality, due to the diversity of experiences you will need to acquire in the AXP, most candidates take about three years.

Q6. When can I start my NCARB Record?

A. You can start counting training hours in your NCARB Record after graduation from high school.

Q7. Does my summer experience count?

A. Yes.

Q8. Does part time work count?

A. Yes.

Q9. Do I have to work only in an "architectural firm?"

A. No, but you must work at least 1,860 hours under the "direct supervision" of a licensed architect in firms that are legally practicing architecture (Experience Setting "A) . If you are working in Illinois, a legal architectural firm is one that meets one of the following two requirements:

 1. A "sole proprietorship" solely owned by an Illinois licensed architect, structural engineer or professional engineer. The name of the firm must be the name of the sole proprietor. If the name of the firm is not the same as the proprietor, the firm must be registered with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as a "Professional Design Firm."

2. A corporation, professional service corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership registered with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as a "Professional Design Firm." The person having responsibility for the architectural services must be a General Partner in a Partnership or Director of the firm if it is a Corporation, that person must be licensed in Illinois, and two thirds of all the Partners or Directors must be licensed architects, structural engineers or professional engineers licensed in any state.

"Direct supervision" means regular contact with your supervisor who also is working in the same firm, although he or she may not necessarily be located in the same office as you are. Under Illinois law, if the company you work for does not have an architect or engineer on its full time staff, but simply hires a consulting architect or engineer to provide them with professional services, the time you spend working in that situation will not count toward your AXP training. Be aware of the fact that outside consulting architects who come into the firm to review your work and apply their license seal to drawings that you have prepared are not legally practicing architecture in Illinois and most other states, and are subject to suspension or termination of their license by the Department of Professional Regulation.

You may earn up to 1,860 Experience Hours of your training in non-architectural firms that provide "in-house" architectural services (i.e., not to the general public), such as governmental bodies that have architectural departments (park districts, school districts, the Capitol Development Board of the State of Illinois, or municipal governments) or corporations (like Walgreens or McDonalds), as long as you are performing architectural duties under the direct supervision of a licensed architect (Experience Setting "O").

You may earn up to 1,860 Experience Hours in firms which provide some but not necessarily a full range of architectural services, as long as you are performing architectural duties under the direct supervision of a licensed architect. These types of firms may be interior design firms, space planning firms, developers, construction management firms, building contractors, engineering firms, lighting design firms, acoustical design firms, or urban planners (Experience Setting "O").

You may earn up to 1,860 Experience Hours working in firms under the direct supervision of a licensed structural, civil, mechanical, fire protection or electrical engineer in the field of building design or construction (Experience Setting "O").

You may earn up to 1,860 Experience Hours working in firms under the direct supervision of a registered (or licensed) landscape architect (Experience Setting "O").


Q10. Does work in a foreign country get credit?

A. Yes, you can earn up to 1,860 Experience Hours for all work performed in a foreign country, as long as you work under the direct supervision and control of an architect who is "credentialed" to practice architecture in that country under their laws, or whose registration is recognized by that country as being equivalent to their own (for instance, you may work under the supervision of a British-registered architect in India or Singapore). Furthermore, if you are working under a US-licensed architect abroad, all of your experience can count.

Q11. I started my NCARB Record in Georgia and recently moved to Illinois. How do I transfer my Council Record to Illinois?

A. There is no need to do any transfer. You will get full credit for your AXP training earned in Georgia (or any other state, for that matter), as long as it is acceptable to NCARB. That is one of the great advantages of AXP - it is "portable." You only need to let NCARB know you moved so they will be able to send your record of your experience to your new address. Note that NCARB normally communicates with you via email, so keep them current with your email address.

Q12. Who is going to verify that I actually did what I said I did?

A. Your employer.  Under AXP rules, you must have an AXP Supervisor, who is a person who supervises your work on a daily basis and who periodically certifies your record of training and supplementary education. AXP Supervisors do not always have to be architects (for example, in the case where you are working for an engineer or interior design firm). Obviously, your AXP Supervisor could change from time to time, as you are assigned other duties in a firm, move to different cities, or simply change jobs.


Q13. Who else is involved in my training?

A. You may also want to select a Mentor. A Mentor is an architect who meets with you periodically to review your training progress and discuss your career goals. Your Mentor serves as a traditional "mentor." For example, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Mentor" was Louis Sullivan, who Mr. Wright called his "Lieber Meister." He or she may ask before you meet that you write down and update your short and long-range goals for yourself. You may want to ask a friend, a former professor, or another architect in your firm to serve as your Mentor. In a situation where you are not working anywhere, you may have your Mentor verify your Supplemental Experience training hours.

Q14. I heard that I can defer repayment of my student loans if I enroll in the AXP program. Is that true?

A. Yes, but only if the federally insured student loan was granted prior to July 1, 1993. After that date it is at the discretion of the lender.  There is a form that you can get from your loan company which requires two signatures to verify that you are enrolled in an official apprenticeship program. The first signature is the "Program Official," which is your Employer. The second signature is the Director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Call M. David Brim, Design Professions Coordinator, in Springfield, telephone (217) 785-0877, to obtain this second signature.

Q15. My firm has a continuing education program. How can I get credit for attendance at their seminars?

A. If your firm can establish that their continuing education seminars are "experience-based," that is, they will significantly involve actual observing or participating in producing architectural services, you will be able to claim all the time you spend in that program, just as if you were actually working and getting those experiences. If, however, your firm's continuing education program is of an academic nature (lectures, reading materials, tests, etc.), it must be pre-approved by the AIA under their "CES" (Continuing Education System) program.

Q16. Does the CSI specifications education course qualify for supplementary education?

A. Yes.  

Q17.  Is it possible to get Experience Hour credit for attending AIA-sponsored or CSI-sponsored educational seminars?

A. Yes, as long as the seminars and workshops are sponsored by an AIA Certified Continuing Education System provider, and they will award "Learning Unit" credit to licensed architects. When you attend an AIA-approved provider program, you can have your Learning Unit Hours recorded in the database kept by the AIA.  Even if you are not an AIA member, the AIA will maintain a record of your supplementary education so that you may apply it toward your AXP Training Hours.

The AIA will record your Continuing Education Supplemental Experience. An AIA transcript documenting completion of AIA-approved courses must be uploaded as proof of completion for the AIA Continuing Education Supplemental Experience. To download the form, go to

To request a transcript, go to


Q18. I received a FIDER-accredited degree in Interior Design 3 years ago. After graduating, I worked two years for an architect, doing architectural drawings. Now I am enrolled in graduate school, working on a Masters Degree in Architecture. Does my experience prior to enrolling in graduate school count toward my required AXP training?

A. Yes, however, you will have had to record it on your AXP Record within five years.

Q19. I have a degree in Interior Design and plan on doing free-lance interiors work. Does that work earn Training Units?

A. No. To earn Experience Hours, you must be employed and work under the direct and daily supervision and control of a qualified interior designer.

Q20. How do I keep the record of my experience?

A. You keep the record of hours you worked on the online reporting system called "My NCARB." You will go online and fill it out at least every six months, checking off what kind of work you have done and what category it falls under, and how many hours you worked in each category. You then email it to NCARB, who will, in turn email it to your supervisor to verify. If you have any questions about which category your work should be applied to, talk to your State Architect Licensing Advisor. NCARB will then review your record, check your category assignments, and send you a "Periodic Assessment Report." NCARB requires you to report all experience within five years after you have earned it.

Q21. Does my previous experience count?

A. All of your experience will count for the last eight months before you report it. Experience earlier than eight months prior to your reporting it will also count up to five years after you earned it, but only at half the number of hours.

Q22. Can I be licensed in Illinois if I am not a U.S. Citizen?

A. Yes.

Q23. I have had a dispute with my boss and he fired me. I need him to sign my AXP verification of employment to get credit for the work I did at his office, and have sent the forms to NCARB and NCARB sent them to him but he refused to sign them. Can I force him to sign?

A. There is no legal risk or cost involved to your former boss by his verification of your employment. This has been a requirement of the Illinois Architectural Act nearly since its creation. As a future practicing professional, you should always strive to maintain good relations with all members of the construction industry. Your employment and business reputation are built on good references from past employers. However, if an architect refuses to verify your NCARB record, your first recourse could be to have your State Architect Licensing Advisor call your former employer to officially request their cooperation. If that does not get the job done, you may contact the Illinois Architecture Licensing Board to speak with your former employer, to inform them that your request is reasonable, that they have responsibility to sign, and that their verification of your employment will have no legal or financial impact on their business. This will normally get you what you need. In a very difficult case, you may have to take legal action as a last resort.

Q24. I have been working for a small architectural firm for the past year, and have put in many hours of overtime for which I was paid at my regular hourly rate. I have heard that I should have been paid at "time-and-a-half" rate. What is the law on this?

A. "Professional" employees are exempt from the federal wage and labor laws and therefore are not required to be paid at the "time-and-a-half" rate for overtime. However, "trainees" are not classified as professionals under this law, since they are pursuing architectural licensing, they cannot seal drawings for construction, and they must work under the supervision and control of a qualified professional. In order to be classified as a professional under the federal labor law, the employee must make be able to do all of the following:

1. Make independent judgements about her or his work.

2. Act without the approval of her or his supervisor.

3. Affect the essential operations of the enterprise without supervisory approval.

Trainees are typically not given that kind of role in their work, and are therefore non-exempt from the wage and labor laws. Courts have determined that non-exempt workers must be paid at the "time-and-a-half" hourly wage rate after working 40 hours in one week. The size of the firm does not matter.

Beginning December 1, 2017, the U.S. labor laws will change to state that all salaried workers who earn up to $47,476 a year must be paid time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours during the week.

In 2015, the median annual salary for a first-year non-licensed aspiring architect was $42,000, and $46,000 for a second-year aspiring architect, according to a survey by the American Institute of Architects. To comply with the revised law after December 1, firms will have to give aspiring architects raises, start paying overtime, or scale back hours.

If you want to pursue the issue with your firm, you should seek counsel of an attorney specializing in labor law.

Q25. I am a freshman in an architectural program and plan on working construction during the summer break. Can I get Experience Hour credit for work under the AXP guidelines?

A. Yes, up to 320 hours doing construction work.

Q26. I have a pre-professional B.S. degree in architecture, and am currently enrolled in a 3 year M. Arch. degree program. I took a year off between graduating and enrolling in the Masters degree program and worked for an architect during that time. Does that year's experience count?

A. Yes. But you need to fill out a your online report in a timely fashion. NCARB requires you to report all experience within five years after you have earned it.

Q27. I work full time (37.5  hours per week) for one architectural firm and also work part time (3 or 4 hours per week ) for another firm. Does the part time work count toward my Experience Hour requirements?

A. Yes. All the experience time counts. But you need to fill out your online report in a timely fashion. NCARB requires you to report all experience within five years after you have earned it.

Q28. I am volunteering for Habitat for Humanity about 8 hours per month as a construction worker, and would like to get credit for that time. Can I do that?

A. Yes. You can credit your volunteer service under the one of the Experience Categories directly related to the practice of architecture up to 320 hours. Construction work experience is limited to 80 hours. The charitable organization must have been pre-approved by NCARB as a Community-based Design Center/Collaborative.


Q29.  Where can I go to fulfill volunteer leadeship and service requirements?

A. As of July, 2016, volunteer leadership and service is no longer required.

Q30. I am working in a design-build firm where my supervisor is a licensed engineer. I am doing document checking and coordination work and construction observation work. In which category do I record my experience?

A. You record all of your experience in Experience Setting O (Other). Note that there is a maximum of 1,860 Training Hours applied to your AXP training in this experience setting.

Q31. After graduation, I intend to open an architectural firm and hire a licensed architect to work for me. Can I earn Training Hours in that situation?

A. No. Illinois rules prevent you from earning Experience Hours credit as a "principal" in a firm. After all, you are supposed to be in training. (Note that NCARB does accept this in those few states that allow trainees to be "principals" as long as they are "supervised"). Furthermore, in order for your architectural firm to legally practice architecture in Illinois, it must be registered with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation as a "Professional Design Firm." In order to qualify for registration, the person having responsibility for the architectural services must be a General Partner in a Partnership organization or must be a Director of the firm if it is organized as a Corporation, and two thirds of the Partners or Directors must be architects, structural engineers or professional engineers licensed in any state. This would not be the case if you had a business in which there were only one architect and you as owners/partners.

Q32. I work as an independent contractor for an architect an average of 40 hours per week. Can I receive Training Hour credit for that experience?

A. Yes, as long as the firm you are providing these services to has established an AXP Supervisor who has direct supervision of your work.  

Q33. I work for a temporary employment placement agency and am sent to firms to work on a specific project, but I am paid only by the temp agency. Can I receive Training Unit credit for that experience?

A. Yes. However, the architectural firm in which you are temporarily placed will need to assign someone to be your AXP Supervisor and verify your Training Hours. Although your NCARB Record requires that your AXP Supervisor verify that you have been "employed" by them during the time period for which you are recording your Training Hours, the word "employed" in this context will not get them into trouble or hold them responsible for later paying further benefits to you. Your temp agency cannot verify your NCARB Record, because they do not know what you are doing for the architectural firm. If your AXP Supervisor is hesitant to verify your employment, please have him or her speak with Frank Heitzman, AIA, at (708) 848-8844.

Q35. I have a degree in architecture from a foreign country. Can I earn Experience Hours towards my required AXP requirements and become eligible to take the Architecture Registration Examination?

A. You may be able to do this if your degree is shown to be the equivalent of an architectural degree in this country. To find out whether it is or not you must complete an "Educational Evaluation Service for Architects (EESA) NCARB Evaluation Report." For information regarding EESA/NCARB evaluations please email NAAB at ( or call at (202) 638-3372 .  To download an application form for an EESA/NCARB evaluation click here. It takes about 2 months to complete and costs $2,055.00 or $990.00 for signatories of the Camberra Accord (Australia, Canada, Korea, China, and some schools in Mexico, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka). Note that only an EESA Evaluation report is accepted by NCARB. Since Illinois defers its judgement on this issue to NCARB, no appeal to the Illinois Licensing Board of NCARB's decision is permitted. Another approach woudl be to become licensed in your country and then apply for NCARB Certification under the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect process.

Q36. I am enrolled in an architectural program which requires me to work in an architectural firm prior to my senior year in college. I am getting college credit for this internship. Can I also get Experience Hour credit for the time spent working?

A. Yes, but you must be working either for an Architect (the "A" work setting) or related professional firm such as an engineer or interior designer (the "O" work setting) and you must be paid for your work.

Q37. I work for an architectural firm which has put me on "temporary loan" to another firm for a period of several weeks. Who will verify my employment and sign for the training unit credit for the firm in which I am temporarily placed?

A. In this situation, the supervisor in the firm in which you are temporarily working becomes your "AXP Supervisor" and will verify that you were working in their offices on your NCARB Record. The firm which pays you and which lent you out does not have to do anything during this period, since they are not supervising you.

Q38.  I have been working for an architectural firm that only designs single family homes.  Can I get all of my Experience Hours in that firm?

A.  Yes. 

Q39.  I have begun to take the Architectural Registration Examination in another state which does not require completion AXP prior to taking the ARE.  Will Illinois accept the results of the divisions I have already passed?

A. Yes, as long as you have an NAAB-accredited B. Arch. or M. Arch degree.


Q40.  How are Architects regulated in other countries?

A.  Not as much as in the USA and Canada.  According to Garry Stevens, author of The Favored Circle: The Social Foundations of Architectureal Distinction, MIT Press, 1998 (web site ),  paraphrased as follows: "One of the striking things about architecture is the tremendous variety of ways in which different countries have decided to regulate it (or not). Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, Turkey, New Zealand, The Netherlands and Australia, will let anyone do the work of the architect, and only restrict the title of architect.

A very few places have even tighter restrictions. In Austria, not only do you have to have a degree from an Austrian university, but you must also be an Austrian citizen to practice. No foreigner can be an architect in Austria.

How you acquire the title is also quite variable. In many countries anyone with a degree in architecture is entitled to call themselves an architect, even if they have never laid a pen to paper: Belgium, France, Egypt and Peru do it this way. The Japanese, on the other hand, require no degree, and only ask for a few years training in an architectural office, followed by an examination. In Korea you don't even have to finish high school, but you must complete 14 years of practical experience. Graduate with an architecture degree, though, and this reduces to five years.

What you need to know varies from nation to nation. Australian architects would be considered defective in those countries whose education imparts a lot of structural engineering knowledge to the architect. Spanish architects deal with highly technical buildings, such as industrial plants, that English-speaking architects tend to leave to engineers. Similarly, architects in the Benelux countries produce technical drawings that would be handled by engineers in Australia. Norwegian architects also invariably handle town-planning.

Finally, in quite a few countries there are neither any restrictions on who can use the title architect nor on the sort of work that people can do.  In Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway and Sweden, they have decided that as long as the buildings accord with building regulations, they don't really care who designs them. "


Q41.  I have a degree in architecture from a Canadian University.  Can I become licensed in Illinois?

A.  Yes. But you must complete an "Educational Evaluation Service for Architects (EESA) NCARB Evaluation Report," complete AXP and the ARE and become NCARB Certified.

Q42.  I have worked in Canada and earned internship credit under the IAP program.  Can this experience transfer to Illinois?

A.  Yes.  The Canadian IAP has been accepted by NCARB as equivalent to the AXP.  You simply need to submit your IAP records to NCARB to get an NCARB Record.  To find out more about how to become registerd with a Canadian license, go to .


Q43.  Which states require a professional degree for licensure?

 A.  39 of the 55 NCARB member states and territories require a professional degree - either a B. Arch. or an M. Arch. degree. They are the following:
Alabama Alaska Arkansas Connecticut
Delaware District of Columbia Florida Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Jersey
New Mexico North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Virgin Islands Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico
Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Utah
Georgia Guam Missouri Texas
Virginia West Virginia Wyoming Illinois


The following 15 states and territories require only a 4-year pre-professional degree (some still even require only a high school diploma) - but remember that you cannot receive NCARB Certification unless you have a professional degree - the NCARB Certification will allow you to be licensed in any state or territory without question:
Arizona California Colorado Hawaii
Idaho Maine Maryland New Hampshire
New York Northern Mariana Islands Tennessee Oklahoma
Vermont Washington Wisconsin  

 Go to for more information on an individual state's requirements.


Q44.  Must I have an NCARB Certificate in order to be licensed in Illinois through reciprocity (also called "by endorsement")?

 A.  No, but if you do have an NCARB Certificate it will speed the process of becoming licensed in Illinois. In order to receive an NCARB Certificate you must have all of the following:

1. Have an NAAB-accredited B. Arch. or M.Arch. degree

2. Have completed AXP

3. Have passed all divisions of the ARE

4. Be registered (that is, "licensed") in another state

5. Pay for and receive the NCARB Certificate


Q45.  Can I engage in architectural competitions and use that time to fulfill some of my Experience Hour requirements?

 A.  Yes, whether or not you are working for an architectural firm - enter a maximum of 40 hours experience in any of the experience categories.



Q46.  I have not completed all divisions of the ARE but three years have passed. How can I re-enroll for the exam?

 A.  You do not have to re-enroll.
All candidates who wish to become licensed in Illinois go through the NCARB "Direct Registration  Program" where NCARB itself will your application to take the exam. They will send you an admission to test letter.  The state of Illinois will not get involved in the process until you have passed the ARE and submit an application for licensure in Illinois. If you take more than three years to pass the ARE, NCARB will send a request for re-authorization to the state licensing board.  The licensing board will then determine if you still meet the requirements of the Illinois Architect Licening Act and Administrative Rules and will notify NCARB to re-authorize. It all happens behind the scenes, as far as you are concerned.

Q47.  What is this "Rolling Clock" I hear about?

A. You must pass all seven divisions of the ARE within a five year period.


Q49.  What is the current Architectural Registration Examination?

 A.  NCARB is now administrating ARE version 4.0 which consists of seven divisions as follows:

Building Design and Construction Systems (replacing "Building Design - Materials and Methods" and "Building Technology”) : 85 multiple choice questions and 3 graphic vignettes "Accessibility Ramp," "Roof Plan," and "Stair Design"

Building Systems (replacing "Mechanical and Electrical Systems"): 95 multiple choice questions and 1 graphic vignette "Mechanical and Electrical Plan"

Construction Documents and Services (same as existing); 100 multiple choice questions and 1 graphic vignette "Building Section"

Programming, Planning & Practice (replacing "Pre-Design"): 85 multiple choice questions and 1 vignette "Site Zoning"

Schematic Design (replacing "Building Planning"): 2 vignettes "Building Layout" and "Interior Layout"

Site Planning and Design (replacing "Site Planning"): 65 multiple choice questions and 2 vignettes "Site Design" and "Site Grading"

Structural Systems (replacing "General Structures" and "Lateral Forces"): 125 multiple choice questions and 1 vignette "Structural Layout"

Q50.  Can I earn Experience Hours while not employed or while still in school?

 A. You can earn Experience Hours while you are an architectural student and whether or not you are employed. This includes volunteer work for a pre-approved Community-based Design Center/Collaborative, attending AIA seminars and workshops that are approved for continuing education and offer LU credit in Health Safety and Welfare topics, reading and responding to articles in magazines like Architectural Record that offer Learning Units to architects. You must submit an official transcript for continuing education activities and have your attendance registered in the AIA database. Your college instructor can verify your NCARB Record.


Q51.  I have a license in another state. How can I become licensed by "reciprocity" in Illinois?

 A. To become licensed in Illinois through reciprocity, or "by endorsement" as Illinois law calls it, use the same form that a candidate for first registration would use (there is a special section for licensure by endorsement on the form). The form is found at :

It says on the form you need to submit the following:

1. Properly completed 4-page Application for Licensure and/or Examination. Do not state "See NCARB Record" on the application form.

2. A signed and dated affidavit attesting you have read and understand the Illinois Architecture Practice Act and Administrative Rules. There is no form provided for this. Just create it on your letterhead.

3. AXP Record for applicants initially licensed after August 9, 1998.

4. NCARB Council Certification, issued by and forwarded directly to the Department by the NCARB, OR the documents listed in (a)(b) and (c) below:

(a) Properly completed Supporting Document ED-ARC. This document must have the school seal affixed. If you do not have a professional degree from an NAAB accredited collegiate school of architecture, an official sealed transcript indicating all credit hours earned must be submitted in lieu of the ED-ARC form.

(b) Supporting Document CT-ARC. This document must be completed by the jurisdiction of original licensure and the jurisdiction of current licensure. If examinations were passed in different states, verification from each state is required. If any portion of the examination was passed in Illinois, you must indicate this in Part IV of the application. You are authorized to photocopy this form, if necessary. You must direct the licensing agency/board to return the completed document directly to you in a sealed envelope to be submitted with your application.

(c) Supporting Document VE-ARC. This document must be completed by the licensed architect(s) for whom you worked to verify your architectural experience. Applicants who are sole proprietors or are the sole architect in the firm may verify the VE-ARC form. Applicants who have an NCARB AXP record must also submit a VE-ARC to verify your professional experience since completion of your IDP.


   Q52.  Can I earn Experience Hour credit for becoming a LEED Accredited Profesional?

 A. No. 

Q53.  Can I take the ARE prior to completing AXP in Illinois?

 A. Yes, but you must have completed your NAAB-accredited B. Arch. or M. Arch. degree first.

Q54.  What is the deal with "contemporaneous reporting" of Experience Hours?

A. You must submit your NCARB Record in periods reflecting no more than six months experience at a time, and you will have no longer than two months from the end date of the reporting period to submit your training units. Experience older than that eight month period will earn half the hour value up to five years old. Experience older than five years from the reporting date will not earn training hours.

Example 1: An trainee taking maximum advantage of the reporting and filing periods would have through August 30 to report Experience Hours that were earned during the six month period starting January 1 and ending June 30. While the reporting period is a maximum of six months, the filing period could be any time on or after June 30 through August 30.

Example 2: Same example as above, but there is an incidental problem with the report or supplementary information is required and it takes additional time for NCARB and the trainee to resolve. The aspiring architect may still count the time between January 1 and June 30 once the problem is resolved and accepted by NCARB.

Example 3: A trainee reporting Experience Hours earned between January 15 and April 14 must report these Experience Hours by June 4, two months after the end ofthe period being reported. If, for some reason, an aspiring architect missed his or her intended filing date of June 14, because only four months of Experience Hours were being reported, the intern could extend the reporting period and not lose any hours. It is anticipated that the online reporting form will advise the aspiring architect at the time he or she is filing the report that the filing date is more than two months after the end of the reporting period and, if such is the case, also advise that either a longer period must be reported (but never more than six months) or a later beginning date to the reporting period must be entered. So, if the aspiring architect missed the intended filing date of June 14 and actually filed on July 1, he or she could file on July 1 for the reporting period beginning on January 15 and ending on May 1.

Example 4: If a aspiring architect attempts to file an Experience Hour report on October 3 for a period covering January 1st through July 14, the report will not be accepted. The aspiring architect must recalculate and resubmit the report. In this example, February 4 is the earliest possible start date for a Experience Hour report submitted on October 3 and any units accumulated from January 1st through February 3 would be lost. If February 4 was used as the start date, then the reporting period would end on August 3, six months later, and the aspiring architect could file his or her report on October 3.

Example 5: An aspiring architect has become a new parent or adopted a child on January 1. Before taking a leave of absence on January 1, the aspiring architect had completed six months of work (July 1 December 31). Whereas the aspiring architect would normally be expected to file the Experience Hour report by February 28, following a documented and approved request the intern would be given until May 31 to file this report.

Example 6: An aspiring architect has been called to active military duty on Jam/GlY IS. Before this event, the aspiring architect had worked until December 31, having completed six months of work (July 1 December 31) that could be reported for Experience Hour credit. Whereas the aspiring architect would normally be expected to submit the Experience Hour report by February 28, following a documented and approved request, the aspiring architect would be given a reasonable extension for filing this report following the aspiring architect's end of active military duty.

Example 7:  Similar to Example 6, an aspiring architect who has experienced a serious medical condition could, with appropriate and approved documentation from a licensed medical doctor overseeing the aspiring architect's care, be allowed a reasonable extension of the two-month filing period.

Q55.  When performing site observation work, do I need to be accompanied by a licensed architect?

A. You do not need to be accompanied by your AXP Supervisor, but may be accompanied by your Mentor, who must be a licensed architect. You do not have to be employed to gain experience in this category. However, if the you are employed under Experience Setting A, the concept of Direct Supervision, as described in the AXP Guidelines, must be adhered to. “Direct supervision” means that degree of supervision by a person overseeing the work of another, where both work in the same office in circumstances where personal contact is routine, whereby the supervisor has both control over and detailed professional knowledge of the work prepared under his or her supervision.

Q56. Can non-licensed Architects Work for Free to Get Experience Hours?

A. Below is the answer in an article by Gregory Hancks, AIA, AIA Associate General Counsel:

Employment opportunities are limited for recent architecture graduates who want to fulfill their Architectural Experience Program (AXP) training requirement. Some firms may be wondering if they can “do good” by giving aspiring architects work experience in unpaid positions. Generally speaking, federal employment law dictates that the answer is “no.”

The AIA last responded to this question in the early 1990s during another economic downturn. Then, as now, concerns were voiced about how the scarcity of paying jobs could force trainees into other lines of work, never to return to the practice of architecture. As a result, an entire age group within the profession could be depleted. At the same time, concerns were voiced that participants in the Architectural Experience Program can be exploited by firms because of the pressure on participants to obtain work experience for licensure.

The AIA requires architects who seek to become Institute officers, directors, or Fellows (or to receive AIA awards or speak at AIA events) to confirm that they do not employ unpaid aspiring architects. Ultimately, however, the issue is primarily a legal one, not just a matter of AIA policy. Between abiding by federal law, on one hand, and meeting the direct supervision training requirements for AXP, as established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), on the other hand, there remains little room for unpaid architectural training.

Federal law governing labor and employment generally places workers into one of the following three categories:

This leaves unemployed aspiring architects and the architects who would wish to provide them with AXP experience (but can’t afford to pay) somewhere between a rock and a hard place. The possibility remains for participants in the Architectural Experience Program to volunteer their services to pre-approved nonprofit organizations that provide architectural services if the organization can provide a work setting that qualifies under AXP Guidelines. And it may be possible, as well, for participants in the Architectural Experience Program to volunteer services to public sector (state or local government) entities. In either case, however, an aspiring architect would need to determine whether a particular volunteer/supervisor arrangement would satisfy the AXP or state licensing requirements for training. In addition, the nonprofit organization or public-sector entity would need to verify that using the aspiring architect's services without pay complies with federal law. After all, nonprofit organizations must comply with employment law with respect to workers they employ.

Q57.  Does Illinois have any special rules for passing the ARE before completing AXP?

A. In Illinois you can take the ARE before completing AXP but you must have received an NAAB-accredited B. Arch or M. Arch. degree first.