The New Year is upon us and 2015 has a lot to offer. It also is the beginning of a lot of changes for you, the Emerging Professional. To better understand, I will give you a quick recap of changes that will be taking place this year so you can be prepared and successful.
The biggest change is in regards to the Intern Development Program (IDP). Back in September the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Board of Directors voted to approve changes to streamline the IDP program. This will be done in two phases. The first phase will be implemented mid-2015. It will involve the elimination of elective hours. Under the current program, interns are required to document 5,600 hours of experience, with 3,740 of those hours in 17 core experience areas. The remaining 1,860 elective hours will be removed. As a result, the total amount of hours required will be reduced to just the 3,740 hours of core hours, effectively reducing the time it takes to complete the IDP by as much as a year. This change should be implemented by June 2015. The next phase, which will roll out mid-2016, is a much greater overall change. In line with the implementation of ARE 5.0, which I will touch on later, it will realign the framework of IDP into six experience categories reflecting the six general areas of practice. Your existing experience will be mapped into the new, overhauled format. But don’t fret yet, as I said, this new framework will not take effect till mid-2016.
Another change that you may have missed, but is a huge relief for many, is the reduction of the wait time when retaking your AREs. Prior to the October 1, 2014 launch, a candidate had to wait six months prior to retaking an ARE exam that they failed. This meant that since there is such a long wait time, you would have to relearn the information. In many cases candidates would take other sections during this time, therefore having to restudy for the failed section. Since October 1st, however, the retake period has been reduced to three months. Not only does this allow a candidate to retake quickly, it reduces the amount of information that they may otherwise forget. This is especially important if you plan on passing your exams prior to the implementation of the new ARE 5.0 framework.
The change that will not take effect till late next year is important to take note of if you plan on finishing your exams prior to ARE 5.0. As I wrote in the July ArchNews, ARE 5.0 is set to begin implementation in late 2016. So if you have begun taking your exams it may be beneficial to you to take advantage of the study materials that you currently have and make a plan towards finishing your exams this year and the beginning of next year. The new retake policy will help if you do fail an exam. If you do, don’t be discouraged as the ARE 5.0 will allow for transferring exams over from the current framework.
So plan ahead this year. And also keep an eye on the AIA East Bay calendar for upcoming Emerging Professional Forums, Architecture movie nights, Habitat for Humanity build days, and many additional events this year.