You Are No Longer an Intern

Do you ever feel kind of embarrassed when you tell someone your job profession? Intern Architect. Intern. The word evokes thoughts of being the go-fer person in an office, running errands and getting coffee for the important project managers and architects, hopefully someday being able to do some actual design work. A few years ago I started calling myself an associate architect. Years before that I would tell people I’m an “aspiring architect,” and I guess it finally caught on!
Starting June 29, NCARB’s Intern Development Program will be renamed to the Architectural Experience Program, or AXP. After years of research and outreach, it was finally decided to retire the term “intern” within the industry. Interns rejoice. Now if only we can get the term ‘architect’ to be used in the built environment only, we’ll really be on to something, but that’s another article…

Now, with the changing of the IDP name, comes some changes to the program. The current 17 experience areas will be condensed into 6 broad practice based areas. The six new areas include: Practice Management, Project Management, Programming & Analysis, Project Planning & Design, Project Development & Documentation, and Construction & Evaluation. These areas will also be reflected in the six divisions of the new licensing exam, Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 5.0, which will launch in late 2016, providing further alignment between the two programs.

The IDP will continue to require 3,740 total hours, and you won’t lose any of the hours you’ve already reported. Another new feature is that the overhauled IDP will have two experience settings—Setting A: Practice of Architecture and Setting O: Other Experiences. A number of existing supplemental experience opportunities, including site visits, design competitions, and the Professional Conduct Monograph, will be incorporated into Setting O. It is important to note that a handful of jurisdictions require 5,600+ hours and/or have a minimum employment duration requirement (New Hampshire is not one of them).

If you are currently in the middle of earning IDP hours, there is a handy little guide and map at, that guides anyone through the process, who might still be earning hours. Any architects who are also mentors/supervisors should also familiarize themselves with the changes.

Lastly, a few members of the board met with Harry Falconer and Derek Haese, both NCARB directors, in early February. It was a very informative meeting on the strides NCARB is taking to make the process to licensure easier to understand, and their commitment for licensure upon graduation for aspiring architects. AIANH is hoping to set up an NCARB meeting this coming fall (they are booked until then) for a Q&A session, and to hopefully get everyone who is earning hours, or planning on testing soon up to date. I will be sending out an email to hopefully get back some interested parties, so I can book an event. If you are interested, please email me at