Opinions differ over importance of licensure: Survey

A national survey from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports significant differences in the perception of licensure concerns between emerging and supervising professionals. The survey, conducted by the Rickinson Group, included responses from 1380 professionals.

A new survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has revealed emerging and supervising professionals hold very different views on the path to licensure—for instance, supervisors believe they provide much more support than emerging practitioners feel they are receiving.
Images courtesy NCARB

Survey results were as follows:

  • 88 percent of supervising architects and 27 percent of emerging practitioners feel licensure is very important for the latter group;
  • 66 percent of emerging architects believe their supervisors think licensure is important for new practitioners;
  • 44 percent of supervisors feel they are very responsible for preparing their employees for licensure, while only nine percent of emerging professionals hold supervisors to that standard;
  • 97 percent of supervisors believe they serve as role models for their employees, yet only 63 percent of those employees agree;
  • 86 percent of supervisors believe they are providing a review of candidates’ progression of experience, while 38 percent of emerging professionals believe they are receiving this; and
  • less than half of the emerging architects surveyed believe supervisors provide mentorship and assistance in gaining experience, compared to a high majority of supervisors who believe this is true.

Only one common thread was discovered between the two groups: both believe emerging practitioners are responsible for obtaining their own licensure, with 88 percent of supervisors and 98 percent of new practitioners reporting to that effect.

An article on the survey from the NCARB website suggests despite the current disparity, this mental ‘gap’ can be closed. However, doing so will require effort from both sides. For instance, in the survey it was revealed emerging architects most desire their supervisors’ support as role models and sources of experience, but do not necessarily feel this goal is being met. To ameliorate this, NCARB suggests emerging professionals should seek exposure, engage with supervisors, and collaboratively plan to attend learning events, while supervisors should assign diverse opportunities and help newer professionals find opportunities external to the firm.

The two groups were only in agreement on one matter: the fact the emerging architect is responsible for his or her own licensure.
A total of 88 percent of supervising architects believe licensure is very important for the emerging professional, while only 27 percent of those emerging professionals believe the same.
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