AIA applauds NCARB for decision to eliminate the rolling clock


Chicago Construction News staff writer

The American Institute of Architects is celebrating the recent decision by the National  Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to eliminate the “rolling clock” to architecture licensure.

“After careful review and consideration, NCARB’s Board of Directors unanimously decided at their January meeting to retire the rolling clock policy, which placed a five-year expiration date on passed divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE®),” the NCARB board stated. “On April 30, 2023, the policy will be replaced with a new score validity policy, which bases the validity of passed ARE divisions on exam versions (such as ARE 4.0 or ARE 5.0) rather than a set time frame.

“NCARB will reinstate previously expired divisions of ARE 4.0 for candidates who are seeking licensure in jurisdictions that do not have a rolling clock-type requirement.

Under the score validity policy, a passed exam division would remain valid throughout the delivery of the exam version under which it was taken, as well as the next exam version.

Extenuating life circumstances―from financial pressures to pay student loans to family care obligations of many first-generation college graduates, coupled with lived experiences―has led to the ARE® five-year rolling clock becoming a barrier for some along the pathway to architecture licensure. NCARB analysis reveals this has had disproportionate effects on women and people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

AIA supports stopping the rolling clock to advance a more inclusive future for the architecture profession.

AIA EVP/CEO Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, announced the decision during the AIA Leadership Summit in Washington, DC that the association would be launching a campaign to collect stories about how the rolling clock has affected individuals’ paths to licensure.

“The U.S. needs more licensed architects to advance a healthy, safe, and thriving built environment, and AIA believes individuals deserve flexibility as they pursue licensure,” Woods said. “This change in policy will allow more opportunities for individuals to achieve that goal.”

Data indicates that the rolling clock policy is a potential impediment to licensure, with disproportionate effects on women and people from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds. AIA has held ongoing discussions with NCARB in support of the removal of the rolling clock policy to advance a more inclusive future for the architecture profession.

Moving forward, AIA’s “Stop the Clock” campaign will encourage people to share their stories of how the rolling clock has affected their own path to licensure to ensure this effort is standardized across all jurisdictions. AIA looks forward to working with NCARB and the AIA Component network to collect and share those stories.


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