by Jonathan M. Taylor, AIA
NCARB’s new Architectural Experience Program (AXP) takes a small step toward competency based experience. The new AXP Guidelines published in June 2016 are here: http://www.ncarb.org/Experience-Through-Internships/Resources-for-Interns/~/media/Files/PDF/Guidelines/AXP-Guidelines.ashx
Architect Supervisors and Aspiring Architects should be aware that the program revisions (made with the switch from the old IDP to AXP) are framed to encourage dialogue. Gone are the 17 IDP experience areas, now replaced with six AXP experience areas.
Timesheet tracking of hours needs to extend into articulate discussion about the Aspiring Architect’s approach to competency in the program’s 96 identified tasks. This competency is needed in order to practice architecture independently. The tasks are essential to the program, and are listed on pages 8 through 13 of the AXP Guidelines. The tasks can also be called-up via a menu at the bottom of the MY AXP mobile app. The AXP Area specific task lists should really be reviewed by both the Architect Supervisor and Aspiring Architect together.
For the Supervising Architect, it is not enough to merely sign-off on hours worked; seat time calculations don’t translate competence. While the unit of measure (an hour) remains the same (and some jurisdictions retain additional hour requirements), there is a renewed AXP focus on the associated 96 tasks. The Aspiring Architect should be able to competently perform the defined tasks, by the time all required hours in each AXP Area are approved.
The Aspiring Architect should be able to competently perform the defined tasks, by the time all required hours in each AXP Area are approved.
Practically, the 96 tasks could be managed like a schedule of values. The Supervising Architect in regularly approving hours is certifying an ever increasing percentage towards AXP area competence. The final AXP sign-off in any area (like a contractor’s final application for payment) could frame a final thorough review or discussion of the specific tasks of that AXP Area, almost like an inspection for substantial completion.
As the profession is still within the first 6 months of the revised program, it will be informative to see how Architect Supervisors and Aspiring Architects approach these changes when submitting and reviewing AXP hours for the first time. I’m looking forward to hearing about everyone’s best practices.
Jonathan M. Taylor, AIA is AIA-RI’s State Licensing Advisor. Please contact him with any questions on NCARB’s switch from IDP to AXP, and approaches to addressing the program’s 96 identified tasks.