The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), both of Washington, D.C., are among several organizations who have helped found the Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL), a new coalition of technical professions focused on educating policymakers and the public about the importance of rigorous professional licensing standards.
ARPL is a unique coalition that brings together professional organizations and their registration boards at a time when there is significant concern over the appropriate level of licensing required by law. The coalition was formed to ensure their voices are heard by policymakers and the public amid the growing debate around licensing.
“NCARB and AIA may approach the licensing debate from different perspectives but we fundamentally agree that rigorous standards must be maintained in order to protect the public we both serve,” says NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “Complex professions are at risk of being swept up in broad calls to reduce licensing requirements for occupations and vocations. It is important for us to work with other technical professions to ensure public safety isn’t compromised by broad brush deregulatory efforts.”
“When an architect designs a hospital or a school, the public must have confidence in its safety and structural integrity,” adds AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The best way to maintain the public’s confidence is to continue to require that architects demonstrate rigorous and ongoing education, examination and experience. Attempts to weaken or undermine professional licensing requirements for architects not only harm our profession, but could potentially endanger public health, safety and welfare.”
The alliance’s formation reflects mutual interest between regulatory organizations and their professional society counterparts in making the case for reasonable regulation. Although the regulatory associations’ mission is the protection of the public and the professional societies are the voices of their respective professions, recent trends and challenges in the regulatory and legislative environment have called for these groups to proactively engage together in the narrative around the importance of reasonable regulation and licensing.
In addition to AIA and NCARB, members of ARPL include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Durham, N.C.; American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, Va.; Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, Reston; National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, Nashville, Tenn.; National Society of Professional Engineers, Alexandria, Va.; and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, Seneca, S.C.