Internship Development Program (IDP) 

IDP Overview

  • IDP requires you to complete 5600 experience hours.
    5600 hrs = 140 weeks = ~2.7 years if continuous

  • Experience hours can be earned either through direct experience (working in a work setting) or through knowledge based experiences (supplementary education).

  • All experience must be submitted according to the reporting requirement as outlined in the IDP guidelines, page 9.

  • You must first determine IDP eligibility date, this is the date after which you can earn experience towards IDP. Review the "Document Your IDP Eligibility Date" section in the guidelines. Keep in mind; you can submit experience into the Online Reporting System prior to submitting your eligibility date forms or documentation. (You may already be eligible to earn experience towards IDP.)

Establish Your NCARB Record - Costs and Fees

  • Once you have experience that count towards IDP you will need to establish your NCARB record. The fee is $350.00 for establishing your NCARB record which is good for 3 years and one transmittal to a state to sit for the Architects Registration Examination (ARE®). Your NCARB record will be with you for your whole architecture career.

    • If establishing your NCARB record while still in school or within 6 months of graduating, the initial fee is $100.00 for the first 3 years. You will pay the balance of $250.00 when you request transmittal of your record to a state or jurisdiction to take the ARE.
  • After your initial three years, you pay an annual maintenance fee to keep your record active.

Experience Settings

  • When you start working for an architecture firm or one of the other recognized work settings (experience setting "O" and some items in experience setting "S" - including design or construction related work and construction work) you will need to make sure you have met the employment requirement (IDP page 9). You must work a minimum of 15 hrs/wk for 8 weeks consecutive. Some settings have a range of hours and reporting options.

  • When you are working in a work setting, you will have an IDP supervisor. This person will have knowledge of and control over the work you are doing. If you are working in the US or Canada and the experience setting requires your supervisor to have a license, they need to have an active license in the US or Canada a the point that you gained that experience.

Supplementary Experience

  • Outside of a work setting you can earn experience through supplementary experience, whether or not employed. For details review page 13 of the IDP Guidelines. Some opportunities to highlight include: Emerging Professionals Companion (, site visits with a mentor, design competitions, and community based design center collaborative.

Food for Thought

  • Each intern is responsible for keeping records and tracking paperwork to submit IDP training reports. All experience that qualifies for IDP needs to be submitted online through the Online Reporting System. Some firms may have record keeping procedures in place to make it easier.

  • You are only an architect where you are licensed to practice architecture. Within the US there is an ability to earn reciprocal licenses through NCARB's certificate program. The NCARB Certificate will also help you gain a license in Canadian provinces. To become licensed outside of the US & Canada, you will need to contact the specific country to find out what their requirements to become licensed to practice architecture are.


Helpful NCARB IDP Links:

IDP Website

IDP Guidelines 2016


Architecture Registration Exam (ARE):

NCARB Architecture Registration Exam Information