NCARB to Rename the Intern Development Program

This June the program that guides aspiring architects will be called the Architectural Experience Program

As part of an industry-wide push to retire the term “intern,” the Intern Development Program (IDP) will be renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), effective June 29, 2016. Developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the program is designed to guide aspiring architects through the early stages of their career so they can earn a license and practice architecture independently.

This milestone decision was enacted by NCARB’s Board of Directors and is the result of over a year of research and outreach by various NCARB committees, as well as feedback from state licensing boards, industry leaders, and emerging professionals. Based on the recommendations of its Future Title Task Force, NCARB announced in May it would sunset the term “intern,” while preserving the title “architect” for licensed practitioners.

“Renaming the IDP is another step in realigning our programs to better reflect current practice and terminology,” said NCARB President Dennis Ward, AIA, NCARB. “For example, one firm may refer to a non-licensed employee as a ‘senior designer’ while another uses the title ‘project manager.’ Yet, neither is likely to introduce that individual to clients as an ‘intern.”

Since each state sets its own requirements for licensure, the program’s new name will carry an important caveat: “formerly known as the Intern Development Program, or IDP.” This language will accommodate existing laws or rules that refer to the program’s current name. Similarly, while NCARB will continue to refer to those working toward licensure as “aspiring architects” or “exam candidates,” licensing boards have the authority to prescribe their own terminology for unlicensed professionals.

The June launch of the new name will accompany the program’s realignment of experience areas. Over the next several months, NCARB will work with state licensing boards and the architectural community to implement these changes.

For more information on NCARB’s experience program, visit