Tri-National Agreement Allows North American Architects to Work Across Borders

Originally published by: Retrofit MagazineJanuary 2, 2015

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A new Tri-National Mutual Recognition Agreement made by the architectural regulatory authorities of the United States, Canada and Mexico makes it possible for architects to work across North American borders.

The recently announced agreement was made by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), in conjunction with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA), and the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana (FCARM).

“The agreement, in the spirit of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), makes cross-border recognition of an architect’s credentials a reality,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong. “This opens the door to embracing more globally connected practices, while ensuring the protection of the public.” A qualified architect must satisfy the requirements of the agreement to be granted a credential to practice in a host country. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Completion of an architecture degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB/CCCA), Acreditadora Nacional de Programas de Arquitectura y Disciplinas del Espacio Habitable (ANPADEH), or a recognized equivalent.
  • A minimum of 10 years of post-licensure experience in the architect’s home jurisdiction.
  • Proof of “good standing” in the home jurisdiction, as verified by the home regulatory authority.
  • Knowledge of the codes, laws and applicable architecture practices in the host country.
  • Submission of a dossier of work to satisfy specific competencies outlined in the agreement.
  • Completion of an interview before a review panel in the host country, conducted in the language of the host country.

U.S. architects interested in learning more should review the eligibility requirements and program information posted on the NCARB website.

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