Released February 23, 2023
After careful review and consideration, the NCARB Board of Directors voted in January to retire the Architect Registration Examination (ARE®) rolling clock policy, which placed a five-year expiration date on passed divisions of the ARE. On April 30, 2023, the policy will be replaced with a new score validity policy, which is based on exam versions (such as ARE 4.0 or ARE 5.0) rather than a set time frame. NCARB will reinstate previously expired divisions of ARE 4.0 for most candidates.
New Score Validity Policy
Under the score validity policy, a passed exam division would remain valid throughout the delivery of the exam version under which it was taken, as well as the next exam version. For example, ARE 5.0 divisions:
- Would be valid throughout the delivery of the version of the exam under which they were taken (i.e., ARE 5.0), AND
- Would be used to establish appropriate credits under the next version of the exam (likely ARE 6.0) that would remain valid until this version ends.
For example: Passed ARE 5.0 divisions will remain valid throughout the delivery of ARE 5.0, and future credits based on passed ARE 5.0 divisions will remain valid throughout the delivery of ARE 6.0. If a candidate is not ARE-complete before the end of ARE 6.0 delivery, at the time of launching ARE 7.0, their ARE 5.0 passed divisions and any ARE 6.0 credits based on those scores will be retired.
Why NCARB Is Retiring the Rolling Clock
NCARB is committed to removing unnecessary impediments on the path to licensure. A review of exam candidate data indicated that the rolling clock policy was far more likely to impact the validity of exam scores for women and people of color—groups that already encounter lower exam success rates.
Additionally, analysis of exam item banks showed that the existing rolling clock policy was unnecessarily restrictive, given that most current exam items were developed under ARE 4.0 and were simply restructured under ARE 5.0 content areas. The new score validity policy is equally as effective in protecting exam validity and is based on the substance of the exam content.
How This Impacts Licensure Candidates
As a retroactive step, NCARB will reinstate previously expired ARE 4.0 divisions on May 1, 2023. This change will only go into effect for candidates who are seeking licensure in a jurisdiction that does not have its own individual rolling clock requirement. Candidates with reinstated ARE 4.0 divisions can use the ARE 5.0 Transition Calculator to better understand how divisions transferred from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0. Going forward, exam divisions will no longer expire in a set period of time. Credit from ARE 4.0 divisions will remain valid until ARE 5.0 retires, and credit from ARE 5.0 divisions will remain valid until the next version of the exam (likely ARE 6.0) retires.
How Jurisdiction Requirements Impact the New Policy
While NCARB is retiring the rolling clock policy, some jurisdictions have a rolling clock policy written into their statutes and/or rules. Candidates seeking licensure in a jurisdiction that has a rolling clock requirement will still be subject to that jurisdiction’s rolling clock until that policy is retired or amended, with any previously expired ARE 4.0 divisions not eligible for reinstatement until that policy changes.
Jurisdictions that have a rolling clock requirement similar to the retiring NCARB policy are: Alaska, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington. Most of these jurisdictions have placed their policy in their board’s regulations; however, two jurisdictions, Illinois and Washington, have their policy in statute. NCARB is working with these jurisdictions to align their requirements with NCARB’s new score validity policy. Review jurisdiction requirements.