NCARB Certificate

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    Ryan NCARB

    Hi Austin...thanks for letting us know.  Our Customer Service is in the process of reworking the way they handle some of their processes.  In the short term it has resulted in some backlog of areas.  I will pass along your name to them today and hopefully we will be able to get you your Certificate soon.  Thanks for understanding.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Can I get in on that action?

    Hi Ryan -- how are you?

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    Austin Walker

    About an hour after I posted, I received an email with the 155 form.  Problem is, Illinois automatically sends this certification form to NCARB when issuing the initial license.  So they should have received everything they need months ago.  

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    Ryan NCARB

    Hey Kurt!  I am doing pretty good.  Better if I can get your Certificate figured out for you.  I will pass your name along as well and have someone contact you.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Wow, hey I appreciate your help, Ryan -- thank you!

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    Austin Walker

    Got my number yesterday afternoon.  Thank you Ryan.

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    Ryan NCARB

    No problem Austin.  Use it wisely...haha.

    And Kurt it looks like Customer Service called you with an update also.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    They did indeed contact me -- thanks again, Ryan!

    I shall also use it wisely...  hopefully...  of course, I'm also the guy who plotted out a 30" x 42" version of my recently-granted state license and attached it to the studio wall...      

     

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    Ryan NCARB

    I can honestly say Kurt, you are the first person I have heard do that...but I can't say I'm upset by it either!  Congrats again.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Can I have a turn? Contacted NCARB to begin the process on 12/27. Haven't heard anything, but I was informed by my state that they returned some forms to NCARB last week.

    What exactly is your process for review and why can't you put this information directly on your website? I filled out the certification awareness survey you did a while back, seems like you could have better spent that time and effort to improve your process and the information you make easily available. I think you would save a lot of calls to Customer Service and posts here if you just made some more basic information available. Right now the process is call customer service, wait for more than a month and then complain on the forum in hopes of getting some movement.

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    Austin Walker

    That is my basic complaint with the process as well; there is no defined process on the website, just a wild goose chase through links that lead you in a circle.  At times, NCARB needs to remember that they have paying members, and those members are a bunch of architects who do not like to be in the dark on anything.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Looks like this forum complaint process works. Just got the following from NCARB:

    "Dear Mr. Norkin, 
    Thank you for contacting the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

    The NCARB certification process begins when we receive the proof of registration document (155) from your board.

    The board will return the completed form directly to NCARB. Upon receipt your name is added to the list for certification evaluation. The evaluation response time is approximately 30 days. When the evaluation is done you will receive an email. If all is in good order, a certificate number is issued within 5 or so days and a second email is generated. Once you have a certificate number you can enter your on line record go to the the NCARB record screen, then to section titled links. Under quick links is the option transmittal instructions and forms. You would follow the prompts to request transmittal of your file for reciprocity to your state of choice and submit the $400.00 fee. The transmittal team has a response time of approximately 10 business days. When the transmittal is complete you will be notified by email. Please be sure to contact your state of choice prior to a transmittal, complete their application and pay any fees they required."

    Note to NCARB: You guys should cut and paste this directly onto your website right here: https://www.ncarb.org/advance-your-career/ncarb-certificate/get-certified

    This is good info, but for me it also raises more questions, because the proof of registration was sent to you guys last week. Why say that "the board will return the completed form," when it's already been done? Are you not aware that you have received the form already? If this is a generic response you send to everyone, why did it take 32 days? Either way, I guess I'm about a week into a 30 day queue. 

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Benjamin --

    I think I'm still confused.  I received an email, but with none of the details that you pasted into your post.

    Did you contact the state yourself to prompt the 155? 

     

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    Benjamin Norkin (Edited )

    Hey buddy. Yeah, it should not be this difficult! I'm actually not even 100% sure what my state sent was a 155 because that number isn't on it, but it is a form called Certificate of Registration on NCARB letterhead, which was apparently sent to my state, filled out and returned. I did not contact my state, I was still waiting on an initial response from NCARB when I got an email from the state saying that they had returned the forms to NCARB. That was last week, so figured I'd jump into this thread as well.

    Edit: I just noticed that when NCARB responded to me this morning they attached a blank Form 155. It is the same thing that my state sent back to them last week.

    It looks like this:

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    Benjamin -- thanks for the response and info.  

    Good luck with your process -- I think I'm in the same pipeline, just a bit further back!  (But maybe that is just my current self-delusion...)

    I'm located on a state border, so essentially I will work on projects in two states, which -- I believe -- necessitates the NCARB certificate for reciprocity purposes.

    Hope the licensed life is going well for you!

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    Erica Spayd

    Hey Benjamin and Kurt,

    It's possible that the reason things are a little unclear on the website is that each state is slightly different in regards to getting the Certificate of Registration back to NCARB. It looks like some states (like Austin's) send it automatically, while other states (like mine - NY) make you file a written request and send payment. 

    That said, it seems like the state-specific instructions could be baked into this handy dandy NCARB tool, and that the tool could be linked to on the NCARB certificate info page.

    I do remember being a bit frustrated with all the back and forth to get the Certificate, although I was apparently very lucky with my timing and it was all wrapped up before the holidays, so the wait wasn't atrocious. Now I'm just waiting on the Garden State to actually send me my seal (they give it to you! NY makes you buy your own) and then I'm done applying for licenses for a while.

    Anyway, my advice would be - don't assume things are happening automatically. Call and follow up, and call and follow up some more. I found that both with NCARB and the state boards, if you call (and are nice on the phone!) they suddenly have everything they need, and things happen fast. Don't leave messages, call until you get a live person on the line. I was told my application review time for NJ would be 10-12 weeks, I called after 3 weeks to make sure they had received everything, and they approved my application on the spot. 

    Good luck to you both, and happy stamping!

    Erica

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Erica,

    Good points, per usual. I get that it's a complicated thing they're in charge of, but it took NCARB 32 days just to provide me a blank document to get the Certification process started. I think even they would agree that's not good enough. I don't know what the answer is, but I gave one suggestion, you gave a better one, I'm sure there are plenty of other options for them to improve. Calling and following up and being polite is always helpful, but bottom line is they have to do better.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Thanks, Erica!

    I've also pointed several individuals to your previous related post: 

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/115009385968-NCARB-Certificate-question?page=1#community_comment_115005683268

    Great help as always!

     Benjamin, I don't know about you, but I think a salty song needs to be written about all this ****. 

     I'll be working on one if anyone needs me. 

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Here's another good option. Once you get licensed, contact NCARB. Then a customer service specialist confirms your license with this handy tool on the NCARB website: https://www.ncarb.org/get-licensed/state-licensing-boards/architect-lookup

    I just confirmed my license as well as Austin's, Kurt's, Erica's and even Ryan's! It took less than 10 minutes. Once the license is confirmed, issue a Certificate. How can this possibly take more than 20 minutes per person?

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    Benjamin Norkin

    And here's ANOTHER good option: Put a link to download a blank Form 155 on your website here: https://www.ncarb.org/advance-your-career/ncarb-certificate/get-certified and here https://www.ncarb.org/get-licensed/licensing-requirements-tool. Then say, "after you have received your initial license the first step toward certification is to contact your state and have them return this form to NCARB."

    Make less work for yourselves and let applicants deal with the various states. You guys won't have to do anything until you get the forms.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Just got this....

    And this...

    I need reciprocity into Illinois.  Apparently the ticket price is 400 bucks (plus the state fee).

     

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Oh man, congrats! Remember when we made that deal that whoever got their certificate first had to pay the transmittal fee for the second person?

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    That is hilarious....!  

    Seriously, though -- how the hell did I get mine before you got yours?  Not that I don't appreciate having mine.  You're likely being summarily punished for your above commentary.  (Just kidding...)

    Tell you what, though -- there are a bunch of individuals from this forum who really helped me out during my ARE quest, yourself included, who I'd gladly pick up the tab for on the first several rounds at the local pub...   

     

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    Benjamin Norkin

    I'm good with a beer economy. Don't know when I'm getting out to Iowa though! Also don't think NCARB is punishing me for a little constructive criticism! Every state is different, so who knows. But if you just got yours maybe I'll be up soon.

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    Ryan NCARB

    Hey Everyone,

    I've been following this thread for the last couple days.  (Kurt - really nice of you to cover Ben's transmittal fee!)  I wanted to  update you on a couple things, and respond to some of the constructive feedback -- which is always welcomed Benjamin.  I talked to our Customer Service folks and they asked me to share this:

    Customer Relations appreciates your feedback and regrets the delays you have experienced.  One of the goals we have for the coming quarter is to return to timely responses and processing times. We continue to ask for your patience as some inquiries must be researched, may require transcripts or in some cases assistance from the boards. 

    Please know that our Customer Relations team is working diligently to acknowledge your inquiries and complete your requests efficiently and timely.

    Thank you in advance for your continued patience.

    So a few things I would like to expand on.  First, and this can't be understated - each individual (and many times the jurisdiction requirements or process) is different.  Sometimes a little more research is required into an educational background; sometimes a transcript is missing; and sometimes we need information from the licensing board.  This makes the process take a little bit of time and at even seem ambiguous.  NCARB knows two things about candidates: when they complete the AXP and when they complete the ARE.  Beyond that we require help from schools, boards, and even you to tell us you completed your registration and are now licensed.

    A second thing to note, and I mentioned this above already, our Customer Service team is in the process of reworking the way they handle some of their processes.  In the short term it has resulted in a backlog of certain services and some things taking a little longer than usual.  That isn't meant to be an excuse, just transparency into why.  As their note said, they working diligently on getting caught up.

    Last thing, I agree that we could do a better job of explaining the Certification process on our website or even get into some of the common nuances in a blog post or two.  I will talk with our Marketing & Communication folks on what we can do or how we can add some more useful links to the Certification webpage.

    Hope this at least provides some clarity or understanding.  As always, thanks for your involvement and passion on this Community!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Ryan -- thanks for your attention to this topic -- good to know the certification process is on the process improvement radar.  I personally cannot complain at all -- although I did not fully understand the current process, my original post above was only about a week ago, and as you can see, I received my certification -- thanks again for your part in that quick turnaround.

    Now about my picking up Benjamin's fees -- on the form, is there any way you can scratch out $400 and pencil in my contribution as several rounds of craft beer ?  

     

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Ended up getting my certificate on 2/14. They emailed that day and said the review was complete and that I'd get my certificate within 5 business days. It ended up being later on the same day.

    On 2/15 I requested that my record be transmitted to the DC board and that was completed yesterday, 2/27. Guess I'm done with all of this for now!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Not sure what your plans are, Benjamin, but just FYI -- I flashed my NCARB certificate during a routine traffic stop.  I'll try to upload the pic of me in cuffs.

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    Benjamin Norkin

    I'm not sure what to do anymore. I might just go down to the NCARB building and scream on the sidewalk about nothing. Maybe Ryan will come out and feed me a beer.

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    Jack Thomas (Edited )

    Seeing as we're pointed to this thread for questions in this topic, does anyone know how long it's been taking NCARB to review and send records to their respective jurisdiction these days?  I'm wondering if they're still backlogged.

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