Question on NCARB's Role

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9 comments

  • Official comment
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    Joan NCARB

    Here's a reminder for those of you who choose to share your thoughts on the ARE 5.0 Community.  

    Commenting and Moderation Policy

    In a continued effort to engage the architecture community, NCARB encourages users to ask questions and share their own tips. We are dedicated to this community and strive to maintain a respectful, engaging, and informative conversation. If you wish to participate in the community, we ask that you follow the guidelines below:

    • Be polite, and courteous, even if you disagree. Name calling, profanity, fighting words, discriminatory epithets, sexual harassment, bullying, gruesome language, or the like will not be tolerated. 
    • Be professional. Treat others on the Community the way you would treat your colleagues in the professional environment.
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    Thank you.

    Joan

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    Scott Barber

    Daralynn, I know this is an incredibly frustrating process made exponentially more difficult by the current situation in our country. 

    That being said, you will see in Nick's comment that it's the CISA deeming the ARE non-essential. I hope that NCARB is advocating for the ARE to be considered essential, but I would suggest you also reach out to your state representatives. I know others have done the same in efforts to take action, and it seems to be the best direction for test takers to put their energy towards. At this point it isn't NCARB's decision, and I would assume they are also feeling the impact and losing money for their operations. No, that likely isn't as disruptive as this situation is for current test-takers, but it is in their best interest to allow people to take the AREs right now. 

    This system has many issues that have risen over the years, and I hope NCARB and Prometric can work together to help fix them. However, the current situation is unprecedented and has revealed more problems, some of which are outside NCARB's control (as Nick says in his comment you shared). 

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    Daralynn Wiener (Edited )

    My point. We reach out to our states and they tell us to talk to NCARB. So is NCARB the Chicken or the Egg?

    And how is NCARB loosing money? You still demand payment from us.

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    Scott Barber

    My mistake, I forgot about your first two sentences as I was replying. Clearly your state representative doesn't understand who is making the final decision, they may need to be informed of that. Other states seem to understand the problem, or maybe it was more clearly communicated to them when they were contacted. I can't say from personal experience, but I've seen others have empathetic representatives who are willing to advocate for the ARE test takers in their jurisdictions. 

    I'm not affiliated in any way with NCARB, FYI, so I'm not demanding any payment from you. However, this is several months that no one has been able to take tests. Some people have still purchased seat credits or scheduled tests, but overall the number of people taking tests has dropped dramatically, so that is revenue that NCARB is losing. Logically, it's in their best interests to have as many people taking tests as possible. Again, they are not feeling the same levels of stress that test takers are and as a large organization I'm sure they won't go bankrupt, but they are losing one of their primary revenue sources. If you want to debate about the cost of the tests, etc, that's another conversation. But I'm sure NCARB doesn't want people's ARE exams to be cancelled. 

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    Elif Bayram

    Scott,

    Yes the situation is beyond anyone's control, it is a pandemic and no one could ever imagined this would happen. HOWEVER, you should also admit that NCARB is the organization that test-takers pay their money and therefore, NCARB should be the organization to take some action to remedy the situation. I don't know if you are aware but this past weekend a lot of people who were supposed to be tested on the first week of June, are notified that their exams are being cancelled. I don't know your study method but I studied the most during the last 4 to weeks to my exams to be able to pass them. And I know A LOT of people are like me. They are physically and mentally invested beyond NCARB or Prometric seems to relate. So they have simple requests:

    - NCARB can refund their seat credits with a pause on expiration dates (currently, candidates who have their exams cancelled last minute are given 2 months reschedule it, who can guarantee it will happen?)

    - NCARB can talk to Prometric and make sure that they let people at least 4 weeks earlier, if their exams are cancelled

    - All renewal fees and rolling clocks should be suspended until Promteric centers are back to 100% testing capacity, for everyone without a requirement of each candidate personally approaching NCARB reps via phone or e-mail. 

    - And, as Daralynn Wiener and many others pointed out, NCARB should contact to required agencies to pass AREs as essential. 

    Essential or not, considering the ongoing occupancy limits on Prometric testing centers, I still believe there will be a delay for may test takers, so pausing things for a while by following our suggestions above would give people some control over their life planning. They can wait and go back to testing once everything is a bit more normal. People lost their incomes, their loved ones and they are mentally exhausted because of everything that has been going on so why is it so hard to give them a break? I genuinely believe these are doable suggestions and people like you and me, the lucky ones who have passed their exams before the pandemic, should help test-takers as much as we can. Not long ago, we were one of them...

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    Scott Barber

    Elif, thank you for your input.

    I absolutely agree NCARB should be taking action. I believe they are, though it may not be enough and I don't have any insider knowledge of what they are or aren't doing. I expect NCARB to take more action once things have settled, but I could be wrong. I realize I tend to be more optimistic than I should be regarding most organizations, but I don't think NCARB will turn a blind eye to everything test takers are going through. Will they do enough, soon enough, to please everyone? Probably not. But I would be shocked if they didn't take any further steps moving forward.

    Unfortunately, given the current process, NCARB doesn't seem to have much say in what gets cancelled, or when. It is unfair what so many are experiencing, but I think it's an issue with Prometric. Historically there has been finger-pointing in both directions, and blame on both sides, but I don't know that Prometric even has a good handle on things right now. Some testing sites are completely shut down, others are at 50% testing capacity, they're having to balance different requirements for different jurisdictions. I think they should be doing a better job, but it seems that most companies haven't prepared contingencies for a pandemic and this type of social distancing. 

    Ultimately, I know there is unparalleled anger and frustration from many during this whole process. I understand the stress of preparing for these exams and am empathetic towards those who have to balance this with additional challenges (people with kids, moving jobs, those who aren't native English speakers, and now everyone facing this pandemic). That being said, I think people place too much blame on NCARB. In no way do I think they handle everything perfectly, and they should be pushed to do better, but with this current situation I think a lot is outside of their control. 

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    Scott Barber

    Leah, I'm sorry if I had any tone, I honestly meant no offense to anyone. You're making an awful lot of assumptions about me and my intentions. I think this isn't the place to resort to name-calling and accusations about someone you know almost nothing about.

    To be honest, I've seen many people get off track and lose motivation because they are angry at NCARB, study material providers, or others. I have yet to see any posts here produce any meaningful change, so I usually try to encourage people to keep their energy focused on things they can control. I have no devotion to NCARB or any other organization, and do want things to change and improve.

    I won't waste any more of my time on this post, as my input is clearly unwelcome. I wish you the best in your preparations, I will continue to do my best to help along the way however I can in other places. I will look for that petition to sign this evening.

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    Leah Underwood

    Bye Scott.

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    Joan NCARB

    Leah,

    This is an NCARB-hosted Community, moderated by NCARB staff.  Nick, Casandra and I responded to all your questions when we spoke yesterday.  While we welcome everyone's opinions on this Community, unprofessional behavior is unacceptable and violates the guidelines I've posted.

    Joan

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