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Intern Development Program
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Intern Development Program

Becoming an architect is a three step process called the "Three Es", which are: Education, Experience and Examination. A key component of the Experience is the Intern Development Program (IDP).

Intern Development Program (IDP)

The  Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture. The program is developed, maintained, and administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

(NCARB) and is required by most U.S. architectural registration boards to satisfy experience requirements for licensure.

NCARB Information: E-mail NCARB or call the NCARB Customer Service at (202) 879-0520. 

Hawaii Interns: IDP Required Hours Reduced by 1/3 effective July 1, 2015!

Effective immediately, the Intern Development Program (IDP) will require 3,740 total hours.

In September, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced plans to streamline the Intern Development Program (IDP). Effective immediately, the program will require 3,740 total hours defined by 17 experience areas. Here’s a summary of these changes, along with a few resources you may find helpful:

Key Takeaways

  • You can confirm your jurisdiction's requirements on NCARB's website. Go to

  • The Hawaii State Licensing board issued this press release and will accept the reduced hours per NCARB guidelines effective immediately.

    •   Keep reporting all experience. Doing so will help facilitate licensure and reciprocity in jurisdictions with additional requirements.

    Employment Duration Changes to IDP effective Dec 2013

    In Sep. 2013, the NCARB Board of Directors approved changes to the IDP related to the employment duration requirement and eligibility requirement that went into effect Dec. 16, 2013. View press release.

    • Employment Duration Requirement: The elimination of this requirement recognizes that all experience gained through one of the experience settings is valid regardless of the time spent working on a project. The change will allow interns to earn work experience for short-term projects.
    • IDP Eligibility Requirement: After Dec., interns will simply need to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent to begin earning IDP experience. Interns will be able to earn experience straight out of high school, and will no longer need to submit a form to set their eligibility date.

    1 AIA LU = 1 IDP Experience Hour

    Interns may earn IDP Supplemental Experience hours by completing approved AIA Continuing Education programs where 1 AIA CEU/LU is equal to one IDP experience hour.  When submitting to NCARB, Learning Units (LUs) must be documented on the intern’s AIA transcript. Click here for more information.

    Emerging Professional Companion (Online)

    Developed by AIA and NCARB, The Emerging Professionals Companion (EPC) is an online resource for emerging professionals. Primarily intended as a means for interns to earn IDP credit, this resource also can be used by educators in professional practice courses and by young architects seeking continuing education credit.                                    

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