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Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

  • 1.  Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 11-03-2021 12:39 PM
    Hoping this is the right section to post, and hoping even more that someone out there could offer some suggestions.  I will keep the State I'm having issues with silent for now, so let me try to state the facts as simply as possible:

    1.I have been practicing for over 40 years and have obtained reciprocal licenses through NCARB in over 15 states with never a problem
    2. My original license was obtained in New York, which had a requirement at least at the time of my taking the exam, of a least 3 years of working experience before you were allowed to take the professional exam.
    3. I applied for a reciprocal license back in September.  After 2 months and calling to inquire about status, I was informed via phone that my application was rejected.  The apparent reason for rejection was that I did not comply with their specific state requirement of having 3 years of working experience before getting licensed.  Apparently, the NCARB record forwarded to the state did not show verified experience going back that far.  I made a call to the executive director of the state board of architects and explained that specifically in NY, in order to even sit for the exam, the 3 years experience was a requirement.  It fell on deaf ears, and I'm sorry to say it at least felt like I was dealing with a very unsympathetic, uncaring person who just wanted to move on to the next case.  I was basically told the review committee made a decision and that was it. Why no one called me to even question this before a decision was made is beyond me.  My options as explained to me was to ask for a hearing, I believe they said it would be with the State Attorney's office, they were unsure if I would have to fly in for the hearing, and I might need an attorney.  Furthermore, this could take months.  Alternately, I could just resubmit my application with any supplemental information but with no guarantees.
    4. I did some more digging of really old buried files and found three things.  My original NCARB application which showed the employment including the 3 years of experience in question.  I also found my original NY license application along with a signed letter from the architect I worked for confirming that employment which was sent to the State at the time to verify my employment from that time.  All these documents were scanned and also sent to the state I was seeking reciprocal licensing from.  They have  yet to respond but I am not hopeful since they already said the "decision was made".
    5. At the same time I contacted NCARB and in speaking with their Customer Relations department, quite frankly they were surprised at the action taken.  They are trying to communicate with the State offices, but no luck so far.
    6. I also contacted my local NJ AIA board who referred me to the state board.  Nothing yet, but hoping they can help.

    With all that, as a very small business, we have been basically shut down for over a year for obvious reasons.  I finally have the opportunity to pick up a small project and it now looks like because of some bureaucratic bs, I will have to pass.  I truly don't believe I am asking for any favors, just some common sense which seems to lacking in this instance.  Open to anyone offering some guidance.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------
    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 2.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 11-04-2021 05:42 PM

    Sounds like a bureaucratic snafu.  Most state boards have an appeals process. In order to find out the procedure, I would not rely on something that they told you.  You need to research the rules of the board and the State registration laws to find out what they are obligated to do.  Once you have that information, you should be able to request an appeal to the appropriate place.  Make sure you do everything in writing, registered mail, not email.  With all the backup you have there should not be a need for an attorney.  In addition, NCARB usually has your original application material filed away.  Even though it is 40 years old, it would still probably be in offsite storage.  Try requesting copies of the documents from NCARB.

    Good Luck



    ------------------------------
    David Brotman FAIA
    Past AIA Regional Director
    Sunset Consultants
    Scottsdale AZ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 3.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 11-04-2021 08:35 PM
    Sounds like the problem may be best corrected through NCARB, both for the short and long-term.  It sounds like they may not have your experience documented in their files (which probably wasn't necessary when you were originally certified by NCARB).  I have found that the best/only way to resolve issues with NCARB is to ask to speak to a manager.

    Perhaps a peer on the actual board will intervene with sanity.  I would be optimistic about that!

    Brian L Van WinkleAIA NCARB
    Principal  |  Direct: (314) 324-2542
    Vessel Architecture & Design



    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 4.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 11-05-2021 07:58 AM
    Brian,

    Problem is time and quite frankly money.  We are not talking about a major project, just a small interior retail one but if I can't resolve this in the next week or so, will have to just turn it down. And I have been dealing with customer relations at NCARB which quite frankly while promising a lot at the onset, have not been able to do anything.  In fact they told me just yesterday that they contacted the state and they basically politely blew them off and said they will only will deal directly with me. Bottom line, NCARB said there was nothing else they could do which actually took me by surprise.  I thought they worked with the state and knew exactly what they required and if anything was missing or wrong, they would contact me.  And why the state didn't contact me to question missing information before ruling is also questionable.  And your right, even though my NCARB original application, which I miraculously found, scanned and emailed to the state shows my full work employment, at the time of application NCARB did not ask for verification from all employment, just the latest.  But miraculously, I also found my original state license application with a signed letter from my original employer verifying employment for the period in question and also scanned/emailed that.  Out of desperation, I sent out a blast email to everyone's email I could find, board members, local aia of the state as well as my local aia, my original state licensing board, the state attorney generals office etc. It appears something may have shaken loose, keeping fingers crossed.  But thank you for your thoughts, its just nice to know someone else out there cares

    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 5.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 29 days ago
    I would recommend talking with the State Board of Architect's Director first (if you have not already done so).
    Then, I would recommend trying a state representative or the state's Secretary of State.  Let them know that you are trying (literally) give their state money (in this case the fee to be an architect) and they are refusing to help you.
    Sometimes, an elected official will help you out...

    ------------------------------
    Ket West AIA
    Associate, Architect
    Hafer
    Owensboro KY
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 6.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 28 days ago
    You might also talk to your State's licensing board director and ask for some insight.  Most of these people know each other and sometimes they can help with another jurisdiction's director.

    ------------------------------
    M. Newman AIA
    The Newman Marchive Partnership, Inc.
    Shreveport LA
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 7.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 23 days ago
    To All,

    thanks for all you comments.  To date, NCARB has been useless.  After several calls with a manager of customer relations, he was unable to help.  I placed a follow up request for help and asked to talk to someone else and promised a call tomorrow (Monday).  Not much hope there.  My local state board has been unresponsive and the state of my original license, NY, has also been unhelpful and unresponsive.  The thing is, they could, as I put in an email to them, simply write a 2 sentence letter stating that at the time of my licensing, in order to sit for the exam 3 years of experience was a requirement.  End of story.  But can't get to anyone there. AIA has been also useless.  Tried the state secretary, no response.  So not sure what my options are at this point except to wait until this Thursday and see what the next review is based on the supplemental paperwork I found and sent them.  After 40 years of AIA dues, 30 years of NCARB dues, aside for paying for way overpriced contracts, I finally ask for help and nothing.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 8.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 22 days ago
    Edited by Edward J. Shannon III AIA 22 days ago
    I went through a very similar situation with NCARB in 2010-11.  I moved from Illinois to Iowa.  This was during the recession.  I was out of work and divorced and desperately needed a job.  I was hired to teach drafting a community college in Waterloo, Iowa and wanted to have the credential of being an architect there.  I had an M. Arch degree and been licensed in Illinois for 16 years, 12 of which I stamped drawings.  One would think that with the proper professional degree and previous licensure, getting reciprocity in a neighboring state would not be a problem.  Not so with NCARB.  They asked to see my IDP record.  While I had to intern for 3 years to sit for the exam in Illinois, we did not have the IDP program.  So, in NCARB's mind, my internship didn't really count.  I wondered why the activities I did during internship would be so important to getting reciprocity, after having been licensed for 16 years in good standing in a neighboring state? When I informed NCARB that I did not have an IDP record, they then asked that my former bosses write letters documenting what I did under their employ some 20 years ago!  I then informed NCARB that one of the architects was deceased and the other firm was defunct.  This stumped NCARB.  Mind you this correspondence took about 8 weeks and I really wanted my license!  They then asked that I have professional colleagues fill out forms (germane to internship) confirming that I was competent with some of the aspects of IDP. i.e. Site Planning. Programming, Contract Documents, etc.  Did my 16 years of active licensure in Illinois mean nothing to NCARB?   This seemed both insulting and absurd!  Alas, I got two colleagues to fill out the forms and after waiting another 6 weeks was able to get my NCARB certificate. Now I pay NCARB $275  a year to "maintain my record"!

    I don't get it!



    ------------------------------
    Edward Shannon AIA
    Architect/Owner
    Edward J. Shannon, Architect PLC
    Des Moines IA
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 9.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 19 days ago
    Edward,

    here is the quick summary

    1.the state I'm seeking reciprocal license initially rejected me for not showing my 3 years of experience prior to licensing.  Note I filled in their application completely, accurately and NCARB forwarded my record which 15 other states have accepted in the past
    2.my response to the state saying New York had that as a requirement in order to even take the test seems to fall on deaf ears
    3. I actually found a copy of my NYS application which listed the employment and even better, a signed copy of the architects letter confirming my employment.  Who would have thought saving a document for 45 years would have come in handy. But so far no response from the state.
    3. New York is equally unsympathetic.  All I asked the executive secretary was to confirm that at the time of my testing, the 3 years experience was a requirement.  To paraphrase, his response was I wasn't secretary at the time.  Can you believe it?  It was in their education law, I even sent him a  copy and no response.  I asked for his superiors contact info, no response.

    Well today is my 2nd review hearing - I had to resubmit my applciation, pay a 2nd fee and I'll know by the end of the day.  What I just find extremely hard to believe, especially for small firms who don't have resources, who else is there to talk to as my local, state AIA cant seem to help, NCARB has been useless and the state boards...well no need to totally vent anymore.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 10.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 14 days ago
    Well for anyone who is interested, 2nd time was a charm and I got the approval to be licensed.  Don't have it in writing, but that was what I was told on the phone.  It will be impossible for me to tell what did it, personally I think it was my discovery of the original architect's employment verification letter and sending them that along with a copy of the NYS Education Law which clearly confirmed I needed to those 3 years in order to take the exam.  What I'm fairly confident, to my big disappointment was how unhelpful NCARB, NYS Education Dept and local/state chapters of the AIA were.  Basically, NCARB told me, from two different supervisors, that the state refused to talk to them and the vp of the customer service department never got back to me. NYS Education Dept topped responding to my phone calls and emails.  I don't know how many other people have or will find themselves in a similar situation, but there is really no place to go and wondering if something can or should be done about it for others in the future.

    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 11.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi Larry,

    Congratulations!!

    I’m so happy to hear the good news!

    Thank you, again, for sharing your story here.


    Happy Thanksgiving…


    Kind regards,


    Tara Imani, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, CSI
    Registered Architect + Interior Designer

    Tara Imani Designs, LLC
    10333 Richmond Avenue, Suite 170
    Houston, TX 77042

    Work/Mobile Ph: 832-723-1798

    www.taraimanidesigns.com


    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!


  • 12.  RE: Help/Suggestions with problems obtaining reciprocal license thru NCARB

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by Larry Goldberg AIA 4 days ago

    Just an update, formal license issued, drawings being prepared and to be filed fairly soon.  But wanted all to be aware of a few things in case anyone else faces anything similar
    1. NCARB - while they have been basically useless on this matter, I did get a call from their VP of customer service who said she went through all the email/correspondence as well as my files and acknowledged that there was a problem at NCARB which they are now addressing and will hopefully correct soon.
    2. AIA - ashamed to say totally useless.  Not one member of local, state was able to help...or for that matter even offered.  I offered my assistance to help strategize/organize some way to help others in the future and it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.  However, what did upset me was I received an email from a staff person through the aia website with a "no reply" senders address so I could not respond.  She advised that "my message" was taken down due to a "violation of code of conduct".  And quite honestly, it wasn't my message but another member's thoughtless response, which quite frankly stated inaccurate facts, that should have received this message.  Oh well, life goes on

    This is the last update, wishing everyone happy holiday, happy and healthy new year and thanks to all again for your support and advice.

    Larry



    ------------------------------
    Larry Goldberg AIA
    president
    lg+a architects, pc
    Matawan NJ
    ------------------------------

    PD course on-demand on AIAU, including rethinking construction delivery, international project delivery models, and advancing project delivery with VDC. Click here!