Intern Development Program (IDP)
IDP Is Not Just an Intern's Responsibility: What Every Supervisor Needs to Know
by Brad Benjamin, AIA, IDP State Coordinator
from August 2010 Newsletter
The Intern Development Program (IDP) is now an essential step in the path to become an architect in 54 states and territories in the United States. The Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive training program created jointly in the 1970s by NCARB and AIA to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the indpendent practice of architecture. An intern will apply their formal education to the daily realities of architectural practice, acquire comprehensive experience in basic practice areas, explore specialized areas of practice, develop professional judgment, and refine their goals.
However, IDP cannot be completed by the intern alone. Direct supervision of an intern is the primary and most effective method to guide an intern's professional development. It should be the objective of every architecture firm to strengthen the relationship between interns and their supervisors in order to help them work together to fulfill the requirements of the IDP. The knowledge, guidance, and support you offer to an intern as a licensed architect and supervisor will add to the long-term quality of the entire architecture profession.
What is an IDP Supervisor?
A supervisor generally means one who reviews and directs the work of others and ensures that work is done within acceptable levels of quality. NCARB considers one who exercises direct supervision as an individual within the firm or organization who supervises the intern on a daily basis; has control over the work performed; provides reasonable opportunities for the intern to gain experience in each IDP training area; regularly assesses the quality of the intern's work; and periodically certifies the intern's experience reports.
IDP Supervisors meet regularly with the intern in order to give and receive fair and constructive feedback; to discuss career goals and progress prior to certifying the NCARB experience report; to review and discuss some of the intern's work samples; to provide assistance, advice, and support, especially if the intern is experiencing difficulty in obtaining certain required training experience; and to provide feedback between scheduled meetings.
What are my obligations as an IDP Supervisor?
The process of supervising is customized and often guided by the established principles, judgment, and interpersonal skills of the IDP supervisor. Although all supervisory experiences are different, a few core guidelines must be adhered to in order to achieve the optimum experience for both the IDP supervisor and intern.
- Know the IDP training requirements outlined in the IDP Guidelines (See below).
- Provide reasonable opportunities to gain adequate experience in each training area.
- Hold an active architecture registration in the jurisdiction where their office is located except in those work settings where not required (refer to the IDP Work Settings in the IDP Supervisor Guidelines below).
- Be knowledgeable of the process of licensure by examination in South Carolina (see http://www.llr.state.sc.us/pol/architects/index.asp?file=requirements_for_registration_by.htm)
- Be knowledgeable of the ARE 4.0 (see http://www.ncarb.org/ARE.aspx) and requirements for NCARB certification (see http://www.ncarb.org/Certification-and-Reciprocity.aspx).
- Be familiar with The Emerging Professional's Companion (EPC) (see http://www.epcompanion.org/) and other supplementary education activities.
- Maximize all learning opportunities for the intern, including (but not limited to) attending continuing education opportunities and being available for discussion afterward; client meetings; site meetings; and/or community involvement activities, etc.
- Review the intern's experience report and verify the accuracy of the training hours reported in a timely manner through the use of NCARB's electronic Experience Verification Reporting (e-EVR) system.
What's this e-EVR thing?
The e-EVR system was developed to enhance the delivery of experience reports to NCARB in support of the IDP. This system will allow interns to document their experience in various training areas directly into their online NCARB Record. In this system, an intern will identify you as his/her supervisor in each report. When a report is submitted, a notification with instructions will be sent to you at the email address provided by your intern.
What else do I need to know?
For further in-depth details, please download the following: IDP Supervisor Guidelines
The IDP Guidelines is essential for reading for interns, supervisors, and mentors participating in the IDP. The document includes steps to completing the program, reporting procedures, training requirements, and core competencies interns should understand before becoming licensed.
The guidelines have been developed in conjunction with the IDP Guidelines to assist the IDP supervisor in their critical role. They are offered as a starting point to help develop and implement a successful supervisory relationship between interns and supervisors.
IDP August 2010 Newsletter
The National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) is responsible for establishing, interpreting and enforcing the Intern Development Program (IDP) and architecture training requirements. The objective of IDP is to prepare interns for competent practice. The IDP training requirement establishes levels of training in important areas of architectural practice. The AIA web site offers a number of resource highlights and information to assist AIA Associate members and interns in their continuing education. For further information about IDP training requirements and NCARB Council Record application procedures, visit the NCARB web site, email NCARB Customer Service at email@example.com or call Customer Service at (202) 879.0520.
Emerging Professionals Companion: An Online Resource
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, by young architects seeking continuing education credit, by AIA components developing programming for emerging professionals (e.g., mentoring programs, study groups), and by firms looking for in-house curricula. The EPC's 16 chapters are aligned with NCARB's 16 IDP training areas. Each chapter begins with an in-depth narrative of the subject and provides interactive material. Sign up and learn more!
AIA South Carolina Emerging Professionals Committee
AIA/SC has a growing Emerging Professionals Committee whose aim is to serve as a local network for AIA Associate members and interns. The Chair of this committee is the current Emerging Professionals Director who serves on the Chapter's Board of Directors.
AIA/SC Intern Friendly Firm Program
Over the past few years AIA South Carolina has been working hard to support the education of our emerging professionals in our state as they work toward license. A committee comprised of both licensed architects and emerging professionals from different sized firms has developed a voluntary set of guidelines for firms to use in their offices entitled: Intern Friendly Firms.
Firm owners should take note of the benefits of being an Intern Friendly Firm: higher retention, better job applicants, quicker learning curve, catapulting more interns toward registration. Similar Intern Friendly guidelines have been used by firms in our state and across the nation for several years.
In the past, our Chapter has granted these firms a page on our website to tout their own in-house Intern Friendly Firm programs. We are going to take it a step further. A special logo has been designed for your use. And to make things better, there are no fees associated with this!
The logo will look something like the one below and will be included in each participating firm's profile in our annual magazine. Firms may also use this logo as a part of their in-house programs and advertising.
To fill out the forms to become an Intern Friendly Firm, click here.
AIA South Carolina Intern Friendly Firms
South Carolina architecture firms participating in the AIA/SC "Intern Friendly Firm" program acknowledge the value and contribution their intern architects make to their firms by supporting their education as emerging professionals. These firms certify that they support all of their intern to develop into competent design professionals through board based professional experiences, internal education programs, and personal mentoring. Firms qualify for the IFF program by meeting minimum criteria in the following three categories: NCARB requirement, Supplementary Education & Professional Development, and the Architect's Registration Exam.