Reciprocity between Canada and the United States

The new Canada/US Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) came into effect on January 1, 2014. All 11 Canadian architectural regulators are signatories to the MRA. As of January 2015, 40 of the US Member Boards of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) have become signatories to the MRA through completion of their individual Letters of Undertaking.

The new MRA supersedes the previous Canada/US Inter-Recognition Agreement as well as other avenues under which a Canadian architect could previously obtain an NCARB Certificate. Canadians wishing to obtain an NCARB Certificate can do so based on meeting the eligibility requirements of the MRA, i.e. a holder of a license/registration in one of the Canadian jurisdictions and having 2,000 hours of post licensure experience. Completion of the ARE on its own does not necessarily make you eligible for an NCARB Certificate.

If you are interested in reciprocal licensing with the US please contact your regulatory authority directly to obtain detailed information regarding eligibility.

Meeting the examination requirement for Licensure in Canada.

The ExAC is the Canadian exam for licensure and is recognized and administered by all 11 architectural regulators.

Most regulators continue to recognize the American ARE as also meeting the examination requirement in Canada (with the exception of the OAQ). Some architectural regulators are currently reviewing this position with a view to phasing out recognition of the ARE for first license. If you are currently taking the ARE, or are considering the ARE in the future, please contact your regulator directly. Any regulator that has made such a decision will ensure that a reasonable and appropriate notice/transition period will be identified so as to not cause undue hardship for Canadian Interns.

Notwithstanding this Canadian position, US state licensing boards do not recognize ExAC on its own as meeting the examination requirements for licensure in the US.  However, as per the new MRA it is recognized, by virtue of an individual being licensed in Canada, as meeting the eligibility requirements for reciprocal licensure in the states.”