The process of licensure and continuing education exists in all trades that deal with public health and safety. Just as the medical professionals remain current on medical techniques through studies, literature, conferences, etc; Architects continue to learn about current construction methods and means of practicing. The following is taken from the Alabama Board of Architecture’s July Newsletter, written by ArchitectureWorks’ Partner, Marzette Fisher. It outlines guidelines and requirements for licensure renewal and continuing to in Alabama.
License Renewal and Continuing Education The job of tracking professional registrations can be onerous. Occasionally, important obligations are overlooked. Regardless of the complexity of requirements, they are essential to professional practice. Failure to meet one’s obligations have consequences, and in certain instances, loss of privileges. Two registration renewal issues appear frequently before the Board: - Delinquent licensure renewal. - Continuing Education non-compliance. Compliance with both requirements is essential to legal practice. Failure to comply and continuing practice is against the law. If this unfortunate situation occurs, registrants should be aware it triggers a chain of procedural requirements. To reinstate a license, one must formally acknowledge his/her professional status while holding an expired (invalid) license, which may result in a Board action (practice without a license) permanently recorded in your record possibly affecting reciprocity in some jurisdictions. Likewise, failure to disclose the Board action on future applications for licensure can result in additional actions. It quickly spirals out of control – all over failure to renew on time and satisfy continuing education requirements. A common misconception is that if one’s license expires he / she can practice under the “direct supervision and control” of a peer registrant in good standing. This is incorrect. Direct supervision and control targets two groups: - Intern architects in good standing, working under direct control and supervision of a licensed architect in good standing in the jurisdiction in which services are delivered. - Licensed architects in another jurisdiction practicing in a jurisdiction in which they are not licensed, working under direct supervision and control of an architect licensed in the jurisdiction in which the services are delivered. An architect without a valid license is ineligible to practice architecture (defined by law) in any jurisdiction at any time. Registrants have commented on lack of coordinated deadlines for licensure renewal (9-30) and continuing education (12-30). Legislation was introduced in the past legislative session to coordinate these deadlines, however it did not pass. We are hopeful for the next legislative session. With over 2,500 active architects licensed in Alabama the Board makes every reasonable effort to inform the registrants of duties and deadlines. Requirements are also clearly spelled-out in the Law (red book). Maintaining a valid license in good standing is your responsibility. If in doubt, call the Board office in advance of the deadline to keep your license in good standing. It is helpful both for the architectural professional and potential clients in understanding what stringent requirements are necessary to maintain a eligible license.
Understanding licensure is beneficial to both design professionals and those looking to hire an Architect. Once hired, the licensed professional brings the know-how and experience needed to successfully address the project’s requirements and get the project built.
Thanks for reading.