Alternatives for IDP Hours (Free Supplementary Education Experience)

As NCARB continues to revise the requirements for obtaining/recording IDP hours, new deadlines arise for Architectural Interns. The latest phase change is for those with a non-conventional education background (if you do not have a 5-year professional degree or Master of Architecture). As new timelines are posted for phase changes, it may become necessary for some to turn to additional alternatives to increase the number of hours submitted before the next impending deadline.

One source for hours that is less often utilized is the Emerging Professionals Companion (EPC; This source does not require architectural interns to be gainfully employed to continue accumulating hours; which also makes it a viable option for those still suffering from the economic  downturn seen in the architectural community the past few years. However, if you are employed in a type A work setting, you can still utilize this program to gain additional hours before the deadline. All that is needed is a NCARB approved mentor (i.e. a licensed architect willing to review, discuss, and approve your work) and the drive to complete IDP.

While there are multiple options for NCARB Supplementary Education experience, most involve some level of tuition expense/fees, monographs to purchase, classes or seminars to attend, and only provide 1-2 CU (credit units) per event. The EPC is a free alternative that can be completed at your leisure, in conjunction with your other daily activities. This is useful if you are working during the day and trying to complete additional hours in the evenings to satisfy the requirements before any pending NCARB deadlines.

The Process

The EPC provides interns with a wide variety of chapters covering each of the 16 IDP training categories (i.e. Programming, Code Research, etc.). Each chapter is equipped with reading, quiz, practice problems, and work exercises (worth 8 CU/hours each, upon mentor review/approval). While there is a limit to the number of hours an intern can obtain through EPC for Supplementary Education (1,800 CU); this allows for several months’ worth of hours to be completed outside of the typical work setting, and can be used toward core hours or electives.

The Submittal

After completion of the work exercises, and review by mentor, hours can easily be reported through the EVR system on the NCARB website under the Supplementary Education section. The hours reported will be sent to your mentor for approval (as is normal practice), and you are on your way to IDP completion.


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