In recent years NAAB has substantially transformed in response to the adaptation to and implementation of the 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation, the restructuring of administrative staff, the effects of COVID-19, the streamlining of program accreditation decisions, an increasing international presence, and a myriad of related improvements.
In the coming year, NAAB’s continued transformation will include:
- Transition to a web-based digital system to facilitate program reporting and process interaction as well as data archiving.
- Further development and updating of the NAAB website, providing programs with improved and expanded access to tools, information, and resources.
- Providing additional web accessible trainings for our visiting team chairs and team members.
- Expanded repository of accreditation reference materials including webinars, conference recordings, FAQs, downloadable forms, and links to supporting documents.
- Offering opportunities for interaction with accreditation experts through on-line “Office Hours”, peer-to-peer networking, and participation in NAAB workshops and conferences.
- Offering one-on-one staff consultation on specific accreditation questions programs may have.
- Initiating the Accreditation Review Committee to assist the Board by reviewing Annual Reports, Special Reports and Plans to Correct generated by the 173 NAAB-accredited programs.
- Expanded interaction with our supporting collateral organizations ACSA, AIA, AIAS, and NCARB, to facilitate funding of program accreditation and nominations to NAAB’s volunteer team pool.
In 2023 NAAB anticipates conducting 42 accreditation visits, with 7 programs seeking accreditation for the first time. All 2023 visits will be held virtually as previously announced. We are all looking forward to the return to on-site visits in 2024 which will incorporate efficiencies adapted from virtual visits experienced during the last 3 years.
NAAB’s international activities continue to expand. Programs around the world are recognizing the value of NAAB International Certification (ICert). Three new programs are seeking the ICert credential and 18 programs in 9 countries are currently certified. Additionally, three international programs have pursued and received full NAAB accreditation. NAAB’s active membership in the Canberra Accord facilitates the portability of students’ educational credentials between the countries whose accreditation/validation agencies signed the Accord. Nine countries, the Commonwealth Association of Architects, and the International Union of Architects all recognize the Accord.
As part of our longstanding partnership with our Canadian counterparts, the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB), I recently attended their board meeting. This is a great opportunity to network and learn from each other and we look forward to our continued relationship.
Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) plays an important role in providing evaluation services for individuals who do not hold an accredited degree. The EESA process is critical for individuals seeking an NCARB certificate or license in a US jurisdiction. NAAB has received an increased number of applications, reflecting a strong economic demand for qualified architectural professionals. EESA’s work has long been crucial to supporting NCARB’s regulatory activities and NAAB is proud to provide those services.
NAAB volunteers are the heart of the accreditation process. Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors, participate on visiting teams, serve on committees, panels, and task forces, and help in every stage of the accreditation process. In 2022, over 110 volunteers provided their energy and knowledge to assure that NAAB accreditation remains a trusted, reliable, and essential credential, critical to architecture programs, their students, graduates, and the profession. I thank all of you, each and every one, for your time, your knowledge, your commitment, and your belief in the importance of accreditation. Without you, NAAB’s work would not be possible. With the increased number of current and future accreditation visits, NAAB will have greater opportunities for volunteer service on visiting teams. We welcome new team members to expand and diversify our volunteer base, so I encourage you to become part of our volunteer team pool.
Six staff members and our executive director, working virtually from their home offices, orchestrate the entire NAAB operational effort. Our staff brings the most extensive accreditation knowledge and experience of any NAAB work force. Their tireless efforts through the COVID-19 era, led by the indefatigable Executive Director, Tanya Tamarkin, oversaw the initial dissemination and implementation of the 2020 Conditions and Procedures; transitioned to and coordinated all virtual site visits; prepared trainings and hosted focus groups; and developed virtual site visit guidelines, all while simultaneously running the normal administrative functions of the organization. In their “spare” time they recruited, hired, and trained new professionals to support the work of NAAB. I sincerely appreciate the solid professional accreditation background our staff brings to our mission; we are all learning from them.
As I begin my presidency, it is reassuring to be working with the best: a hard-working Board of Directors, committees who take their charges seriously, extraordinarily committed volunteers, and the entire effort supported by knowledgeable, professional staff. NAAB is in a good place and constantly getting better.
David L. Hoffman, FAIA, NCARB, CRRP, CRX, CDP Hon. FCARM
2022–2023 NAAB President