May 2013

Forget the Sizzle, Here's the Stake on Licensure

The October 2012 issue of Architect magazine featured an article "Why Licensing is Important" from AIA President Jeff Potter, FAIA.  This month guest author David DelVecchio, AIA gains the spotlight as he addresses Jeff Potter's article describing the true value of architecture licensing.

Professional licensure is proof to the public that you have met the minimum requirements of education, experience and examination to competently practice your profession.  All three, not just one or two.  That's the MINIMUM threshold.  To call yourself an architect (or any regulated profession) when you do not have a license is fraud.  You mislead the public as to your true credentials and your ability to take responsibility for your actions.  It's for the same reason a graduate of a law school cannot call him/herself an attorney until he/she passes the bar exam; because it is illegal, not because it protects the profession, but because licensure protects the public. 

The same holds true for architects who are not licensed in a particular jurisdiction.  You need to understand the licensing laws in every state where you offer architectural services. 

I regularly file complaints with the State Board of Architects when I find someone calling themselves an architect, or offering architectural services, when they are not properly licensed.  Our state laws REQUIRE any regulated professional who has knowledge of unlicensed practice to make their regulatory board aware of such infractions.  We are obligated by our professional license to uphold the law.  I believe that if you are not willing to police your own profession you are, in effect, aiding and abetting illegal practice. 

Moreover, in my opinion, AIA's position on licensed practice should be made crystal clear.  Any building designed for human use or habitation must be designed by an architect.  Period.  That should be our aspiration and our goal.  No exceptions.  No qualifications.  No apologies for hurt feelings.  No exemptions for certain uses or sizes.  No exceptions for large firms that think that "it's only a house", or "we can design buildings all over the world".  And frankly, no exception for academia either.  Every professor who teaches architecture in the studio should maintain a valid license to practice in that state, or refrain from calling themselves an architect. 

Why is licensure so important?  It's really quite simple.  Every building occupant, even a homeowner, deserves the same protection afforded a shopper at Wal-Mart.  (I am presuming that no state allows a Wal-Mart to be designed by an unlicensed practitioner.  I hope that this is not a stretch.)

To reiterate, we all need to understand that a license to practice does not protect the professional. It protects the consumer, it's really a license to be sued if you breach the standard of care in your profession.  Every architect who signs and seals their first set of construction documents knows exactly what I mean. 

You can disagree with me if you wish, but don't do it in New Jersey.  I've gotten so good at filing complaints that I can do it in my sleep!

Whether you are a licensed professional architect, engineer, landscape architect, interior designer, etc., you certainly experience a plethora of credentials maintenance requirements.  You can gain insight into how we navigate this complex credentials management process for you by visiting us at: www.AECredentialing.com

License Renewal Dates

Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date - 05/2013


Engineers: Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date - 05/2013


Landscape Architects:
License Renewal Due Date -


If your license renews on your date of birth this month, or by state requirement when your license origination occurred, it's time to renew. 



LS Credentialing Services eliminates time consuming tasks including researching, updating and cataloging. 

Receive a custom monthly email credentialing report containing: 
  • Current status of all professional affiliation membership types with renewal dates 
  • Professional affiliation membership types with renewal dates
  • Current multi-discipline continuing education requirements needed
  • Comprehensive recorded history of categorized education credits
Learn more about our innovative and easy-to-use service at AECredentialing.com.



Felix Baumgartner will attempt to travel by balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet above the Earth’s surface and jump.  The United States Parachute Association has set 2000 feet as the minimum altitude at which skydivers are to deploy their parachutes. Suppose Felix falls at an average rate of 120 mi/h jumping from an altitude of 120,000 feet. After how many minutes will Felix deploy his parachute if he does so at the minimum altitude allowed? Express your answer to the nearest whole number. 

Another Mathcounts® quiz to challenge you as summer begins.  Find the answer in the June 2013 "The Credential" enewsletter. 

Housekeeping Note:
  If your address, phone number  or email
address has changed please notify your credentials agencies. 

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LS Credentialing Services, WBE Certified, P.O. Box 91, Olathe, KS 66051


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