What is the Intern Development Program (IDP)?

IDP responds to students’ professional development needs by providing a wide range of resources that enhance day-to-day experience. The IDP training requirement establishes levels of training in important areas of architectural practice. Through the IDP mentorship system, students receive advice and guidance from practitioners. The IDP record-keeping system facilitates the documentation of internship activities, while the IDP supplementary education system provides a variety of learning resources designed to enrich training.

Download the IDP Guidelines as a PDF →

When Does The Program Begin?

Students can start documenting their IDP hours as early as their freshman year. The two six-month co-op semesters will most likely count towards IDP.

Training Requirements

It usually takes about three to four years to earn the required 5,600 training hours. One training hour equals one hour of acceptable activity in a given training area. Students must complete specific periods of training in four major categories. They are also encouraged, but not required, to gain experience in areas beyond the traditional scope of architectural practice.

Training hours can be earned concurrently while sitting for divisions of the ARE exam in the state of Massachusetts–however students must have completed their NAAB accredited degree.

Settings in which to earn Training Hours

IDP settings are usually architecture firms, but students can earn IDP credits in other arenas. IDP credits are limited when working outside of US and Canada, under a foreign registered architect.

Submitting training hours

The NCARB on-line system will allow students to document their experience in various training areas directly into their online NCARB Record. Students log into their NCARB Record to document their work experience and professional and community service regularly.

How often should training hours be submitted?

NCARB’s Member Boards passed a rule requiring interns to submit their experience in reporting periods of no longer than six months and within two months of completion of each reporting period.

Training Progress

Each time a new IDP training report is submitted, NCARB will update the student’s IDP Periodic Assessment Report, which is a detailed summary of the training progress. The IDP Periodic Assessment Report is a tool that can help students determine where additional training is needed. 

How to Get Started

To participate in IDP, students must:

  1. Establish an NCARB Record at the NCARB web site.
  2. Identify a supervisor.
  3. Select a mentor.
  4. Develop a system for documenting training activities.