Today, architectural regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico announced the Tri-National Mutual Recognition Agreement for the International Practice of Architecture, which will let qualified architects practice in all three countries. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in the United States, in conjunction with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana (FCARM) developed the agreement to create more opportunities for architects as the profession continues to globalize.

The origins of the Tri-National Agreement trace back to the passage of North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, which launched a discussion between leaders and regulators of the architecture profession in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to consider ways to develop the mutual recognition of credentials. Industry leaders in all three countries outlined an agreement in 2005 and ran a two-year pilot program through which they evaluated four applicants. Today’s announcement represents the implementation of the 2005 agreement.

Architects from each of the participating countries, who fulfill the requirements of the agreement, will receive a credential that will lead to a license to practice in the host country. To be eligible for mutual recognition, a candidate must have completed a professional degree in architecture from a program accredited by either the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the Canadian Architectural Certification Board, the Acreditadora Nacional de Programas de Arquitectura y Disciplinas del Espacio Habitable, or a recognized equivalent. The architect must also have 10 years of post-licensure experience within his or her home jurisdiction, proof of good standing within that jurisdiction verified by local regulatory authorities, and knowledge of the policies applicable to the practice of architecture in the host country.

The candidate must submit a dossier of work that demonstrates specific capabilities outlined in the agreement and must complete an interview in the language of the host country before a review panel.