Over the years, some provincial associations of architects have used various admission examinations to determine whether candidates were competent to be licensed.
Recently, the licensing authorities have developed a new Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) to test the minimum standards of competency acquired by an Intern during the Internship period, to ensure both public safety and the professional and skilled delivery of architectural services.
The ExAC, which is composed of four sections, covers the following topic areas as set out in the Internship in Architecture Program:
- Site and Environmental Analysis
- Cost Management
- Coordinating Engineering Systems
- Schematic Design
- Design Development
- Final Project
- Bidding and Contract Negotiations
- Construction Phase – Office
- Construction Phase – Site
- Project Management
- Code Research
The principal sources of the examination content are the:
- Internship in Architecture Program (IAP)
- Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects (CHOP)
- National Building Code 2005 edition
- ExAC website
Provincial and territorial associations will continue to recognize the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), administered by the U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to ensure that reciprocal licensing for architects is possible throughout North America.
The ARE, which is administered in computer format only, is sub-divided into seven divisions which may be written in any order and at any time at various testing centres in Canada and the United States.
Interns must obtain both of the following from their association of architects:
- “Authorization to Test” (the necessary permission to write the examinations);
- examination results.