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North Carolina

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-2, the North Carolina Board of Architecture shall have the power and responsibility to administer the provisions of this Chapter in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-6 provides that the Board shall have the power to adopt bylaws, rules, and standards of professional conduct to carry out the purposes of this Chapter, including, but not limited to:

  • The adoption of bylaws governing its meetings and proceedings;
  • The establishment of qualification requirements for admission to examinations, and for individual or corporate licensure as provided in G.S. 83A-7 and 83A-8;
  • The establishment of the types and contents of examinations, their conduct, and the minimum scores or other criteria for passing such examinations;
  • The adoption of mandatory standards of professional conduct concerning misrepresentations, conflicts of interest, incompetence, disability, violations of law, dishonest conduct, or other unprofessional conduct for those persons or corporations regulated by this Chapter, which standards shall be enforceable under the disciplinary procedures of the Board;
  • The establishment or approval of requirements for renewal of licenses designed to promote the continued professional development and competence of licensees.

When necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, the Board shall require such evidence as it deems necessary to establish the continuing competency of architects as a condition of renewal of licenses.  The Board shall not adopt any rule or regulation which prohibits advertising.  The adoption, amendment or revocation of rules, regulations, and standards of professional conduct, and the publication and distribution of the same shall be subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-7 provides that any individual who is at least 18 years of age and of good moral character may make written application for examination by completion of a form prescribed by the Board accompanied by the required application fee.  Subject to qualification requirements of this section, the applicant shall be entitled to an examination to determine his/her qualifications for licensure.  The qualification requirements for registration as a duly licensed architect shall be:

  • Professional education and at least three years practical training and experience as specified by rules of the Board.
  • The successful completion of a licensure examination in architecture as specified by the rules of the Board.
  • The Board shall adopt rules to set requirements for professional education, practical training and experience, and examination which must be met by applicants for licensure and which may be based on the published guidelines of nationally recognized councils or agencies for the accreditation, examination, and licensing for the architectural profession.

Any individual holding a current license for the practice of architecture from another state or territory, and holding a certificate of qualification issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, may upon application and within the discretion of the Board be licensed without written examination.  The Board may waive the requirement for National Council registration if the qualifications, examination and licensing requirements of the state in which the applicant is licensed are substantially equivalent to those of this State and the applicant otherwise meets the requirements of this Chapter.  Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-11, certificates must be renewed on or before the first day of July in each year.  No less than 30 days prior to the renewal date, a renewal application shall be mailed to each individual and corporate licensee.  The completed application together with the required renewal fee shall be returned to the Board on or before the renewal date.  When the Board is satisfied as to the continuing competency of an architect, it shall issue a renewal of the certificate. Upon failure to renew within 30 days after the date set for expiration, the license shall be automatically revoked but such license may be renewed at any time within one year following the expiration date upon proof of continuing competency and payment of the renewal fee plus a late renewal fee.  After one year from the date of revocation, reinstatement may be made by the Board, or in its discretion, the application may be treated as new subject to reexamination and qualification requirements as in the case of new applications.

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-12, the purpose of the Chapter is to safeguard life, health and property.  It shall be unlawful for any individual, firm or corporation to practice or offer to practice architecture in this State as defined in this Chapter, or to use the title “Architect” or any form thereof, except as provided in Chapter 89A for Landscape Architects, or to display or use any words, letters, figures, titles, sign, card, advertisement, or other device to indicate that such individual or firm practices or offers to practice architecture as herein defined or is an architect or architectural firm qualified to perform architectural work, unless such person holds a current individual or corporate certificate of admission to practice architecture under the provisions of this Chapter.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-14 provides that any person may file with the Board a charge of unprofessional conduct, negligence, incompetence, dishonest practice, or other misconduct or of any violation of this Chapter or of a Board rule adopted and published by the Board.  Upon receipt of such charge, or upon its own initiative, the Board may give notice of an administrative hearing under the Administrative Procedure Act, or may dismiss the charge as unfounded or trivial, upon a statement of the reasons therefor which shall be mailed to the architect and the person who filed the charge by registered or certified mail.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-15 provides that the Board shall have the power to suspend or revoke a license or certificate of registration, to deny a license or certificate of registration, or to reprimand or levy a civil penalty not in excess of five hundred dollars per violation against any registrant who is found guilty of:

  • Dishonest conduct, including but not limited to the commission of any fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in any professional relationship with clients or other persons; or with reference to obtaining or maintaining license, or with reference to qualifications, experience and past or present service; or using or permitting an individual professional seal to be used by or for others, or otherwise representing registrant as the author of drawings or specifications other than those prepared personally by or under direct supervision of registrant.
  • Incompetence, including but not limited to gross negligence, recklessness, or excessive errors or omissions or building failures in registrant’s record of professional practice; or mental or physical disability or addiction to alcohol or drugs so as to endanger health, safety and interest of the public by impairing skill and care in professional services.
  • Unprofessional conduct, including but not limited to practicing or offering to practice architecture without a current license from this Board;knowingly aiding or abetting others to evade or violate the provisions of this Chapter, or the health and safety laws of this or other states;knowingly undertaking any activity or having any significant financial or other interest, or accepting any compensation or reward except from registrant’s clients, any of which would reasonably appear to compromise registrant’s professional judgment in serving the best interest of clients or public;willfully violating this Chapter or any rule or standard of conduct published by the Board, or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.

Actions to recover civil penalties against any registrant may be commenced by the Board pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.  In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the Board shall consider the degree and extent of harm caused by the violation.  The clear proceeds of any civil penalty collected hereunder shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 83A-16 provides that any individual or corporation not registered under this Chapter, who shall wrongfully use the title “Architect” or represent himself or herself to the public as an architect, or practice architecture as herein defined, or seek to avoid the provisions of this Chapter by the use of any other designation than “Architect” shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor; and be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars per day of such violation.  Each day of such unlawful practice shall constitute a distinct and separate violation.  The clear proceeds of any civil penalty collected hereunder shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

Inside North Carolina