Boss is being stingy with AXP hours


I work a very stable job at an architecture office, and am looking to wrap up my AXP hours as soon as possible. I am done with all of my AXP hours except for Project Management and Construction & Evaluation. 

As anybody can see on the NCARB site for the Project Management category, the first item is "participation in meetings". I have previously tried to have this approved by the boss, but the boss says I have to be the only person from the office sitting in the meeting, not just part of a 2 person team. I do speak from time to time at these meetings. 

The boss has recently started taking me on punch walks for the Construction & Evaluation category, and has been signing off on those. However, because these walks are so short, I am essentially only getting about 20 hours approved every 6 months.

In short, they say I have to do specific items or do things entirely on my own to count. 

I know I'll most likely be told to look for a new job. However, with the economic uncertainty, I am not sure if now is a good time. What are the alternatives to getting these hours approved aside from being in an architect's office? Maybe volunteering for Habitat for Humanity? 

Also, can the AXP be completed after the five year running clock for taking the AREs? 

Jan 30, 23 1:45 am

Generally speaking, the only way to gain hours for AXP is under the supervision of a licensed architect. I would sit down with your boss and talk about your plans for licensure. Firms usually want their employees to become licensed; it's better for the company. Go through the roles and requirements for the categories, and take initiative. Instead of waiting for your boss to assign you things to do, ask them "Can I go with you to the site? Can you show me how [x] works?" Etc. It takes some of that work off their shoulders, and puts you in a position where you're showing that you're eager to actually learn and participate, not just passively collect hours.

Jan 30, 23 7:09 am  · 
2  · 


Feb 2, 23 2:22 am  · 

This seems scummy. Whether or not you are the only representative in a meeting has nothing to do with the AXP requirements. The entire point is that you would be in the meeting with another coworker, so as to be under the supervision of a practicing architect.

I'm genuinely surprised the person is giving a hard time on this. Most architects who sign off on AXP as far as I can tell do not typically give much thought on the forms, unless there are glaring omissions. Bring it up to your boss, or better yet, find the actual literature in the intern manual about what constitutes experience.

Jan 30, 23 9:07 am  · 
6  · 

I agree. I want someone to be 'in the room' with interns. What the OP's boss is doing is unethical and wrong.  

Jan 30, 23 9:19 am  · 
3  · 

This genuinely sounds like some gatekeeping misbehavior. I wonder if the supervisor is aware that the OP may be looking to jump ship once licensed, and is therefore setting up unethical roadblocks to this.

Jan 30, 23 10:50 am  · 
2  · 

Total BS. You are supposed to be learning how to do this. I experienced something similar on my path to licensure. Bench is exactly right imo. Look for another job. You deserve better.

Jan 30, 23 11:39 am  · 

I would contact NCRB and let them know what's going on. NCARB may be able to persuade your boss to be honest.

Jan 30, 23 1:41 pm  · 

Concur with Bench.

Feb 2, 23 2:23 am  · 

I agree with Arch2, but if you somehow get those remaining hours done and licensed before looking for another job. As the OP had already mentioned, it maybe difficult to do that and you really don't want to leave the job you are at until you have another secured. In better times, where there's more job offerings, yes, I'd say get another job asap. I agree that you deserve better but you need to sometimes stick it out a little longer until you got those new jobs lined up and secured before saying adios to the current employer. Sometimes, you just need the paychecks coming in.

Feb 2, 23 3:58 am  · 

Chad has a good point but I don't think NCARB does much on that front. It be awesome if they did but not sure. Maybe they can inform the boss NCARB's current policy on what is acceptable in participation in meetings under project management category.

Feb 2, 23 3:59 am  · 

what an asshole... find a new job asap

Jan 30, 23 3:42 pm  · 

In long run, I concur but right now, I concur with what others said prior.

Feb 2, 23 2:25 am  · 

I have already taken the initiative to ask for more tasks that would contribute to my AXP hours, and have also shown them the literature from NCARB. The boss's response and interpretation is that until I am ready to do the tasks on my own, the hours will not be approved. The company is not aware of my personal plans. 

I have contacted NCARB and they have told me I have enough hours under setting A and I can do the rest of my hours under setting O. 

I'd appreciate any stories/advice in regards to completing AXP under setting O. 

Jan 31, 23 2:24 am  · 

I have no experience taking hours under Setting O, but good luck! Sounds like your boss has a weird superiority complex about licensure.

Jan 31, 23 5:50 am  · 

Your boss's interpretation is incorrect, and I would suspect that this person is aware of that fact. What an asshole

Fortunately, I do have experience in the O category. I worked in a major European firm under the supervision of a licensed architect in that jurisdiction for two years. I simply had to show the registration of the architect and have them sign off the hours with some commentary; there were no hiccups getting it done. If this is an option for you, then absolutely do it. When the core hours are complete you are essentially over the most major hurdles (other than the exams). Go for it, and don't look back. If your current employer is giving this kind of grief for something as simple as hours, I can't imagine what kind of stunts they will pull in the future.

Jan 31, 23 9:09 am  · 

If you're comfortable with it, you should also report this behavior to NCARB after the fact. Architects are prohibited from unreasonably withholding licensing experience. These actions are way outside of the supervisor's remit.

Jan 31, 23 9:12 am  · 
James Bragg

>Sounds like your boss has a weird superiority complex about licensure.

Or maybe he's got an inferiority complex and doesn't want their subordinate's career to advance too fast. Wouldn't be the first *cough* time!

Jan 31, 23 11:59 am  · 

op - i hope you have an IDP Advisor (independent person, not the same as your supervisor). because this is exactly why they're supposed to be involved. the short answer is: yes, if you only have "x" hours to complete and it's taking 6 months to get 20 in that category... you need to have a different pathway through.  can you find another supervisor within your firm? 

personally, having signed off on countless axp hours as a supervisor at this point... your boss is being too strict in the interpretation - sounds incredibly old school in a way. if they refuse again, document whatever correspondence you have (screen caps, emails, etc) and speak to ncarb about their interpretation. they should be able to give your boss a more liberal version to follow. if your boss refuses after that (and you're still there), you can appeal to NCARB to allow your Advisor to act as the supervisor in signing off on the house.

Jan 31, 23 9:47 pm  · 

sorry - keep forgetting they changed "Advisor" to "Mentor" - same role.

Jan 31, 23 9:55 pm  · 

Is it really the case that old-school architects would only sign off on hours if the person did things on their own (like client meetings for example?) I'd be very nervous to let an intern run a client meeting themself...

Feb 1, 23 2:08 pm  · 

I didn't work for any like that directly but there were definitely other partners in one firm that.... yeah.

Feb 1, 23 3:16 pm  · 

No I do not have anyone else...there are a few I can possibly ask but I know the boss will find out...

Feb 2, 23 12:38 am  · 

Jovan, there were different interpretations about what was acceptable and what was not over the history of IDP and then AXP (when the program changed from IDP to AXP). Back in the days of IDP, you would use to submit paper forms (before the MyNCARB portal) and had to be in your 4 or 5th year in a B.Arch or after obtaining the degree to start IDP so it was more expected that you would have more responsibility and a certain level of independence but still supervised. This would be akin and kind of parallels a shift up in responsibility between pre-EIT and EIT level in the engineering profession where EITs have more elevated level of responsibilities and type of work to perform than what a pre-EIT would. IDP was expected to be equivalent in the Architecture field. Now, things have changed a bit from those days. NCARB's policies changed, even relaxed some over the interpretation. Just a little historic context.

Feb 2, 23 2:39 am  · 

Do you have a friend or mentor who is licensed and not associated with your firm that you could walk jobsites with? 

Feb 1, 23 12:12 pm  · 

Yes I might. What can I potentially do with them?

Feb 2, 23 12:29 am  · 

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