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The AIA acknowledges the importance of mentoring in the AIA Code of Ethics where members are encouraged to “nurture their fellow professionals as they progress through stages of their career, beginning with professional education in the academy, progressing through internship, and continuing throughout their career.” Mentors play a critical role in NCARB’s Intern Development Program (IDP), as these individuals help developing architects review and reflect on their work.



Mentoring Resources

Are you looking for a mentor? Are you considering becoming a mentor? Explore the tabs below.

Need a Mentor?

Find an IDP Mentor

All credit earned for IDP must be approved by your supervisor and mentor before you can submit it to NCARB. Therefore, before you even begin to earn credit for the IDP, you must find an IDP mentor. For information on working with a mentor, see the “Working With A Mentor” section of NCARB's Web site. You can also learn more about becoming an IDP Mentor.

What is an IDP Mentor?

Your IDP Mentor is a licensed architect who preferably works outside of the firm in which you intern and will hopefully make a long-term commitment to your professional growth. Your mentor is responsible for certifying your completion of supplementary education activities and should offer suggestions for additional training and supplementary education activities. Mentors must be familiar with your state board's licensing requirements and the NCARB IDP Guidelines. However, your mentor does not need to be located near you or registered in the jurisdiction in which you are located. You can engage in mentoring in-person, via the internet or via phone. The AIA and NCARB recommend that interns meet with their mentors at least quarterly.

The mentoring relationship is only as strong as you make it. We recommend reading Mentoring Essentials for IDP Supervisors and Mentors for an overview of the IDP mentoring relationship.

Find an IDP Mentor

Your state and local AIA Component/Chapter or a state, educator, or auxiliary IDP Coordinator can assist you in locating a mentor. Just make contact and do not hesitate to ask for help! Connect with AIA members through online social networking.

Looking to Become a Mentor?

Become an IDP Mentor

IDP Mentors are licensed architects who volunteer to guide one or more interns through the Intern Development Program (IDP). For interns participating in IDP, having a mentor is a requirement.  For information on working with an intern as a mentor, see the “Working With An Intern” section on NCARB's Web site. You can also get help finding an IDP Mentor.


IDP Mentors must sign off on their intern's reporting forms to verify that the intern earns the credit they submit. IDP Mentors are also responsible for suggesting supplementary education activities; conferring, if necessary, with their intern's supervisor; and providing guidance to enhance their intern's professional growth. In order to fulfill these roles, the mentor should be familiar with state licensure requirements and the current NCARB IDP Guidelines, and should meet regularly with their intern—at least quarterly. Mentors and interns can engage in a mentoring relationship in-person, via the internet or via phone.

Supervisors as Mentors

Often, interns ask their supervisor to be their mentor. According the NCARB IDP Guidelines, a supervisor may be a mentor, but it is not the best scenario for the intern. Ideally, the mentor will work in a separate firm from the intern in order to remain objective and offer more diversity to the intern's training experience. A mentor does not need to be located near their intern but must be familiar with the state board’s licensing requirements where their intern is located.

Firms and Supervisors: Looking to Improve Your Firm’s Mentoring?

Firms and supervisors who make professional development and learning a cornerstone of their culture help their interns become great architects. These firms are also more successful at retaining talent. The AIA offers support for firms and supervisors who aim to create an environment focused on learning and development in their own practice through the resources on this page.

The IDP Firm Awards Program celebrates firms who actively embrace the Intern Development Program (IDP) and demonstrate a commitment to interns by making the path to licensure an integral part of the firm’s culture.  The program recognizes “IDP Firms” that meet twelve essential criteria in the categories of Mentoring, Supervising, Training Opportunities, Commitment to IDP, and ARE Support.

Explore More Resources

The Emerging Professional's Companion (EPC) is an online resource for interns to gain IDP credit. The EPC can also be used by educators, ARE® candidates, young architects, firms, and AIA components to enhance or create new learning opportunities. All IDP credit earned with the EPC can be approved by a registered architect acting as a mentor, whether or not the intern is employed.

Find additional ARE 4.0 Resources to start preparing for the Architect Registration Examination® on your own.


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