Career StagesEducator/Practicing Network
Since 1991, the IDP Outstanding Firm Awards program, administered by the AIA/NCARB Intern Development Program Advisory Committee (IDPAC), has recognized 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. In 2008, the program expanded to recognize “IDP Firms” that meet twelve essential criteria in the categories of Mentoring, Supervising, Training Opportunities, Commitment to IDP, and ARE Support. The IDP Outstanding Firm Award is reserved for firms who meet these essential criteria with excellence in these categories as well as demonstrate an “innovative” effort or outstanding practice in their efforts with the Intern Development Program.
July 18, 2012: Applications and submission guidelines available for download
September 24, 2012: Applications due
October 2012: Jury convenes at IDPAC meeting
November 2012: 2012-2015 IDP Firm Award and IDP Outstanding Firm Award recipients announced
Applying for the IDP Firm Awards
Download the full guidelines (PDF), or review “Guidelines – 12 Criteria in Five (5) Categories+” below, and determine whether your firm prefers to apply for the IDP Firm Award or the IDP Outstanding Firm Award for 2012-2015.
Each application form can be locally saved to your computer, printed for review, and edited multiple times before final submission.
When signing the document, a digital signature must be used. The document can be signed by simply clicking on the signature box and using an existing digital signature or by following the prompts to create a new (free) digital signature. When saving the document (as the digital signature feature prompts you to do), please title the document as follows: 2012-2015_FirmName.pdf.
Submission can occur one of two ways:
1. Click on “Submit Form” in upper right hand corner. The document will prompt you with a window requesting your email address and name. You will then be asked to select which email client you would prefer to use to send the document. Please check your “Sent Mail” folder to confirm that the document has been sent.
2. Email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org directly using your preferred email client.
Please note that the application should be sent as one (1) file (with any supporting materials added to the document following the completed form), titled as 2012-2015_FirmName.pdf, and may not exceed 5MB. If you need assistance with any step of the application process, please email email@example.com.
Guidelines – 12 Criteria in Five (5) Categories+
Download the Guidelines (PDF)
Category 1: Mentoring
1.1 Mentoring Culture: Establish a culture in which licensed architects mentor interns (within or outside of the firm) in all areas of practice.
1.2 Broad Mentoring Opportunities: Firm encourages interns to establish an IDP mentor outside the office as suggested by NCARB in the IDP Guidelines.
Category 2: Supervising
2.1 Progress Reviews: Firm provides, at minimum, progress reviews which are in compliance with the parameters of the IDP Six Month reporting rule. During progress reviews, each intern’s progress toward the completion of the IDP experience areas and NCARB experience reports are reviewed and assessed by his or her supervisor.
2.2 Supervisor Resources: All supervisors have knowledge of current IDP Guidelines and the requirements for registration in the jurisdiction.
Category 3: Training Opportunities
3.1 Supplemental Experience: Firm provides opportunities for supplemental experience via activities in addition to interns’ routine work assignments.
3.2 Broad Training Opportunities: Firm facilitates opportunities to earn IDP experience hours in all 17 experience areas through exposure to projects at various stages.
Category 4: Commitment to the IDP
4.1 IDP Auxiliary Coordinator: Firm has an IDP Auxiliary Coordinator registered with NCARB. The coordinator acts as a resource for interns within the firm for IDP-related questions and is the firm’s liaison to the IDP State Coordinator.
4.2 NCARB Record: All employees defined by the firm as “interns” have established an NCARB Record.
4.3 NCARB Record Fees: Firm pays 100 percent of NCARB Record application fee and/or NCARB Record maintenance fees through the completion of the ARE®, while intern is employed at the firm.
Category 5: ARE® Support
5.1 ARE® Administrative and Technical Support: Firm provides administrative and technical support, including furnishing of resources, study materials, and practice exams.
5.2 ARE® Reimbursement: Firm reimburses interns for 100 percent of the cost of all ARE® divisions passed.
5.3 ARE® Paid Time Off: Firm offers paid time off to interns to take ARE® divisions.
NEW! Category 6: Innovation (IDP Outstanding Firm Award applicants only)
To qualify for the IDP Outstanding Firm Award, each firm must first meet the twelve criteria stated above and demonstrate their outstanding practices by completing additional statements for six (6) program categories, outlined here. The “innovation” statement should describe efforts of the firm that are particularly unique, and may be a second outstanding practice in one of the five categories or one that lies outside of the outlined categories.
Recipients of the IDP Outstanding Firm Award go above and beyond the twelve criteria in their support of interns and IDP and complete the new category; Category 6: Innovation. Firms that receive the IDP Outstanding Firm Award increase their prestige, value, and distinction amongst peers during the designation period. The IDP Outstanding Firm Award also demonstrates a positive firm culture and enhances employee attraction and retention.
Program ideas from 2010-2013 IDP Outstanding Firm Award recipients include consideration of a salary reward program to invigorate interns’ commitment to licensure by providing a $500 annual salary boost for each ARE division passed. You can view more award submissions and AIA Best Practices developed for the award categories: IDP Outstanding Firm Awards Best Practices.
View the alphabetical lists of previous recipients of the IDP Firm Award and IDP Outstanding Firm Award. Please note that some firms have offices in multiple locations. Only the firm offices that offer the full array of intern support are listed here.
View the Award Recipients
2011-2014 IDP Firm Awards Program Recipients
2010-2013 IDP Firm Awards Program Recipients
2009-2012 IDP Firm Awards Program Recipients
2008-2011 IDP Firm Awards Program Recipients
Frequently Asked Questions
Our firm does not have any additional information to submit for Category 6: Innovation.
Which award should we apply for?
You may apply for the IDP Firm Award by verifying compliance with Categories 1-5 only.
Our firm has multiple office locations interested in applying for an award. Can we submit one application for the firm as a whole?
No. Separate applications must be submitted for each office location.
Our firm received a 2011-2013 IDP Firm Award. Do we need to apply for the 2012-2015 IDP Firm Award?
No. Award duration is listed in the award title your firm has received. Firms need only to reapply in the final year of the award duration.
- Best Practices at the Architect’s Knowledge Resources
- Emerging Professionals’ Companion
- Download IDP Guidelines from NCARB’s website
- Mentoring Best Practices