BEFA Experience Dossier
The BEFA dossier allows you to demonstrate competence to independently practice architecture in the United States, while protecting the public health, safety, and welfare to meet the requirements of NCARB certification. The BEFA dossier is distinct from a professional portfolio of work in that it allows you to demonstrate competence to practice architecture independently rather than documentation of registration and professional qualifications; these are eligibility requirements and are not the focus of the dossier.
The specific areas of the BEFA dossier are based on the divisions of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)
- Programming, Planning, & Practice
- Site Planning & Design
- Building Design & Construction Systems
- Schematic Design
- Structural Systems
- Building Systems
- Construction Documents & Services
Your dossier must include a detailed, written description of specific examples of experience as a credentialed architect and provide supporting documentation that is relevant to the experience areas. The projects included in your dossier must be completed projects located in the foreign country where the you are credentialed.
Comprehensive practice and responsible control must be clearly explained both in the written descriptions and in the supporting documentation. You must also describe the general nature of modifications necessary to comply with U.S. building codes and laws including accessibility laws.
Comprehensive Practice means an architectural practice that regularly involves familiarity with all of those areas tested on the Architect Registration Examination, including programming, design, technical and construction documents production, and construction administration.
Responsible Control means that amount of control over and detailed professional knowledge of the content of technical submissions during their preparation as is ordinarily exercised by a registered architect applying the required professional standard of care.
Thorough organization of the dossier and thorough annotation of supporting material are required. Your dossiers must conform to specific format requirements and utilize standard forms. These are provided after NCARB has confirmed your eligibility. Dossiers that do not meet format and submission requirements will be returned to you at your expense. The Format Review fee is required to submit revised dossiers.
You have a window of 18 months from the date of their eligibility confirmation letter to prepare and submit your BEFA dossiers. If you do not submit within this 18-month time period, you will be required to complete and submit an updated BEFA Eligibility Verification Form (Form 262) and BEFA Credential Verification Form (Form 263) with all required documents. You will also be required to pay the BEFA Eligibility Verification fee for the updated verification.
You are free to submit dossiers at any time within the 18-month window. Submission dates correspond to committee meetings and determine the potential review and interview schedule.
Current dossier submission dates are:
|Dossier submission dates
|May 3, 2013
|August 19, 2013
September 6, 2013
December 9, 2013
January 6, 2014
There is a minimum six-month review process from the submission date to a potential interview. Forms, program requirements, and fees are subject to change. You are responsible for meeting current program requirements at the time of dossier submission.
BEFA dossiers are reviewed by the BEA Committee to determine whether you demonstrate knowledge of U.S. building codes and laws in all areas of the ARE® and whether you demonstrate competence to practice architecture independently in the United States. You do not attend the dossier review. Dossier review fees are due upon dossier submission. Results of the dossier review are announced approximately four weeks after the review.