The National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) has issued “Draft 0” versions of the 2020 Conditions and Procedures for Accreditation, which are publicly accessible through the following links:

+ 2020 Conditions for Accreditation

+ 2020 Procedures for Accreditation

These two documents will be discussed at the 2019 Accreditation Review Forum (ARForum) that will take place on July 25 and 26 in Chicago. The boards of five U.S. collateral organizations (ACSA, AIA, AIAS, NAAB, NCARB) will meet then to also consider the future of architectural education, with guests and members of two NAAB-appointed groups that worked on drafting the two documents.

The “zero” drafts were prepared by the 2019 ARForum NAAB Steering Committee and the NAAB Task Force, respectively. ACSA was represented officially on the 15-member Steering Committee by Bruce Lindsey from Washington University in St. Louis, Rebecca O’Neal Dagg from Auburn University, and Michaele Pride from the University of New Mexico. Kate Schwennsen from Clemson was also a member of the group. John Cays from NJIT, Rocco Ceo from the University of Miami, and David Hinson from Auburn were on the NAAB Task Force (as NAAB board members), which was led by NAAB President-Elect Barbara Sestak from Portland State University. Tom Fisher from the University of Minnesota was an invited member of the Task Force.

In other words, a good number of members of these two groups were from our schools; our community did have a say in the preparation of the drafts and we were offered an opportunity to provide feedback about the proposed ideas during a NAAB workshop at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.

Nevertheless, we encourage our members to carefully review the “Draft 0” of the Conditions and Procedures. The Conditions in particular contain significant changes. You will notice that SPCs are no longer there; in their place are Program Criteria and Student Learning Criteria. The draft document also describes the “Defining Values of the Profession” that programs must address as part of the accreditation process.

We welcome your feedback about the proposed changes before the ARForum takes place at the end of July. Please send your comments by July 1 to Please note that we may share them with NAAB and let us know if you would like to remain anonymous.

Also, please note that NAAB will issue “Draft 1” of the Conditions and Procedures after the ARForum, which will be available for public comment until mid-November, i.e. we will get to discuss them at the 2019 Administrators Conference in New Orleans. “Draft 2” will be produced after the public comment period ends on November 22, 2019. The final version will be issued after the NAAB Board meets at the end of January.

As a final note, the programs going up for accreditation in 2021 will have a choice to use either 2014 Conditions and 2015 Procedures or the 2020 versions. All programs that will have accreditation visits in 2022 or later will have to use the new 2020 versions. So, please review the drafts as they contain some significant changes and let us know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.

Branko Kolarevic
2018-2019 ACSA President