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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-13




[49 PA. CODE CH. 9]

Annual Renewal Fee for Registered Architecture Firms and Examination Fees

[33 Pa.B. 28]

   The State Architects Licensure Board (Board) amends §§ 9.3, 9.41, 9.46 and 9.49a; adds §§ 9.41a, 9.51 and 9.52; and deletes §§ 9.111, 9.113, 9.114, 9.116--9.118, 9.131 and 9.132 to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 1731 (April 6, 2002) and as set forth in Annex A.

   A.  Effective Date

   The amendments will be effective upon publication of the final-form rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   B.  Statutory Authority

   This final-form rulemaking is authorized under sections 8, 11 and 13 of the Architects Licensure Law (act) (63 P. S. §§ 34.8, 34.11 and 34.13).

   C.  Background and Purpose

   The Board is amending § 9.3 (relating to fees) by implementing an annual renewal fee for registered architecture firms and eliminating reference to the cost of taking the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) which is given by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). The Board is further amending or adding the remaining sections by deleting references to the procedures for taking the ARE and by rearranging license eligibility and examination requirements in a more cohesive and orderly fashion.

Deletion of Reference to the ARE Fee

   The Board is eliminating reference to the ARE examination fee over which the Board has no control or involvement. The ARE is a recognized uniform examination used throughout the United States. The General Assembly has indicated its preference for the recognition of National uniform examinations and grading services in accordance with section 812.1 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 279.3a). The fee for the examination is established by the National examiner and communicated directly to the applicants. Applicants for the examination pay the examination fee directly to the National examiner. Thus, it is unnecessary and impractical for the Board to continue to publish the National examiner's examination fee in the Board's regulations.

   In lieu of publishing the cost of the examination, the Board adds § 9.41a (relating to adoption of National board examinations), which promulgates the adoption of National board examinations, including the fee established by NCARB.

Annual Renewal Fee for Registered Architecture Firms

   General operating and enforcement expenses of the Board are apportioned to the general licensee population through the collection of license renewal fees. Section 11(a) of the act requires the Board to increase fees by regulations.

   Section 13(j) of the act states that the Board shall, by promulgation of rules and regulations, require that registered architecture firms file with the Board information concerning their officers, directors, partners, professional association board of governors, beneficial owners, members or managers and other aspects of their organization as the Board deems appropriate. This section also authorizes the Board to charge each registered architecture firm an annual filing fee in an amount determined by the Board.

   No renewal fee has been established for registered architecture firms. Therefore, the Board is establishing a renewal fee for the registration of architectural firms, thereby causing licensed firms to contribute to the general operating and enforcement expenses of the Board.

   The annual fee of $50 will be collected by the Board biennially. This means that, every 2 years, the Board will collect $100 from each registered architecture firm.

Examination and Grading Procedures

   Section 8(c) of the act authorizes the Board to adopt the examination and recommended grading procedures adopted by NCARB. Because the adoption of NCARB's examination and grading procedures would eliminate the Board's role in the process, the Board is deleting regulations outlining its role in the administration of the examination.

   D.  Comment and Regulatory Review of Proposed Rulemaking

   Publication of proposed rulemaking at 32 Pa.B. 1731 was followed by a 30-day public comment period during which the Board received no public comments. Following the close of the public comment period, the Board did not receive comments from the House Professional Licensure Committee (HPLC), the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee (SCP/PLC) or the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

Licensure by Examination

   Section 9.41 (relating to general requirements) informs candidates that the subject matter of the ARE examination is available from NCARB.

   Section 9.41a adopts the National board examination, including the fee established by NCARB.

   Section 9.49a(a) (relating to diversified training requirements) informs candidates that information concerning the Intern Development Program (IDP) of NCARB is available directly from NCARB. Subsection (b) directs candidates to have NCARB transmit a certificate of completion of IDP to the Board.

Grading and Review

   Sections 9.51 and 9.52 (relating to examination grading; and grading compilation) are identical to §§ 9.131 and 9.132. Sections 9.131 and 9.132 now become §§ 9.51 and 9.52 so that they will appear along side the related regulations referring to licensure by examination and examination. Sections 9.131 and 9.132 are deleted.


   Section 8(c) of the act authorizes the Board to adopt the examination and recommended grading procedures adopted by NCARB. It is unnecessary to continue to publish §§ 9.111, 9.113, 9.114 and 9.116--9.118. The Board is deleting those sections.

   F.  Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1

   The Board reviewed this final-form rulemaking and considered its purpose and likely impact on the public and the regulated population under the directives of Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' With regard to the annual renewal fee for registered architecture firms, the Board considers this final-form rulemaking the least restrictive alternative to cover the costs associated with services provided to registered architecture firms.

   G.  Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

   This final-form rulemaking will implement an annual renewal fee for registered architecture firms in this Commonwealth, but, otherwise, should have no fiscal impact on the private sector, the general public or political subdivisions.

   This final-form rulemaking requires the Board to alter some of its forms to reflect the new fee. The final-form rulemaking should create no additional paperwork for the private sector.

   H.  Sunset Date

   The Board continuously monitors the cost effectiveness of its regulations and no sunset date has been assigned.

   I.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on October 4, 2000, the Board submitted copies of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 32 Pa.B. 1731, to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the SCP/PLC and the HPLC for review and comment.

   The Board did not receive any comments from IRRC, the SCP/PLC, the HPLC or the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), on November 13, 2002, this final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the HPLC and the SCP/PLC. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(e)), the amendments were deemed approved by IRRC effective November 14, 2002.

   J.  Contact Person

   Further information may be obtained by contacting Dorna Thorpe, Board Administrator, State Architects Licensure Board, 116 Pine Street, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649,

   K.  Findings

   The Board finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law.

   (3)  This final-form rulemaking does not enlarge the purpose of proposed rulemaking published at 32 Pa.B. 1731.

   (4)  This final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for administering and enforcing the authorizing act identified in Part B of this Preamble.

   L.  Order

   The Board, acting under its authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 9, are amended by amending §§ 9.3, 9.41, 9.46 and 9.49a; by adding §§ 9.41a, 9.51 and 9.52; and by deleting §§ 9.111, 9.113, 9.114, 9.116--9.118, 9.131 and 9.132 to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 1731.

   (b)  The Board shall submit this order and 32 Pa.B. 1731 to the Office of General Counsel and to the Office of the Attorney General as required by law.

   (c)  The Board shall certify this order and 32 Pa.B. 1731 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect on publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 32 Pa.B. 6016 (December 7, 2002).)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 16A-416 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-13. Filed for public inspection January 3, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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