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 Becoming Certified


As mentioned in About Us, ACHA provides board certification to architects who specialize in health care within the United States and in countries where NCARB reciprocal licensure can be obtained. The certification process is rigorous and overseen by an independent testing agency, in order to establish a professionally sound, legally defensible standard by which people can identify themselves as healthcare architects.

There are 3 types of Certificate Holders:

  1. Certificate Holder-- Board Certified in the specialty of healthcare architecture and entitled to use the credentials "ACHA" after his or her name.
  2. Fellow-- Certificate Holder who has practiced within the specialty in an exemplary fashion for ten years or more is eligible to be nominated for ACHA Fellowship. If elevated, the ACHA Fellow becomes a certificant in the Council of Fellows and is entitled to use the credentials "FACHA" after his or her name.
  3. Emeritus -- Certificate Holder who no longer has a full-time practice is eligible to apply for Emeritus status. An Emeritus certificate holder is entitled to use the credentials "ACHA Emeritus" or "FACHA Emeritus" after his or her name.

Certificate Holder Certification Process:

  1. Determine and complete eligibility requirements
  2. Submit Portfolio Package (including all outlined requirements)
  3. Submit Exam Application
  4. Take the Exam

Certification Eligibility Pathways

Pathway 1: Candidate Program

Do you not yet meet all the exam eligibility requirements? No problem! Be a part of the Candidate Program. You must hold an architectural license. No Portfolio or Exam Application required. You will receive periodic updates on the College, exam reminders, and special invitations to ACHA-only events.  Remain a Candidate for up to 5 years for $25/year (only $20 in 2020). For all details or to sign-up as a Candidate, click here.

Pathway 2: Direct Certification

Do you meet all the exam eligibility requirements? Complete the online Certification Application which includes: submission of the Portfolio Package (including Letters of Recommendation) for review and an Exam Application upon Portfolio Package approval. If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you do not need to become a Candidate prior to submitting the portfolio materials then applying for the exam. You will have up to 5 years to pass the exam before resubmitting a complete Portfolio Package.

Certification Eligibility Requirements: These requirements are a part of the Portfolio Package and Exam Application.  All components must be received/confirmed for the application to be considered complete.

Licensure for 3+ years within the U.S. or applicable international jurisdiction

6,000+ hours total healthcare experience within last 5 years).  The 6,000 hours of experience within the 5 year time frame can include pre-license experience.

Portfolio Package:

  • Client Reference Letters (3)
  • Architect Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Portfolio of Projects (3-9 healthcare projects in past 5 years)

Do you have a unique career pathway? Please email us with your eligibility qu​estion. ​

​Exam Fees and Submission Deadline:

  • Portfolio Package & Exam Application - $400
  • Early Bird Deadline: February 1
  • Regular Deadline: April 1

All fees payable to the American College of Healthcare Architects. An additional $50.00 will be assessed for insufficient funds.

Upon review and approval of the Portfolio Package by the Certification Committee, applicants will notified of their eligibility to sit for the exam. Electronic instructions will then be provided on how to schedule an examination appointment. The Exam Testing Window is July 1-31.

An architect who does not pass the examination on his or her first attempt may elect to retake the exam during the next testing window for a maximum of five years before resubmitting a Portfolio Package and Exam Application is required.  Please email us to inquire about the Application for re-xamination.

American College of Healthcare Architects
4400 College Blvd Suite 220
Overland Park, KS 66211

Phone: 913-222-8653
Fax: 913-222-8606