Some 185 architects have successfully completed a new certification program established by the American College of Healthcare Architects.
The group was founded in October 1999 to improve the quality of architecture for healthcare facilities.
"The ACHA is the first organization to do certification in a specialized field of architecture," says ACHA President Kirk Hamilton. "It was a natural fit because the American Institute of Architects does not do certification in any field."
Architectural clients increasingly have demanded evidence of extensive experience before awarding projects. The ACHA's goal is to recognize the field's most experienced and respected healthcare architecture professionals.
As of January 2001, some 4,000 architects working in healthcare were invited to participate in the exam scheduled for this fall. The requirements to take the exam are that the architect has been licensed for at least five years to practice in the U.S. and has spent a minimum of three years in the healthcare specialty. A portfolio of healthcare projects must be submitted, and the ACHA written examination must be passed.
After certification, architects must take 24 hours of continuing education annually.