- Acknowledging the public's growing interest in the profession of landscape architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) hosted the first annual Licensure Summit, Nov. 2-4, to kick off its professional licensure campaign, "50 by 2010," for ASLA chapters nationwide.
CLARB President John Carman, ASLA,
describes the licensure materials
available to ASLA Chapters.
"The ASLA 50 by 2010 campaign is a comprehensive program to bring universal practice acts to each and every state," said Nancy Somerville, ASLA Executive Vice President. "It is designed to acknowledge the needs of every state, including upgrading to a practice act, preparing a sunset defense, or creating a new law."
The summit brought together landscape architects from 45 states representing the ASLA, the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB) and the Council of Educators of Landscape Architecture (CELA). It was coordinated under the auspices of the Partnership for the Advancement of Licensure (PAL), a new collaborative effort by the three organizations to coordinate licensure efforts. Of the 60 participants, more than 25 percent also work with CELA or CLARB.
"Every participant brings a different experience to the group, and by coming together we coordinate efforts so no one has to reinvent the wheel," said Amy Schneckenberger, ASLA, Vice President of Public Affairs.
Participants indicated a strong desire to make the summit an annual event. "It was very helpful to get several different perspectives on this important issue," said John Carman, CLARB President. "Licensure requires a long term commitment and it is important that share and learn from the experiences of landscape architects who have been in the trenches on this issue."
During the two-day event summit attendees shared their experiences in licensure efforts, discussed strategies and reviewed a number of licensure support resources compiled by PAL members. The first day of the summit focused on the numerous issues that ASLA chapters may confront as they advocate for landscape architecture licensure in their state. Of particular importance were relationships with other design professions, fund raising, gathering factual information and organizing members to action. The second day of the summit featured a discussion of ASLA's "50 by 2010" campaign and a review of the Licensure Support Resource Guide, a compendium of resources available to support the state licensure efforts.
ASLA endorses the use of strong practice acts to fully protect the public interest. "The general rule for regulating a profession is this: if an occupation directly affects the public health, safety, or welfare, it should be licensed," Somerville said. "Landscape architecture certainly falls under this rule."
Currently, 46 states regulate the landscape architecture profession. Of these, 32 are practice acts, which restrict the practice of landscape architecture to qualified individuals. No unqualified or untrained person may perform the work of a landscape architect, as defined by state law. Fourteen states have title acts, a type of regulation whereby only qualifying individuals can use the title of landscape architect, but which does not restrict landscape architectural practice to landscape architects.
The regulation of landscape architecture continues to grow nationally. Over the past 10 years, nearly 20 states have adopted or upgraded to practice laws. No laws have been repealed or downgraded during this time. More information about the ASLA "50 by 2010" campaign, as well as other information about professional licensure of landscape architects can be found online at
The ASLA Licensure Summit was generously sponsored by DPIC Companies (Design Professionals Insurance Company) and the McGraw-Hill Construction Information Group.
The Partnership for the Advancement of Licensure has brought together three groups representing landscape architects (ASLA), educators of landscape architects (CELA) and the regulatory boards for the profession (CLARB) with a common purpose to improve and expand licensure laws for landscape architects. The partners share the mission that licensure will effect a healthier built and natural environment, increase competition and create a stronger profession.
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the professional association representing landscape architects nationwide. Beginning with 11 original members, ASLA has grown to more than 13,500 members and 48 chapters, in all 50 states, the U.S. territories and 42 countries around the world. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication and networking.