CLARB Council Record: Priceless or worthless?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION CLARB Council Record: Priceless or worthless?

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    Can anyone attest to the value of the CLARB Council Record? It’s not required in my state, but I can see that it might be useful to manage licenses in multiple states. I’m early in my career and just starting the licensure process, so I’m cautious about signing on for another recurring fee (between ASLA, LEED, and licensure our yearly fees can really add up).

    Please respond with your experience with the Council Record, and why you opted for or against starting one. Thank!

    Tosh K

    I opted for (though I started earlier than prudent – while in my first year in grad school), because I didn’t want to manage recommendations and employment records on my own.  As much as people seem to complain about them, they are helpful and easily reachable by phone and I believe they assign your account to a specific person making assistance consistent.

    Ben Yahr


    I began my council record a year and a half ago in an attempt to expedite the reciprocal license process.  Despite paying the initial fee and one year’s renewal, my record is not yet complete.

    The council record requires verification of all the things you would need to apply for a license (education, employment, LARE, and references).  If you are only applying for licenses in one or two states, save the money and just apply directly to the licensure boards.

    The verification letters that CLARB sends out rarely reach the intended recipients.  Either CLARB doesn’t send them, they get lost, or they look like junk mail; because my personal, employment, and professional references have all required CLARB to send them at least twice.  This has meant prodding CLARB to resend them every month or two for the last 18 months.

    Unlike Tosh, I have talked to three different people at CLARB, and they never seem to have records of previous conversations.

    On the other hand, I am eventually planning to apply for a license in Ohio, which requires a CLARB Certified Council Record.  This means I am required to pay CLARB even more money, and hound them to do their jobs for another 18 months…

    Chris Whitted

    I have no direct interaction with them, but someone I was working under a few years ago had an experience pretty much like Ben’s.  The expense and fees for what you get and the fact I haven’t actually needed it yet are why I haven’t started one.

    Tosh K

    To address the problem encountered by Ben, it’s best to send out a heads up to whomever is receiving verification letters (the first time one of my employers never recognized it); it’s unfortunate that you can’t download a form to have mailed in – maybe something CLARB ought to change.

    Tanya Olson

    I’ve had excellent customer service from CLARB on a number of different occasions – from cancelling a redline review I bought before I realized my state doesn’t offer them, dealing with tech issues in getting my council record setup to ADA accomodations for exams. They have communicated very very well with me and my licensing board.

    I was initially really sceptical about the value of getting a record set up – just another money leeching organization, but now I do feel its worth it. I only had to gather my information once and don’t have to keep track of it anymore – honestly, between trying to find projects, manage them, run a business and all of its requisite paperwork, its a relief to have SOMETHING tracked by someone else. It also makes the licensing process and reciprocal licensure as easy as requesting licensure from a state, having CLARB send them confirmation and sending the state the money. I have depended heavily on their recommended reading and licensure walk-throughs while taking my exams.

    I do think they actually provide a valuable service for the fee.

    Jordan Lockman

    In my experience it is not necessary unless, required by the state or you are potentially the only LA at your firm that would do work in multiple states. In my office my boss has a record since he is the one that gets the out of state licenses. So for me it would be redundant and another couple hundred dollars a year for no real value.


    Thank you everyone! I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, but I appreciate that you shared your experiences.

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