FAQ ABOUT NCI
Is NCI a consulting firm?
No, the National Charrette Institute is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We build capacity via trainings and coaching in the NCI Charrette System™ and advance the fields of community planning and public involvement through research and publications. Occasionally NCI runs or participates in a charrette with other non-profits or in response to a non-competitive request.
Does NCI conduct/run/facilitate charrettes?
NCI’s main focus is on educating others through our courses- the NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training and the NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate training. Many training attendees then go on and participate in and/or lead charrettes themselves. For more information on NCI courses please see our training page.
As part of our research and curriculum improvement activities, NCI will occasionally run a charrette (1 per year on average) either with other non-profits or in response to a non-competitive request. Charrette coaching however fits perfectly into our role as an educator. In past cases, an agency or firm has sent staff to one of our trainings and then NCI continues to work with the organization on their charrette preparation and coaching during charrette itself. Charrette coaching can be done on-site during your charrette or from a distance via phone and email. For further information please see our project consulting page or email us.
Can I get a list of graduates of the NCI certificate trainings?
Please see our list of current certificate holders. If you are looking for contacts to send your RFP or are building a project team in your area and would like further details, our Program Coordinator would be happy to send you the entire list of certificate holders with contact information on request. Contact Heidi Haberbush at 503-233-8486 ext. 3# or by email.
Does NCI conduct in-house trainings?
Yes we do. NCI has trained many firms and agencies in-house. See our list of NCI Trained Organizations. The in-house training is all about your work and your people, basically an on-the-job training. Both the NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training and NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate training are available as in-house trainings and can be customized to focus on your projects. For further information please see our project consulting page or email us.
Will you be doing a training in my area soon?
See our upcoming training schedule. NCI holds public trainings in Portland, OR, Washington, DC, Harvard University, and the University of Miami annually. Other public trainings are organized in conjunction with universities or non-profits that manage the facilities, registrations, etc. If you would like to bring us to your area, feel free to help connect us with a local partner. Another option to consider is an in-house training for your firm or agency.
Do I need to be a land planner to attend the NCI Charrette System™ trainings?
No. We do host a number of public and private planners at our trainings but we also have in attendance architects, public officials, landscape architects, facilitators, engineers, public policy analysts, community leaders, and hospital and campus design planners. The NCI Charrette System™ is relevant to a range of project interests and roles. In fact, a number of business professionals have found the trainings to be quite valuable and have since begun to use a variation of the NCI Charrette System™ for their internal and client projects.
Do I need to be able to draw/render at the training?
No. This is not a necessary skill to attend any NCI trainings.
Do I need to have a charrette coming up for a NCI training to be relevant to me?
No. The NCI Charrette System™, taught in NCI trainings, is really a complete project management process that can be applied to a wide range of project sizes and budgets. A significant amount of time is spent on research, education and charrette preparation in the NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training, which most participants find highly valuable and applicable to all of their projects, whether or not they include a charrette.
What if I don’t plan to manage my own charrette?
Many project sponsors whose staff run projects or who hire consultants attended our trainings and find them invaluable. At very least you will learn what defines a successful charrette process and how to avoid common pitfalls in the research, education and charrette preparation phase, including the ever-important stakeholder analysis and outreach. This information will be relevant to many of your projects and will make you a far more educated charrette sponsor throughout your scoping, RFP and entire project process.
What is the difference between the NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training and the NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate training?
The NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training is the foundation of NCI’s educational program. It is a comprehensive look at the three-phase NCI Charrette System™ from project start-up through implementation. Details on key learnings and a training agenda can be found here.
This training is applicable to a wide range of project roles and interests, whether or not you expect to conduct a charrette. It is a prerequisite for the NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ training.
The NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ training provides a more nuts-and bolts look at each day and phase of a charrette from the perspective of a project manager. We discuss team/design management, meeting facilitation, room set-up and the production process. This is an advanced course for directors and project managers who are charged with managing charrettes or who may hire a consultant to conduct a charrette. The NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training is a prerequisite for attending this training.
How will an NCI certificate benefit me?
Every year more and more cities are using the NCI Charrette Request for Proposal (RFP) Template for their RFPs. Often they cite NCI as a source and state a preference for NCI certificate holders. This year we also increased certificate holder exposure with our online certificate holder database. Now project sponsors and potential team members can find you on our website by region.
In addition to learning practical skills, tools and techniques to prepare you to plan and manage a project that includes a charrette, the NCI Charrette System™ Certificate training is accredited with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for 18 continuing education system (CES) units, with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) for 18 certification maintenance (CM) credits, and with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for 18 LA CES professional development hours (PDH).
The NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate course is accredited with the AIA for 9 continuing education system (CES) units, with the AICP for 9 certification maintenance (CM) credits, and with the ASLA for 9 LA CES professional development hours (PDH).
Following each of our trainings, participants receive a certificate that verifies completion. NCI does not currently conduct any type of testing or competency assessment following the trainings so we are not able to provide any further verification of credentials.
Does NCI offer training scholarships or discounts?
NCI is a small nonprofit that relies heavily on its training revenue. However, we do currently offer the following scholarship opportunities and discount rates for each of our Portland and Washington, DC trainings only.
Congress for the New Urbanism
CNU members (with valid/current membership card) will receive a 10% discount on registration fees for these trainings.
Previous Client Organizations
If you are an employee of an organization who has sent 5 or more individuals (including registrations for this training) to NCI trainings (including in-house), you are eligible for a 15% discount. Please e-mail us to verify your status and obtain this discount. You will be charged the listed fee minus a 15% discount.
We currently offer two scholarship opportunities per training at a discounted rate for each of our Portland and Washington, DC trainings only. For further information on how to apply please email us.
Other NCI trainings are generally hosted by independent institutions (universities, local non-profits) that sometimes offer student, non-profit, etc. discounts as well. We suggest checking with the contact person listed on the individual registration page for further details. Also, occasionally, local APA chapters will offer our courses to their members at a reduced rate. If you are a member of the APA, you may want to contact your local chapter regarding this possibility.