Continuing Professional Development for Architects

The Architects’ model statutory Code of Professional Standards and Conduct which was prepared jointly by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects states at item 7.1:

“An architect must maintain and improve skills and knowledge necessary for the provision of the services through structured programmes of professional education”

Consumers can expect an architect to adhere to this Code and the Board will use the Code when considering a complaint against an architect.

The Board of Architects, on behalf of the Executive Director of Consumer, Building and Occupational Services is monitoring and auditing the compliance of architects to the CPD requirements

As part of the renewal process, architects are required to submit to the Board a signed record of their CPD activities undertaken in the past twelve months, no later than 31 January 2021.

In accordance with the AACA/RAIA Joint Policy on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) the expectation is that architects will complete at least twenty (20) hours per year – where one hour in training equates to one CPD point. Activities in each year should relate to a minimum of two units in the National Architecture Competency Standards – Design, Documentation, Practice Management and Project Management and whether it is formal or informal CPD. At least 10 hours of CPD is required to be Formal CPD.

In consideration of the impact of Covid-19 in 2020 the Board has decided to implement a once-only reduction in CPD requirements for all architects.

For the 2020 reporting period, Architects should undertake a minimum of 15 hours of CPD (instead of 20 hours), of which at least 10 hours must be Formal CPD activity. Developing, documenting and managing Covid related protocols may be considered CPD activities.

Informal and formal CPD activity (refer below for more details):
• Formal CPD is a learning activity with stated learning outcomes that is formally assessed or has significant interaction between presenter and learner.
• Informal CPD is a learning activity with stated learning outcomes that involves no formal assessment process or significant interaction between presenter and learner.

Architects complying with the CPD requirements will be recorded in the Register, listed on the Board’s website and any other Board public listings as being CPD compliant. If non-compliant it will show CPD Non-compliant. Where an architect is a licensed building services provider and does not comply with the CPD requirements, the Board will notify the Director of Building Control Tasmania.

A record submitted to another Architects Board in Australia for renewal of registration in the last 7 months will be acceptable.

Random audits of the CPD will be undertaken
Your CPD record and supporting documentation should be kept for a period of 5 years.

Informal and formal CPD activity

• Formal CPD is a learning activity with stated learning outcomes that is formally assessed or has significant interaction between presenter and learner.
• Informal CPD is a learning activity with stated learning outcomes that involves no formal assessment process or significant interaction between presenter and learner.

Online webinars and conferences can be formal CPD however each architect needs to consider
the learning outcomes and/or the interact which occurs on a case by case basis.

To be Formal CPD an event needs to be focused, delivered by an authority on the subject matter, and there needs to be documented outcomes/assessment from the activity.

In summary Formal CPD:
• New knowledge and skills are acquired from, or shared with, peers;
• learning outcomes for the CPD activity must be stated;
• an assessment activity must be included, or there must be significant interaction between the presenter and the learner; and
• presenters must have appropriate academic, technical or practical expertise.

The requirement for stated learning outcomes means that the architect knows what it is intended that they should take away from the CPD activity.
Learning outcomes can be stated in the promotional information or during the CPD activity.

The requirement for “assessment” may take a variety of forms.
For example, a test, self-check questions and answers, or comprehensive notes taken during the activity would all satisfy the requirement for “assessment”.

Assessment documentation should be kept for 5 years and be available for audit of CPD purposes.

Examples of CPD events – must relate to one of the Units in the National Standard of Competency for Architects – Design, Documentation, Project Management or Practice Management:

Formal university or similar education provider courses
AIA & other professional body organised events with stated outcomes
AIA Open House
Architectural Practice Examiner
AIA Chapter Council meetings or similar professional bodies committees
Presentation at an Industry Event
Researching to update or enhance skills
Preparing responses to government policy or legislation on building industry issues
Reading professional journals

Examples of activities not considered CPD events:
Real estate open house
Office staff meetings
Office Directors meetings
Media interviews
Activities undertaken in the normal course of your work