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.

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 each year.

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.

Architects Act 1929 – Amendment Bill 2020


The Bill has received Royal Assent and will come into effect once the Regulations and associated documentation is finalised.

The main changes contained in the amendment Bill included the introduction of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) and allowing the Board to create Classes for registration with different practicing requirements.

The initial Classes will be:

  • Practicing Architect           – required to be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance, and comply with the Board’s CPD requirements
  • Non- practicing Architect – no PII requirements and must comply with the Board’s CPD requirements (Retired architects can apply for an exemption)
  • AMR Practising Architect – AMR legislation complying interstate architect
  • Architectural Firm             – required to have at least one Practicing architect nominated as a responsible architect

With CPD & PII requirements in the Architects Act, this will help overcome the confusion relating to these requirements for architects with architects needing to comply with the Board’s requirements, refer below*, and the CBOS rules will no longer applying.  For example, simply being a member of an association or subscribing to a journal will not be considered CPD.

The Board is having discussions with CBOS to overcome the duplication of needing to be registered with the Board and also being licensed with CBOS.

*Continuing Professional Development for Practicing Architects

 Under the amended Act and Regulation, it will be a condition for practicing architects to renew their registration to meet the Board’s CPD requirements and to submit to the Board a signed record of their CPD activities undertaken in the past twelve months, no later than 31 January each year.

Practicing architects, to renew their registration, are required to comply with the Board’s CPD requirements by undertaking at least twenty (20) hours of acceptable CPD per year with at least 10 hours of CPD required to be Formal CPD.  Formal CPD hours must relate to a minimum of 2 units (with a maximum of 5 hours in any one unit), of the National Architecture Competency Standards – Design, Documentation, Practice Management and Project Management.

The Board’s Guidelines relating to acceptable CPD and Formal CPD requirements.

Following the review of 2020 CPD records submitted to the Board, the Board expressed concerned relating the lack of diversity of CPD undertaken by some architects and also the types of activities claimed.  As a result the Board has resolved to introduce a limit whereby no more than 5 hours Formal CPD can be claimed for most types of activities unless the architect applies to the Board and is granted permission to claim in excess of the 5 hours.   For example, being a member of a committee of professional bodies, undertaking a research project not part of normal work duties, undertaking a course of study, acting as an AP Examiner, tutoring, mentoring, in-house presentations or discussion groups.   Attending or participating in appropriate individual industry events or conferences are not limited provided they are across a range of the Competencies.

Once the amendments to the Architects Act are finalised, a significant level of auditing will be undertaken of future CPD records as an education process to help architects understand the Board’s expectations.  It is important architects keep good records of CPD activities including how the activity meets the requirement to be a Formal CPD activity.  Architects need to record the number of hours against each activity and whether they are Formal or Informal against each competency.

CPD Record Form.

A record submitted to another Architects Board in Australia for renewal of registration in the last 7 months will be acceptable, provided it meets the Tasmanian Board’s requirements.

Practicing architects must retain their CPD records for a period of 5 years.