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Continuing professional development (CPD)

CPD requirements for NSW architects

Clause 16 of the NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct requires that architects must report to the NSW Architects Registration Board (the ‘NSW ARB’) that they have taken all reasonable steps to maintain and improve the skills and knowledge necessary for the provision of the architectural services they normally provide.

Architects should undertake a minimum of 20 hours of CPD each year, of which at least 10 hours must be Formal CPD activity. At least 3 hours of the 10 hours of Formal CPD must address the following mandatory topics (minimum 1 hour annually per topic):

  1. Understanding and respecting Country
  2. Sustainability, life cycle assessment and whole life carbon
  3. National Construction Code

When is your CPD report due and how often do you need to report?

Your CPD report is due at the time of your registration renewal and is submitted as part of the renewal process. Most architects have a registration renewal date of 30 June. For these architects, CPD reporting is due in the month of June. However, other architects who first registered in NSW after 1 July 2019, or were reinstated to the NSW Register of Architects after 1 July 2019, may have a different renewal date that falls on the anniversary of their initial registration or reinstatement. For these architects, CPD reporting is due in the month preceding the renewal date.


Login to My Account to confirm your renewal date.

If you have selected a 1 year registration term, you should report your CPD activities annually. If you have selected a 3 or 5 year registration term you are only required to report your CPD activities at the end of the registration term. In other words, you should report CPD compliance on a 3- or 5-yearly basis. Nevertheless, you are still required to meet the minimum annual CPD requirements and to regularly complete CPD activities.

Please download the CPD factsheet for more information.

Download here


NSW ARB CPD webinars

Join the NSW ARB for a series of free online CPD webinars. Find a full list of events here.

CPD bookings are managed via Zoom, and listed on this page. Some events may require a free Zoom account, link here for more information.

The following program will be updated regularly with dates and availability:

Systemic risks in the Australian architecture sector
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 5 November 2024
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 8 April 2024
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

In 2022, the NSW Architects Registration Board (NSW ARB) partnered with the Architects Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) to identify current and future systemic compliance issues and associated risks affecting regulation of the architecture profession in Australia.

The project was initiated in light of:

  • recent developments affecting the profession
  • high-profile cases here and abroad alleging negligence of architects
  • reviews of the Australian construction sector that have raised questions about the role of architects in sectoral outcomes, and 
  • various emerging disruptive forces that may impact the provision of architectural services by architects.

The final report, Research Project on Systemic Risks in the Australian Architecture Sector, is available to download from the publications page of our website here.

This webinar presents the research findings and is designed to provide some guidance on the proactive steps that architects can take to mitigate their exposure to risks and liability.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
Continuing Professional Development requirements for NSW architects
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 21 January 2025
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 13 May 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

It is recommended that participants familiarise themselves with the Factsheet on Continuing Professional Development before joining the session.

From 1 July 2022 the NSW Architects Registration Board is introducing changes to Continuing Professional Development requirements for NSW architects. This includes new mandatory content requirements for Formal CPD, changes to when and how often CPD reporting is required, and how CPD is to be recorded. This webinar is designed to answer your questions about the changes.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.


Self-assessment questions DOCX format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
Introduction to the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 17 September 2024
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 18 February 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 20 May 2025
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register

This session will introduce participants to the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects and will cover:

  • Brief history of when and why competency standards were developed for Australian architects and the evolution of the application of the standards over time
  • Features of the 2021 NSCA, including new structure, new content and explanatory notes
  • How the 2021 NSCA applies to various assessment pathways leading to registration as an architect
  • Changes to NSW CPD requirements from 1 July 2022 to address 2021 NSCA.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board and a NSW registered architect.  She has served on two National Panels to review the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA) in 2006-08 and 2020-21. In 2015 she led the development of the Australian Architectural Education and Competency Framework that made nationally significant policy recommendations on the interpretation and implementation of the NSCA for the accreditation of architecture programs.  This was a joint initiative of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA), Australian Institute of Architects, Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, and Australian Deans of the Built Environment & Design.  Kirsten is currently a director of the AACA and a member of the AACA Accreditation Management Committee. Previously she was Professor of Architecture and Dean of the School of Technology, Environments & Design at the University of Tasmania (2016-18); and Assoc Professor at UTS (1999-2015).

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
How architects are regulated in NSW
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 30 July 2024
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 19 November 2024
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 6 May 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

This session will explore intersections between the:

  • Architects Act 2003 and NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct 2017;
  • Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 and Design and Building Practitioners Regulation 2021; and
  • Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021 and State Environmental Planning Policy No 65 2002.

Some of the regulatory implications for Architects and Nominated Architects who work on class 2 buildings will be considered, together with examples of breaches of the Architects Act.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOCX format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
What you need to know about being an architect in NSW
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 20 August 2024
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 4 March 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 17 June 2025
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register

This session provides a comprehensive primer on the regulations, professional context, and compliance requirements for registered architects in NSW. It is particularly recommended for recently registered architects (<5 years), or those returning to practice after a break. Topics covered include:

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
Nominating a responsible architect
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 3 September 2024
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 4 February 2025
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 3 June 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

This session will cover the NSW requirements for architect corporations and firms to nominate a responsible architect, with direct reference to key provisions of the Architects Act 2003 – sections 10, 11, 27, 29, 82 and 83 – and the NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct – clauses 17 and 18.

In particular,

  • What is a nominated architect?
  • When is a practice required to have one? and What is the process involved in nominating a responsible architect?
  • What is the nominated architect responsible for?
  • Implications of other legislation regulating class 2 buildings on the requirement for architect corporations or firms to have a nominated architect
  • Requirements for the name and registration number of the nominated architect to be prominently displayed.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
Working with your client - How to avoid complaints
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 8 October 2024
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 11 February 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

A webinar that presents the regulatory principles that protect consumers, and how architects can work to fulfil them. This webinar discusses the significance of the Code, the complaints process, the Architect Client Agreement, and communication. Recommended for all architects.

 This session will cover:

  • Context of architect-client relationship
  • Consumer protection
  • NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct
  • Complaints process
  • Client-architect contracts

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download
Pathways to registration
1 Hour Formal CPD
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 18 March 2025
5.00 - 6.00pm
Register
Candidate Briefing Tuesday 15 July 2025
1.00 - 2.00pm
Register

There has never been a more important time to consider becoming a registered architect in NSW.  The current context of endemic building failures (think Lacrosse, Opal, Mascot Towers, etc) raises the need for greater regulatory controls across the construction industry. 

Architects are trained, accredited and registered professionals who can provide a higher level of service than other building designers. They operate within a well-regulated professional system that sets the bar for other building professionals. 

But to be able to call yourself an architect you need to get registered first!  This CPD presentation will tell you everything you need to know about the various pathways to registration as an architect in Australia.  Join the webinar and find out which pathway is best for you.

At the end of the presentation participants will be able to 

  • Understand the purpose of architectural registration
  • Recognise the function and objectives of the Architects Act 2003 and the NSW Architects Code of Professional Conduct 2017
  • Identify appropriate pathways to registration as an architect in Australia based on their personal professional background.

About the presenter:

Dr Kirsten Orr is Registrar of the NSW Architects Registration Board, a Director of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a NSW registered architect.

Learning outcomes:

This session delivers learning outcomes related to the following Performance Criterion from the 2021 National Standard of Competency for Architects:

PC 1 Comply with the regulatory requirements and obligations pertaining to practice as an architect, including legislation, professional codes of conduct, obligations for continuing professional development and professional indemnity insurance.

Content cuts across the “Professionalism” Professional Capability in the Standard as it relates to understanding and incorporating relevant legislation and statutory building requirements, regulations, standards and codes in all aspects of the provision of architectural services.


Self-assessment questions DOC format Download
Self-assessment questions PDF format Download

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