Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities ensure that architects maintain, develop and enhance their professional knowledge and skills throughout the life of their career. Architects registered in New South Wales are required to undertake and record a minimum of 20 hours of CPD activities each year. Click here for more information about how to record CPD.
There are two types of CPD activities: Formal and Informal. These activities should relate to practice as an architect, be in addition to activities already undertaken in the normal course of the architect's practice or employment and should relate to a minimum of two units in the National Architecture Competency Standards - Design, Documentation, Project Delivery and Practice Management.
See below for more information about the differences between Formal and Informal CPD or read the Board's Information Sheet - Continuing Professional Development.
What is informal CPD?
Informal CPD is self-directed activity relating to practice as an architect, in addition to activities already undertaken in the normal course of practice or employment but does not include any form of assessment. For activities to be considered informal:
- Learning outcomes may be identified
- Activity is intended to be educational, and is not part of normal employment practices
- New knowledge and skills are being acquired or being shared with peers
- Consideration has been given to how this new knowledge may be applied to practice.
Only two hours can be claimed for an informal activity at any one time.
Examples of informal CPD activities include:
- Self directed study of practice notes, technical magazines.
- Talks and presentations by peers.
- Structured visits to buildings and exhibitions.
- Design workshops, lectures and seminars.
- Involvement in mentoring programs.
- Participation in professional practice committees and advisory groups - through professional associations, regulatory authorities, or government bodies.
Activities that simply promote product brand names and services would not be deemed to be a CPD activity.
What is formal CPD?
Formal CPD is structured activity that relates to practice as an architect and is in addition to activities already undertaken in the normal course of practice or employment. In formal CPD activities:
- New knowledge and skills are being acquired or being shared with peers.
- Learning outcomes must be stated.
- An assessment activity must be included or there must be significant interaction between the presenter and the learner.
- Presenters must have appropriate academic, technical or practical expertise.
Formal CPD activities may fall under five broad categories:
- Accredited courses.
- Activities that include assessment.
- Activities with significant interaction between the presenter and the learner.
- Activities relating to the preparation and facilitation of CPD activities and authorship of published articles, books, paper.
- Participation in Architects’ Learning Groups.
Can architects claim CPD for other activities?
Architects are also able to claim CPD hours for a range of professional activities. For example, preparation and presentation of CPD activities relating to architecture; preparing and presenting information about architecture to the public, architects authoring published articles/books/papers are also able to claim hours in the formal CPD category. For each category below, up to 5 hours per year may be claimed for:
- authorship of published journals,
- preparing and presenting a CPD activity or lecture on architectural matters,
- preparing course work or part time lecturing in a relevant program at tertiary level.
What happens if an architect has not met the minimum CPD requirements?
Where an architect has not met the minimum hours required, the Board may take into account the individual circumstances of an architect when considering whether all reasonable steps have been taken to mee their CPD obligations. Matters that may be taken into consideration include:
- Has the architect or his/her immediate family member suffered serious illness or some other misadventures?
- Has the architect been overseas for a considerable part of the year (at least 3 months)?
- Has the architect been on parental leave during the registration year?
- Has the architect been included on the Registrar part way through the year?
- Other exception circumstances.
In these situations, a pro-rata commitment will be expected. For example, if an architect has only been registered for 6 months, the Board expects at least 5 formal hours and 5 informal hours of CPD.
During the renewal or registration, architects in these cases will be required to upload a letter outlining their circumstance. This allows the Board to consider whether all reasonable steps have been taken in the registration year to maintain and improve the skills and knowledge necessary for the provision of the architectural services that the architect normally provides.
For more information, read: INFORMATION SHEET - CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT