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Continuing professional development as an architect

As an architect, you are required to complete formal and informal learning throughout the year. This learning is known as continuing professional development.

Through continuing professional development (CPD), architects have opportunities to maintain and expand their professional skills and knowledge. There are many types of CPD activities you might participate in, including conferences, training and workshops. CPD activities can offer formal and informal learning.

Under the Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct, you must maintain your skills and knowledge. We recommend this is achieved by complying with the National CPD framework. The framework requires you to complete a set number of hours of CPD activities throughout a registration year.

The activities you undertake should reflect your experience in the profession and your needs. The CPD activities you undertake must reflect the performance criteria in the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

We may ask you to supply more information about your CPD activities. Under the Architects Act you are required to provide proof of compliance on an annual basis by way of declaration at renewal. Failure to fulfil CPD requirements could be considered unprofessional conduct. In the event of persistent failure or in high-risk cases, we may take disciplinary action.

ARBV's CPD framework

Required hours

Our CPD framework outlines how many CPD activities you must complete during the year and the required mix of formal and informal learning. Within this framework, you can create your own CPD plan based on your individual needs.

CPD must relate to practice as an architect linked to relevant performance criteria across at least 2 separate units in the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

If you are registered as a practising architect in more than one Australian state or territory, you only need to complete one set of CPD activities.

Architects who work part-time are not exempt from the CPD requirement and are not entitled to a pro-rata calculation of the CPD requirement based on their part-time employment status.

Declaration

When you renew your registration each year, you must make a declaration that you have completed the required CPD hours in the preceding year.

Architect (practising) – registered for the full year

If you are registered as an architect (practising) for the full year (1 July to 30 June), you must complete at least 20 hours of CPD activities. Of these, at least 10 hours must be formal CPD activities.

Architect (practising) – registered for part of the year or with special circumstances

If you are registered as an architect (practising) for part of the year, you must complete CPD activities equivalent to the proportion of the year you are registered.

For example:

  • if you were registered as a practising architect for 6 months (50% of the year), you would need to complete 50% of the CPD hours required for a full year's registration – so, 10 hours of CPD activities
  • if you were registered as a practising architect for three months (25% of the year), you would need to complete 25% of the CPD hours required for a full year's registration – so, 5 hours of CPD activities.

This also applies if you experience special circumstances during the year (for example, a period of illness or extended leave, including parental leave). You will need to maintain records that outline any special circumstances in the event you are audited. You will still need to make a positive CPD declaration at renewal.

Architects (non-practising)

Architects (non-practising) are not required to complete CPD activities.

Keeping records of CPD activities

From time to time, you may be required to provide evidence of CPD activities you have completed. You must keep your own record of the CPD activities you complete throughout the year, and you should retain these records for at least 5 years.

Your record of a CPD activity should include:

  • date of the activity
  • name of activity
  • organisation that provided the training
  • category of learning – formal or informal
  • hours you claimed against the CPD requirements
  • how the activity relates to specific performance criteria/units of competency in the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

Find out more about the National Standard of Competency for Architects.

It's important that you keep your CPD records up to date. Throughout the year, the ARBV may choose to audit your CPD records, based on risk. The ARBV may also request copies of your records if you are the subject of a complaint or investigation.

CPD Template

We have developed a template that can be downloaded and used to record your CPD activities. Please note this template is just a guide, you are welcome to continue using your own if you wish.

CPD Activity Record
Word 104.9 KB
(opens in a new window)

Exemptions

In certain circumstances, you may be exempt from completing some or all the CPD requirements in a registration year, if approved by the ARBV or relevant architect registration board.

Exemptions apply as follows:

  • Architects (non-practising) are not required to complete CPD activities.
  • Architects living overseas and/or only providing architectural services overseas are exempt from CPD requirements in Victoria.
  • Architects working in Victoria under Automatic Mutual Recognition are exempt from Victorian CPD requirements.

Where an architect is granted registration in the practising class part way through the registration year, and only holds registration for part of the registration year or has experienced special circumstances (e.g. illness, extended absence from work such as parental leave) pro rata CPD requirements will apply.

Formal learning

Formal CPD activities are typically education you undertake with a clear learning outcome that is assessed at the end of the activity. This type of learning typically involves interaction between you and the presenter, trainer or instructor. Assessment may take a variety of forms, for example:

  • pop-quiz
  • test
  • self-check questions and answers
  • paper or report submitted after the activity.

Participants should receive feedback from the provider on their performance in the assessment task so that they understand where their understanding of content may still be lacking. Formal learning activities occur outside your normal day-to-day work.

For a formal learning activity to contribute to your CPD requirements, the activity's learning outcomes must be clearly stated and must map to relevant units of competency/performance criteria from the National Standard of Competency for Architects. Presenters must have appropriate academic, technical or practical expertise.

There are 6 broad categories of formal learning, outlined in the table below.

CategoryMaximum hours you can claim each year
Activities delivered by a provider which include a structured assessment task that tests participants’ understanding of contentNo maximum
Activities delivered by a provider which include significant interaction between the presenter and participants, such as a structured workshop where participants are required to complete an individual or group taskNo maximum
Preparation and delivery of CPD activities for other architects5 hours
Activities related to the teaching of architecture at a tertiary level and which involve significant preparation and/or scholarship – for example, the development of new course or curriculum5 hours
Structured training activities delivered by architect registration boards and the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia for examiners and assessors who are engaged in the assessment of candidates of the various pathways to registration or in the assessment of providers of accredited architecture programsOne hour per year for any single type of training activity, up to a maximum of 3 hours per year
Writing articles, books, papers for publication5 hours

Informal learning

Informal CPD activities may include self-directed study and professional activities related to your practice as an architect.

For an informal learning activity to contribute to your CPD requirements, it must be educational and must help you acquire new knowledge and skills or share your skills with your peers. Usually, informal learning activities occur within your normal day-to-day work.

While informal learning may have clear learning outcomes, it does not need to include formal assessment or interaction between you and the presenter, trainer or instructor.

You can claim a maximum of 2 hours for a single informal CPD activity. Examples include:

CategoryDescription
Self-directed study
  • Reading practice note and technical/professional journals.
  • Listening to podcasts.
Events, tours and conferences
  • Attending talks and presentations presented by your peers.
  • Attending design lectures and seminars.
  • Participating in structured visits to building sites, buildings and exhibitions.
  • Attending conferences (note: some conferences offer formal CPD activities, but these must meet the criteria outline under 'Formal CPD activities' above).
Education
  • Involvement in mentoring programs.
  • Tutoring in architecture at a tertiary level where there is no significant preparation and/or involvement in the development of new content or curriculum – for example, design studio tutoring, where you are not required to prepare.
  • Marking work produced by architecture students at a tertiary level – for example, as a guest critic or tutor.
Supporting the profession
  • Participating as an examiner or assessor for the Architectural Practice. Examination or any other pathway to registration.
  • Participating in professional practice committees and advisory groups through professional associations, regulatory authorities, or government bodies such as Standards Australia.

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