Frequently Asked Questions
Why is mandatory CPD being proposed for Architects?
As a requirement of ongoing learning to develop and maintain the knowledge necessary
for the provision of architectural services that an architect normally provides,
the undertaking of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) will maintain and enhance
professional knowledge and skills of architects, maintain technical excellence and
ensure that we better serve the community and profession.
The introduction of mandatory CPD will provide benefits including improved knowledge
and skills; current knowledge of building codes, legislation and trends including
OH+S and ESD; improved networking and peer support; improve career prospects with
strengthened and diverse skill base; reduced liability exposure; better business
practices and reduced disputes and improved credibility within the wider community.
What is CPD?
Continuing Professional Development (CPD), following implementation by the Architects
Registration Board of Victoria (ARBV) will be the mandatory requirement of ongoing
learning to develop and maintain the knowledge necessary for the provision of architectural
services that an architect normally provides. CPD and further education activities
promote a broad base of study areas which encourage research and advancement of
The objective of CPD is to maintain and enhance professional knowledge and skills
of architects, to maintain technical excellence and to better serve the community
CPD should :
- relate to the practice as an architect;
- be additional to the activities normally undertaken in the course or practice of
architecture or architectural employment;
- relate to the ‘National Competency Standards in Architecture’.
How many hours of CPD are required per year?
It is proposed that registered architects in Victoria will be required to satisfy
a minimum of 20 hours of CPD per registration year – 10 formal and 10 informal hours.
This is in line with the hourly requirements of the NSW Registration Board of Architects
(NSWARB) scheme and similar industry based models.
Can CPD hours be accrued?
Hours may not be accrued from one registration year to the next.
What is the definition of FORMAL CPD activity?
A formal CPD activity must be ‘structured’ in a learning environment
with structured learning outcomes or assessment. A learning outcome is a general
term that is used to state specifically what architects should know and be able
to do in measurable terms as a result of an activity.
Examples of formal CPD activities include :
- seminars at educational facilities, in-house seminars, workshops, courses, conferences
and online and distance learning;
- authorship of published articles, books, papers (up to 5 hours);
- preparation, presentation of material to be used in a CPD activity or in other forms
of education ie. lecturing (up to 5 hours) – when this is not your full-time employment;
- postgraduate degree or diploma courses (up to 5 hours);
- design workshops, lectures and seminars;
- organised learning groups.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, only two hours can be claimed for
a formal activity at any one time.
What is the definition of INFORMAL CPD activity?
An informal CPD activity must relate to practice as an architect (with the basis
in the context of the NCSA) and is in addition to activities already undertaken
in the normal course of practice or employment but is not structured.
Examples of informal CPD activities include:
- self-directed study of practice notes, technical magazines + papers;
- talks and presentations by peers;
- preparation / presentation for peer review;
- site visits;
- involvement in mentoring programs;
- research through practice (collective memory bank);
- competitions (research above and beyond normal practice);
- participation in professional practice committees and advisory groups - through
professional associations, regulatory authorities, task forces, government bodies;
- local area networks (LAN) chairs, presenter and attendance;
- raising awareness of architecture in primary and secondary schools;
- relevant volunteer / pro bono work.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, two hours can be claimed for an informal
activity for the period of assessment.
Attendance at activities that simply promote product brand names and services will
not be deemed to be a CPD activity unless they satisfy a defined learning outcome.
Will there be mandatory topics required for CPD?
The ARBV’s CPD requirements shall not demand that mandatory topics are required
for areas of compliance, however it is acknowledged that each CPD activity should
be contained within one or more units and context of the NCSA.
Who will provide CPD activities?
CPD activities may be provided by a number of organisations and individuals including:
- registered training organisations;
- universities, TAFE;
- professional and industry associations;
- organised learning groups or networks;
- commercial education and training providers;
- product and service suppliers (Activities that simply promote product brand names
and services would not be deemed to be an appropriate CPD activity).
Who will be exempt from mandatory CPD?
There are no exemptions from the requirements of CPD – other than for fully retired
architects. Architects registering for the first time, who have completed the practice
examinations Part A, B + C, will be deemed to have met the CPD requirements for
I am a non-practising Architect – will I be exempt from CPD?
No. It is expected that non-practising architects are often more in need to retain
their knowledge and skills, and more particularly, ensure that competencies are
current - than practicing architects. As such there us no exclusion from the requirements
Non practising architects (in conjunction with the following categories) will be
required to complete one year of CPD requirements (20hours) over any two-year period
that they remain ‘non practising’. Reasons for not practising may include:
- maternity/paternity leave
- carer’s leave
- practising overseas
- long-term sick leave
Will there be any exemptions considered?
The Board will consider special exemptions. To apply, the architect will need to
provide a written explanation outlining their circumstances and reasons for consideration.
It is noted that if a circumstance is applicable for a percentage of the renewal
year, then a pro rata expectation would be applicable.
I have just registered as an Architect – will I also need to complete CPD this
Architects registering for the first time, who have completed the practice examinations
Part A, B + C, will be deemed to have met the CPD requirements for that year.
How do I record my CPD?
When the scheme is implemented, architects will record CPD online through the ARBV
website (a password protected area for architects). The record sheet on the CPD
website will provide for entry and identification and annotation of all CPD - the
course or task undertaken, the knowledge acquired and how the architect will put
this into practice.
This facility would be based on a combination of drop-down menus, tick boxes, and
text. All data entered would be kept online for a period of up to 5 years. The ARBV
will have the right to access these contact sheets for audit purposes.
For those who do not have access to the web, a form can be requested for mailout
with registration renewal papers each year. Architects may choose to use this form,
or keep a similar record of CPD activities.
Supporting evidence must also be retained by the architects, which would include
booking or payment confirmation; notes (hand written or issued); diary entries,
How do I provide evidence to the ARBV that I have completed my CPD?
Where required for continued registration, the architect must provide to the ARBV
a statement stating compliance with the requirement for CPD over the previous 12
months. Architects will not be required to provide evidence of their compliance
with CPD at time of renewal of registration but documentation must be kept on files
for future reference if required.
I am a registered Architect, and my company is also registered with the ARBV.
Do I need to complete two sets of CPD hours to comply?
No. CPD is only applicable to the re-registration of individuals and does not apply
to the re-registration of companies.
How will the ARBV audit compliance?
The ARBV will select a random sample of up to 5% of ARBV architects per annum and
seek evidence of the completion of CPD requirements. Architects being audited will
be notified two months in advance of receiving their renewal of registration documentation.
Supporting evidence must also be provided and include, for example, booking or payment
confirmation; notes (hand written or issued); diary entries, seminar handouts etc.
It is suggested that all Architects prepare a CPD folder to ensure that this information
is easily accessible when required.
What is the penalty if Architects do not comply with CPD requirements?
Architects who refuse to comply, or are found not to have complied as the result
of an audit, may have their registration suspended from the ARBV.
If I am registered in more than one state, and the other state also require
CPD, do I need to complete both sets of CPD requirements?
No. The hours do not have to be in addition to those used for compliance in another
state or territory. The hours of CPD acquired in another state or territory may
be used to satisfy Victorian requirements.
If I am registered in more than one state, and the other state does not requires
CPD, am I exempt from CPD in Victoria?
If a Victorian architect is registered in more than one state or territory, the
architect must still comply with the requirements of CPD in Victoria.
Will the ARBV accredit CPD providers?
The Board will not accredit CPD providers. However, providers of CPD may apply to
the Board for listing appropriate activities aimed at educating and informing architects.
On application the Board will assess an activity and, subject to it meeting Board
requirements (TBC), will list it as a formal or informal activity.
What will be required of the providers listed on the Board’s website?
Providers of activities listed by the Board will be expected to maintain attendance
records for a minimum of 5 years (in accordance with standard procedure for the
retention of business records). The Board may request contact details of up to five
participants per activity for the purpose of random quality checks.
What will be required of employers?
Employers are expected to support and encourage staff in their completion and attendance
at CPD activities.
It should be noted that in-house activities and ‘on the job’ training
can count toward the CPD required hours.
Employers should ensure that copies of relevant documentation such as tax invoices
etc are made accessible to staff for their CPD records.
When will mandatory CPD commence?
This implementation of mandatory CPD is proposed to commence in July 2009 and will
be introduced over a period of 12 months. Completion of the reporting process will
be undertaken during this year for completion with renewal of registration documents
for July 2010.
Won’t CPD just be an additional cost to the profession?
Architects generally partake in CPD activities already. Some activities will cost
money to attend depending on the activity and the provider. However it is proposed
that CPD activities are accessible, flexible and provide for a variety of options
and approaches. This will allow for a variety of options for courses – refer to
the definition of formal and informal for more details.
Will our registration fees increase due to the introduction of CPD?
Although the task of implementing CPD will be a big one for the staff of the ARBV,
the ARBV is not proposing an increase in fees due to the introduction of CPD. This
however does not exclude the possibility of increasing fees in future as a result
of other factors.
Who will manage and administer the process and implementation of CPD?
The ARBV will be responsible for the management, implementation, administration
and review process for CPD.
Will the proposed CPD model be reviewed?
Although this CPD model presented in this consultation reflects extensive consultation
with various stakeholders across the Architecture profession, we anticipate that
there will be some amendments during the next phase of the implementation process.
The ARBV will incorporate comment and amendments as required as a result of this
It is acknowledged that a mandatory CPD scheme must remain current and reflect the
current needs of the profession and consumers. As such, the model will be updated
as needed and depending on feedback.
How was the CPD model proposed?
The final model presented will be a result of extensive consultation within the
industry. The ARBV Board formed a working party to steer the process, conduct consultation,
make recommendations to the Board and assist with monitoring implementation. Members
were representative of key interest groups and chosen to ensure that many categories
of Architects were represented:
- Three Board members
- Director of a medium-large practice
- Director of a small practice
- A representative of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA)
- A representative of the Association of Consulting Architects Aust. (ACAA)
- Sole practitioner
- Regional practitioner
- Government employee
- Full time employee
- Part time employee
- Return-to-work parent
- Consumer representative
Following numerous workshops, the working party prepared a model which was presented
to the Board for recommendation. The approved model was presented to the Minister
in April 2008 and is now being issued for consultation.