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Continuing Professional Development

The Victorian Architects Code of Professional Conduct (part of the Architects Regulations 2015) requires architects to maintain suitable skills and knowledge. We refer to this as continuing professional development (CPD).

Architects (practising) must maintain and develop professional knowledge and skills by completing CPD. Examples include attending relevant conferences, training or workshops.

We ask architects (practising) to declare they have completed CPD at registration renewal (by 1 July each year).

About the CPD framework

We have developed the ARBV CPD framework, which we recommend you follow when planning CPD activities.

The framework is a guide for architects (practising) and sets out the kinds and amounts of CPD activities the ARBV considers appropriate.

Alternatively, you can choose to create your own CPD plan to address your individual needs.

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

If you are registered as practising for the full year

If you are registered as an architect (practising) for the full registration year, the ARBV CPD framework sets out for architects to complete:

  • at least 20 hours of CPD per registration year (1 July to 30 June)
  • at least 10 hours of formal CPD activities, out of the total 20 hours. The framework details formal and informal activities.

The framework does not specify CPD activities architects (practising) must complete. Architects (practising) should develop their own CPD plan to address their individual needs.

If you are registered as practising for part of the year or have special circumstances

If you are registered as an architect (practising) for part of the year, the ARBV CPD framework:

  • states that you should complete CPD activities proportionate to the part of the year for which you are registered.

This is also the same for individuals who experience special circumstances such as illness or extended leave (including parental leave) for part of the year.

For example:

  • an architect (practising) who is registered for 6 months (50%) of the registration year needs to complete 10 hours (50%) of CPD activities
  • an architect (practising) on parental leave for 9 months (75%) of the registration year needs to complete 5 hours (25%) of CPD activities. The architect may also wish to become an architect (non-practising).

Architects (practising) who are registered for part of the year or with special circumstances should take their circumstances into account when making the declaration.

If you are registered as non-practising for the full year

Only architects (practising) need to meet the CPD requirements. Architects (non-practising) are exempt.

Architects (practising) who are registered for the first time from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020

Architects (practising) who are registered for the first time from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 won’t need to complete CPD requirements and won’t need to declare CPD activities for the current registration year. They will need to meet CPD requirements next registration year and any future years they are registered as an architect (practising).

Declaring CPD activities - Changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Given the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we acknowledge that it will be difficult for some architects to complete continuing professional development (CPD) activities in the coming months. As a result, we have altered CPD compliance requirements in two ways whilst coronavirus (COVID-19) remains a major issue.

Firstly, architects should make reasonable efforts to complete CPD activities in accordance with their personal circumstances. This may involve viewing online CPD presentations, participating in online CPD offerings or completing self-directed learning.

Secondly, the ARBV will not require architects to make a declaration (a ‘tick box’) at registration renewal that they have completed CPD activities on 1 July 2020 as previously indicated. This takes into account that some architects may be unable to complete planned CPD activities as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is important to note that architects are still required to continue to take reasonable steps to maintain their skills and knowledge as per the Architects Regulations 2015 (Vic).

CPD Records

Architects must keep records of the CPD activities they complete.

The ability to log CPD activities on the ARBV’s website portal will end on 30 June 2020. It is important that you keep your own records.

The ARBV will audit architect’s CPD activities based on risk.  We may request copies of an architect’s CPD records if they are the subject of a complaint or investigation.

What if you don’t meet CPD requirements

If an architect has not carried out enough CPD activities, we may request more information or take other steps to investigate and understand the situation. Our focus is to ensure architects understand their obligations, which benefits consumers.

Failure to comply with the Code is unprofessional conduct and in high risk cases, we may consider pursuing disciplinary action under Part 4 of the Act.

Future changes

More CPD developments are on the horizon. Legislative amendments to the Architects Act 1991 passed in February 2020 include the introduction of a head of power for mandatory CPD.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will consult with the ARBV and stakeholders to further develop CPD requirements for the Architects Regulations. We will keep you informed of updates via our website.