How many hours of CPD do I have to do each year?
The proposed scheme has no minimum requirement for the number of hours or activities. We want architects to focus on the quality and outcome of their development activities instead. However, we recommend architects carry out a minimum of eight CPD activities over the year (which will include activities carried out in respect of any mandatory topics). This figure is based on a comparison of other professionals’ CPD schemes, and our research into the amount of CPD architects currently undertake. Architects will need to carry out CPD every year and confirm they have undertaken it when they pay their retention fee to remain registered.
What counts as an activity?
The proposed CPD scheme requires architects to undertake relevant activities to contribute to their professional development, and to record these activities along with a reflection on what they learned as a result. Architects can define their own CPD activities, which can include formal learning or informal development. There will be no minimum time required for an activity to qualify as being relevant.
If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learned to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development. Some of the examples of activities shared by respondents to our survey in 2021 include:
- online learning
- learning from technical experts
- peer-to-peer networks
- in-person and online events
- attending demonstrations
- site visits
- visits to or from organisations
- case studies
I am on the Register but I work in construction / academia / another sector. Do I still need to do it?
Yes, the ARB scheme requires every architect to demonstrate continuing professional development in their field of work. Being on the UK Register of Architects means that the public and any potential clients can have confidence that architects have the right training and experience to carry out architectural work, and there are no exceptions to that.
I am retired / on parental leave / not working at the moment. Do I still need to do it?
Yes, if you are still registered at this time. Compliance with ARB’s CPD scheme is a requirement of registration, so architects must complete their CPD annually to remain eligible to stay on the Register.
In some circumstances it may not be possible to carry out CPD activities, for example, those on parental leave or if someone is suffering a long-term illness. In such situations, architects may apply to defer their CPD submissions for one year but remain on the Register. Multiple deferments will only be agreed in exceptional circumstances. ARB will publish more detailed guidance on deferment alongside the CPD framework. Please refer to the detailed guidance for more information on retiring from the Register.
I work abroad. Do I still need to do it?
Yes. Being on the UK Register of Architects means that the public and any potential clients can have confidence that all architects continue to have the right training and experience to carry out architectural work.
If I do CPD activities for another organisation's scheme, would they count towards my ARB CPD requirement?
ARB has developed a flexible scheme in order to avoid duplication. If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learned to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development. It doesn’t matter where or how you did your CPD, so long as it’s an activity that helped you to learn and develop in your work.
Will there be a specific online platform for recording ARB CPD?
CPD can be recorded on the ARB platform, or another compatible platform identified in ARB’s guidance. Architects will need to record the CPD activities they carry out and the outcomes from them. They will also need to write a reflective statement on the development they have carried out over the last 12 months, and their future development requirements.
Architects only need to record their CPD once on their chosen platform. If an architect is selected for a CPD audit by ARB, a copy of any records not on the ARB platform can be uploaded or sent electronically to ARB. Please check ARB’s guidance to find out which other recording platforms we will accept.
RIBA’s CPD requirements are more specific than ARB’s, so architects who have complied with their scheme will also have met the terms of ours, providing they include any topics mandated by ARB. ARB is proposing that we will accept records submitted to RIBA, so that RIBA members who comply with and record their CPD through RIBA’s scheme will not be subject to any duplication.
Architects doing so will still have to confirm with ARB that they have done their CPD when they pay their retention fee to stay on the Register each year. If an architect who has used RIBA’s platform is audited by ARB, they will need to be able to access and share with ARB the information recorded there.
Will I have to do specific or mandated CPD topics – and if so, how many of these will be required and how will you tell us about them?
ARB may, on occasion, mandate particular areas of architectural practice that must be covered by an architects’ CPD activities.
Any mandated topics will be decided following engagement with the profession and key stakeholders, including government departments and professional membership bodies across the United Kingdom. While all architects must carry out CPD on these mandatory areas, they will have the discretion to do so in a way that is relevant to their practice.
Guideline competencies available on the ARB website provide details of what you should know for each mandatory topic. You can review these guidelines by clicking on the following link.
Will ARB approve or recommend specific CPD?
No, ARB will not provide or accredit or approve CPD resources.
Do I get to choose the CPD topic I want to do, so it is most relevant to my practice?
Yes, the purpose of the CPD scheme is for every architect to develop professionally in their field of work. We encourage you to participate in CPD activities that will enable to develop in your role.
ARB may also, on occasion, choose to mandate specific topics. Architects must carry out CPD on these mandatory areas but will have the discretion to do so in a way that is relevant to their practice.
Do I get to choose the type of activity so I can choose the learning method best suited to me / to my learning style?
Yes. ARB’s CPD scheme has been designed to allow a range of contexts to reflect a variety of learning styles and the different types of activities that architects told us they find useful. Please refer to our answer to the question above, ‘What counts as an activity?’.
Will my CPD activity be reviewed by ARB?
ARB will annually review a selection of architects’ CPD records. If you are selected to be reviewed, ARB will write to you asking for documentation about your CPD.
How much will it cost me?
As far as possible, the scheme will avoid any additional costs for architects. Due to the flexibility of our scheme, we believe it will be possible for you to complete CPD activities without having to spend additional money attending courses or events. We know that some architects choose to pay for CPD courses or events, and this will be entirely at their discretion.
If your question was not covered by this list, email us.