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​​Fulfilling your CPD requirements

CPD is an effective, tried, tested and universally adopted means of maintaining and demonstrating professional competence. Learning and development through regular CPD is a membership requirement for most professional bodies.

All RIBA Chartered Members are required to undertake and record CPD each year, and we can audit our members’ CPD records via our CPD recording platform.

CPD helps you to stay safe, competent, professional, capable and resilient. It helps you to achieve better outcomes and better business. CPD also helps you to face current and future challenges as well as learn new skills and specialisms.

Your annual CPD obligations as a RIBA Chartered Member - five things to do:

  1. Undertake at least 35 hours of relevant learning each year
  2. Half your CPD should be structured, unless your circumstances prevent that. Structured CPD will have learning aims and outcomes, and is taught by someone, whether face-to-face, online or by distance learning. Informal CPD is usually self-directed and of short duration (for example, reading, peer discussions, research, listening to podcasts...).
  3. 20 of the 35 hours must come from the 10 mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum CPD topics: two hours per topic each year.
  4. Acquire at least 100 learning points. Points reflect your own assessment of what you got out of the activity.
  5. Record and keep track of your CPD activities using the RIBA online CPD recording service.

Our CPD Quick Guide answers some common questions regarding CPD for international members, members on maternity leave, retired, academics and other circumstances.

What counts?

The RIBA provides a great deal of face-to-face and digital CPD. However, CPD doesn't have to come from, be accredited by, or approved by the RIBA to count.

Any relevant structured or informal learning from any source can count towards your 35-hour requirement (and your core requirement). If you think that a learning activity is relevant to you for whatever role you are doing, then it counts as CPD. The choice is entirely yours and we are unable to advise whether something counts.

If you are based outside the UK, any CPD you do in any country in which you practice, from any source, will count in its entirety towards your RIBA requirements. You just need to enter those activities on your RIBA CPD record.

Auditing and proof

The RIBA regularly audits member records on our online recording platform to check compliance. We are unable to accept alternative forms of records or proof.

We don't ask for, expect to see, or oblige you to acquire attendance or CPD certificates.

CPD points

Assigning learning points lets you reflect on the personal and professional impact of each CPD activity you have done. You assign the points yourself, on a scale of one to four: no one but you can assign points to your activities.

  • one point: you learned little
  • two points: your awareness increased generally, through a one to two-hour activity
  • three points: you gained a great deal of detailed insight, through a half to one-day activity
  • four points: you acquired expertise or specialist knowledge on a subject, from a course of two days or longer

RIBA CPD Core Curriculum

The RIBA’s mandatory ten-topic CPD Core Curriculum – with a minimum of two hours of CPD required annually under each topic – underlines the key technical, regulatory, design, business, and client competencies required.

There is flexibility in how you meet this requirement. You can meet it in the way that best suits your needs and situation. CPD does not mean solely seminars and courses, or what the RIBA can provide. You can do CPD in countless ways, many self-directed and informal. While the RIBA can help you with your learning needs, CPD from any source counts, wherever you are in the world.

The RIBA CPD Core Curriculum is accompanied by an extensive CPD primer which provides context for each of the ten topics. It acts as a suggested framework of target issues for each topic. While the primer is comprehensive, it is not exclusive; you are encouraged to engage with the topics in a way which best suits your needs

The ten topics are:

  • Architecture for social purpose
  • Health, safety and wellbeing
  • Business, clients and services
  • Legal, regulatory and statutory compliance
  • Procurement and contracts
  • Sustainable architecture
  • Inclusive environments
  • Places, planning and communities
  • Building conservation and heritage
  • Design, construction and technology


The CPD you do is invariably within one of five learning levels, depending on how long and complex the CPD is and how much expertise it has given you:

Microlearning - Less than 30 min

Microlearning is informal learning which is often self-directed and delivered in very short, digestible chunks. Examples could be reading (articles, documents, policy papers), short videos, podcasts, info-graphics, web research, internal knowledge transfer, peer discussions, using tool kits, instructional games, or organised Google hang outs.

General awareness - Up to two hours of structured CPD activity

General awareness is structured CPD - it is just enough to keep you generally up to date and competent. Examples of general awareness CPD activities include RIBA CPD Providers Network seminars or CPD Roadshows, or short CPD from other sources. Having general awareness of a topic will not mean you will be expert in it.

Detailed knowledge CPD - Up to half a day of structured CPD activity

Detailed knowledge should give you a higher level of expertise than if you had only a general awareness. It’s about practical applied knowledge of the subject area achieved through learning and experience and consequentially being able to advise others of the implications. This knowledge level could be maintained and enhanced by attendance at courses or conferences (whether face to face, online or distance). You can gain this level by attending, for example, the RIBA’s national core CPD seminars or online learning.

Deep knowledge - Structured CPD of one or two days duration on specific topics

Deep knowledge, whether face to face, online or distance, will give you a more detailed understanding and awareness of a topic, although not at specialist or advanced level. Choices include seminars, workshops, conferences, organised factory tours and similar, from the RIBA or from others.

Advanced knowledge - Courses of three days or longer on specific topics

Courses of three days or longer, often leading to specialisms. This can be maintained and enhanced by courses leading to certificates, diplomas or degrees. The RIBA offers advanced knowledge courses such as our Conservation and Principal Designer courses. You can also undertake three-day courses and diploma, certificate and post graduate courses from universities, colleges and academic providers.

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