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​​Fulfilling your CPD requirements

Continuing professional development (CPD) is obligatory for all chartered members of the Royal Institute of British Architects, regardless of their professional circumstances. Maintaining competence and professional standards by doing CPD is a duty and an obligation.

CPD helps you to stay safe, competent, professional, capable and resilient. It helps you to achieve better outcomes and better businesses. 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 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 ten 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.

What counts?

You should decide yourself whether something counts as CPD. In fact, we do not answer queries of that nature.

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 - no matter the length (from a quick catch up to a long course and everything in between) - can count towards your 35 hour requirement (and your core requirement). If you judge that a learning activity is relevant to you as an architect and professional, for whatever role you are doing, then it counts. The choice is entirely yours.

If you are based outside the UK, any CPD you do in any country you practice in, from any source, relevant to your own professional and personal circumstances, will count towards your RIBA requirements. Your CPD should relate to your own circumstances.

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.

Our CPD Quick Guide includes questions about specific circumstances.

CPD points

Assigning learning points is about getting you to reflect on the personal and professional impact of each CPD activity.

You assign the points yourself, on a scale of one to four:

  • 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

Core Curriculum

There are ten mandatory CPD Core Curriculum topics in response to the skills members of the Royal Institute of British Architects need to practice architecture now and in the future.

All chartered members, wherever they practice, and whatever they do, are expected to attain at least two hours in each of the ten topics yearly. However, there is huge flexibility in how you meet that obligation. 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.

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

For further information and advice contact cpd@riba.org We are unable to advise on whether an activity counts as CPD.

Learning

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.

For questions and advice about your CPD obligations and how to fulfill them, contact cpd@riba.org

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