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Your CPD obligations as a RIBA Member

All RIBA Chartered Members everywhere in the world are required to undertake and record CPD each year.

There are five key areas you need to consider in order to meet your CPD obligations, including:

  • undertaking at least 35 hours of relevant learning each year
  • making sure half of your CPD is structured, whether this is a face to face course, distance learning, or online (where possible)
  • spending at least 20 of the 35 hours on the 10 mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum CPD topics (two hours per topic)
  • acquiring at least 100 learning points, reflecting your own assessment of what you got out of the activity
  • recording and keeping track of your CPD activities using the RIBA online CPD recording tool

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

What counts as CPD?

There is a great deal of face-to-face and digital CPD, either delivered by RIBA on RIBA Academy or accredited by RIBA through the CPD Providers Network. 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.

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 minutes)

Microlearning is informal learning which is often self-directed and delivered in very short, digestible chunks.

Examples could include: reading (journals, articles, documents, policy papers), watching short videos, or listening to podcasts. The free half hour Q and A sessions on the RIBA Academy are good examples.

General awareness (up to two hours of structured CPD)

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 attending 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)

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 core CPD seminars or online learning.

Deep knowledge (one or two days of structured CPD 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)

Advanced knowledge involves 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 postgraduate courses from universities, colleges and academic providers.

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.

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

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.

If you have any questions on how to fulfil your CPD requirements, please contact the CPD team.

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