All professions require continuing professional development (CPD) of their members, especially when their work has a direct impact on people’s lives. CPD also remains a crucial part of an architect’s ongoing development and evolution, in a profession where competence is more important than ever.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) continues to be committed to helping members become better architects, in order to deliver better and safer buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment. Its CPD requirements and tools are at the forefront of that goal.
To that end, RIBA has introduced some changes to the way chartered members record mandatory CPD from January 2024 in a bid to simplify the process.
Out goes the need to attain a minimum number of ‘learning points’ and in comes a requirement for each member to record a brief, reflective statement on what they have gained from each CPD activity when they update their activities on the RIBA online CPD tool.
It is part of a number of forthcoming changes to the system in response to the industry’s recognised need for greater scrutiny of professional competence, highlighted by important reports like the Hackitt inquiry following the Grenfell Tower fire and new legislation in the areas of fire safety and sustainability.
What are the core requirements for 2024?
Core requirements remain unchanged in 2024. RIBA Members are still required to carry out at least 35 hours of relevant learning each year, with at least 20 of those hours on the 10 mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum CPD topics – two hours for each topic.
Half of members’ CPD should be structured where this is possible, which means undertaking either face-to-face or online courses rather than informal individual learning.
The 10 mandatory CPD topics are unchanged for 2024:
- 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
One of the outcomes of the Hackitt inquiry and subsequent legislative changes, is that the Architects Registration Board (ARB) gains powers to check architects’ competence and it will be carrying out its own auditing process in the future. ARB has indicated that they will accept RIBA CPD records so there need not be any duplication.
Any relevant learning from any source can count towards CPD requirements. If you think that a learning activity is relevant to you for whatever role you are carrying out, then it can count as CPD.
Your CPD choices are therefore flexible and personal. While RIBA has mandatory requirements, within these, the CPD that members' choose should be tailored to their own needs or those of their practice or business and should reflect the statutory and regulatory situation where they practice.
There’s still time to book you Core CPD Club Ticket
This year might be almost over, but there’s still time to purchase your Core CPD Club Ticket, which will help to ensure that you cover any outstanding CPD requirements for this year.
Whether it’s structured or informal, if you can learn from it, you can make it count. Methods of CPD learning are as diverse as the topics they can cover, however, the 2023 Core CPD Programme provides you with your structured requirement needs in one place.
The 2023 Core CPD Programme is still available on demand, consisting of ten core topic modules, which will be available for you to view whenever you want, at a time and place that best suits your needs.
Each module has been professionally produced using the latest greenscreen technology, ensuring an engaging viewing experience.
What kind of learning counts as CPD?
CPD can come from any source (including other professional bodies internationally), and does not need to be accredited by RIBA to count, but members are encouraged to consider the wide-ranging CPD courses that are provided by the institute. These include:
- RIBA Academy: on-demand and live digital content at every learning level, covering all 10 mandatory topics. Some are free of charge, others are discounted for RIBA Members
- CPD Expos (formerly known as CPD Roadshows): free events around the country.
- Free RIBA CPD Providers Network events and online seminars
- RIBA-hosted conference events such as Future Leaders, Smart Practice, and Guerrilla Tactics
- RIBA Books, and free features, articles, and other content in RIBA Journal
- Professional features - free digital articles such as this, on practice and related issues, all tagged with the relevant core curriculum topic
What other changes are there?
RIBA is returning to the auditing of members’ CPD records and will, in future, check that every member has an up-to-date CPD record, rather than looking at random samples of records as it did in the past.
Once the new auditing system is in place, there will be sanctions for non-compliance. Members could be suspended and ultimately expelled if they fail to respond to RIBA requests and reminders and subsequent warning cycles.
However, there will also be a new system of exemptions from the obligations – on request – for members on parental or adoption leave, or away from practice due to long term illness or carer needs.
The exact process for notifying the institute about a need for an exemption is still being worked out. When returning to practice, members will complete new return-to-practice CPD modules that are currently in development.
If you have any questions on how to fulfil RIBA’s CPD requirements, please email email@example.com.
Text by Neal Morris. This is a Professional Feature edited by the RIBA Practice team. Send us your feedback and ideas.
As part of the flexible RIBA CPD programme, professional features count as microlearning. See further information on the updated RIBA CPD core curriculum and on fulfilling your CPD requirements as a RIBA Chartered Member.