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AIA Continuing Education System: Health, Safety, Welfare

Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) Guidelines

AIA members and other architects licensed in states with mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements for license renewal are required to complete a minimum number of hours of Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW)-related training. AIA members are required to take 12 learning unit (LU) hours of continuing education per year in approved HSW topics. Because many architects are required to take HSW courses and these courses are in high demand by both AIA members and architects licensed in states with MCE requirements in HSW, providers are encouraged to offer HSW education.

The following sections outline the three primary criteria that AIA/CES courses must meet to be approved for HSW LUs. All three criteria must be met for your course to qualify for HSW LUs.

Criterion # 1: Course content must directly support the HSW definition.

Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) in architecture is anything that relates to the structural integrity or soundness and health impacts of a building or building site. Courses must intend to protect the general public.

Health Aspects of architecture that promote physical, mental, and social well-being among users or sites and address related environmental concern.

Safety Aspects of architecture intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or death among users of the buildings or sites.

Welfare Aspects of architecture that engender demonstrably positive emotional and physical responses among, or enable equal access by, users of buildings or sites.

Criterion #2: Course content must include one or more of the AIA/CES-acceptable HSW topics.

Health, Safety, and Welfare Topics

Technical and professional subjects, that the NCARB Board deems appropriate to safeguard the public and that are within the following enumerated areas necessary for the proper evaluation, design, construction, and utilization of buildings and the built environment.

BUILDING SYSTEMS: Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Communications, Security, Fire Protection

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION: Contracts, Bidding, Contract Negotiations

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS: Drawings, Specifications, Delivery Methods

DESIGN: Urban Planning, Urban Ecology, Master Planning, Building Design, Site Design, Interiors, Safety and Security Measures

ENVIRONMENTAL: Energy Efficiency, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Natural Hazards, Hazardous Materials, Weatherproofing, Insulation

LEGAL: Laws, Codes, Zoning, Regulations, Standards, Life Safety, Accessibility, Ethics, Insurance to protect Owners and Public

MATERIALS and METHODS: Construction Systems, Products, Finishes, Furnishings, Equipment

PRE-DESIGN: Land Use Analysis, Health Impact Assessment, Programming, Site Selection, Site and Soils Analysis, Surveying

PRESERVATION: Historic, Reuse, Adaptation

Criterion #3: 75 percent of course content must be on HSW topics.

To qualify for HSW credit, 75 percent of a course’s content and instructional time must be on acceptable HSW topics, as outlined above. This means that if your course is 1 hour in length, at least 45 minutes (that is, 75 percent) must be spent discussing HSW topics.

In addition, AIA/CES requires that each provider course provide a minimum of four learning objectives. For HSW course qualification, however, three of the four mandatory course learning objectives (that is, 75 percent) must address HSW topics. This is one way that AIA/CES verifies that 75 percent of a course is actually on HSW topics.

For more information on learning objectives, please see the learning objectives section of the CES Provider Manual.

Criteria for HSW Course

HSW Definition

HSW Topics

Course must be 75% HSW

2012 Health, Safety, Welfare and Self-reporting Changes

More Information

AIA CES Provider Manual (.pdf)

Need Help?

AIA Member Care Center
800-242-3837, select option 3



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