AIA Continuing Education System: CES Provider Frequently Asked Questions
AIA Continuing Education Overview
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) was created in 1857. Through education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach activities, the AIA works toward a public environment that is responsive to the people it serves while representing the professional interests of America’s architects.
The AIA recognizes that continuing education in architecture is crucial to advancing and improving the profession. Architects need continuing education to maintain competency, to prepare for the future, to fulfill the continuing education requirements for AIA membership, and frequently to renew state licensure.
AIA Continuing Education Requirement for Members
AIA architect members are required to complete 18 learning unit (LU) hours of continuing education per year for membership renewal. Of those 18 LU hours, at least 8 hours must be in Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) topics. Of those 8 HSW hours, at least 4 hours must be in topics relating to sustainable design (SD).
NOTE: AIA continuing education requirements in many cases differ from the state MCE requirements. For instance, the AIA accepts coursework on general course topics, but many states accept only HSW coursework.
Types of AIA/CES Credits (Learning Unit Hours)
There are three types of AIA/CES provider course learning units:
1. General LUs (abbreviated as ―LU)
2. Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) LUs (abbreviated as ―LU/HSW) Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) Guidelines
3. Sustainable Design (SD) LUs (abbreviated as ―LU/HSW/SD) Sustainable Design (SD) Guidelines
Distance Education Guidelines
AIA/CES Distance Learning is defined as a method of instruction in which there is a separation of place or time between the learner and the instructor. All online courses qualify for AIA/CES distance learning. Refer to the Provider Manual for more information.
Relationship between MCE and AIA
Responsibility of Member
What is an AIA/CES Provider?
AIA/CES Registered Providers are part of the largest source of high-quality continuing education for design and building industry professionals. AIA members seek courses from Registered Providers because state licensing boards recognize the AIA/CES transcript as a trusted standard. Upon approval of your application, you’ll receive ready access to more than 80,000 AIA members, valuable support and guidance, and the ability to bypass the time-consuming process of registering courses with individual states.
Provider Partnering and AIA Components
AIA/CES providers may partner with other continuing education providers as long as the identity of the provider of record is clear in all advertising materials. The provider of record is the provider that registers a course under its own provider number, thereby making it accountable for the course and for ensuring compliance with CES guidelines.
In addition, consider partnering with an AIA component in your area. Although the AIA functions as a national organization, at its heart are approximately 300 state and local AIA components that provide members with the essential local focus that reflects the nature of their professional lives. The AIA components, which are located across the U.S.(and a few outside the U.S.), are organized to serve the needs of architects at the national, state, and local levels. These components may be of assistance to individuals seeking information about architects in specific areas of the country. Because AIA components support their members through many activities that offer AIA/CES credit, they provide excellent opportunities to collaborate with other CES providers. Please go to AIA Local Chapters to find a component near you.
Advertising and Marketing Guidelines
Accredited or Certified
Many Approved Providers erroneously advertise their organizations or courses as “AIA/CES Accredited” or “AIA/CES certified.” Because the AIA is neither a certifying nor accrediting body, Approved Providers and courses are neither accredited nor certified. It is important to understand this distinction so you can advertise your organization and courses appropriately. Providers and provider courses should be advertised only as “AIA/CES Registered” or “AIA/CES Approved.” Please do not advertise or market your organization or courses as AIA/CES accredited or AIA/CES certified.
In addition, as already noted, since AIA/CES Approved Providers are not AIA members, they should not market or advertise themselves as such. AIA members are individual members of the AIA.
Member Mailing Lists
There are approximately 80,000 AIA members, who may opt-in to an AIA mailing list. AIA National currently rents usage of its membership list for direct mail only—no e-mail addresses are available. In addition, some AIA components make their membership lists available to providers for a fee or other conditions. Please go on line to find contact information for AIA Local Chapters. Please do not call AIA National directly for membership lists. Inquiries for the AIA National membership list should be directed to Lake Group Media.
AIA/CES logo usage
The AIA/CES logo has quickly become a highly recognized symbol in the design community. Current Approved Providers are authorized to use the logo to advertise their organizations as “AIA/CES Approved Providers” or their registered courses as “AIA/CES Registered”. Only currently approved AIA/CES providers are authorized to use this logo. Former providers or inactive providers are not eligible.
Providers may display the AIA/CES logo on their company’s Web site, business cards, course handouts and materials, course Power Point slides, and other appropriate media.
The AIA/CES logo is the only logo that providers are authorized to use. Use of the AIA column and eagle logo by providers is prohibited. To obtain a copy of the AIA/CES logo please log into the AIA/CES Discovery Homepage and click on the Resources tab.
What is AIA CES Discovery?
AIA CES Discovery is a Web-based, automated system for managing AIA members’ continuing education credits and transcripts. The AIA CES records management system is a single, Web-based point of contact for all CES needs, including the following:
• On-demand access to transcripts and course offerings
• More customized course- and provider-search functions
• Ability to submit online course ratings
What will happen to AIA CES records at the AIA/CES Records Department?
The AIA/CES Records Department has processed all records received through October 24, 2010. AIA CES Discovery is handling all new data from October 25, 2010 on.
The AIA/CES Records Department also will continue to store all paper files for two years after the launch.
Is NCARB aware of AIA CES Discovery?
Yes. We’ve had significant discussions and meetings with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to better meet our members’ needs.
The AIA had adequate time to ensure that all state licensing boards were fully briefed on the new system, particularly on the improvements in continuing education reporting.
All licensing boards have been assured that AIA member architects are fully prepared to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public wherever they practice.
Has the system factored in all the state licensing requirements and deadlines? Will the system support the printed reports that many states require?
Yes. AIA members have the same access to view and print their transcripts that they had through the previous system.
Members can print and submit paper copies of their transcripts to their state licensing boards.
Where is the sign in for AIA CES Discovery?
Please click here to sign in.
Providers are required to complete a registration for each new course they intend to offer for AIA/CES learning units. The Course Registration process occurs online only and asks providers specific questions about their courses, such as the course title, date being held, and the number of credits being offered. Each Course Registration is reviewed and processed by the AIA/CES. Provider Courses are not eligible for AIA/CES learning units and may not be offered or advertised until a Course Registration has been submitted and approved.
All course titles should describe the course content. As noted earlier, the AIA tracks member continuing education activities on an AIA transcript. This transcript is often used by members to show their state licensing board their continuing education coursework. Unfortunately, the only thing that state licensing boards can see on the course transcript is the provider name, date and time the course was taken, the type of learning units, and the course title. Since this is the only course information displayed on the transcript, it is important to make the titles as accurate and descriptive of the course content as possible.
What is a Learning Objective?
A learning objective is an explicit statement that clearly expresses what the student will learn or be able to do after taking the course. It is an observable and measurable student outcome statement. Learning objectives should be concise and concrete, so they are open to limited interpretation. Learning objectives should begin with, “At the end of this course, participants will be able to…”
a. BEHAVIOR Describes what participants will be able to do as a consequence of taking a course (for example, calculate).
b. CONDITION Describes conditions under which the student will perform the behavior (for example, using the sample course residential project...
c. CRITERIA Describes the criteria you will use to evaluate student performance (for example, the total cost of materials).
CES Discovery Course Status Definitions
Approved: This means you can begin advertising and offering the course.
Not Approved: This most likely means that your course content does not qualify for AIA/CES credits.
New Submission: This means your course is in the process of being submitted. It is incomplete and you are still working on submission.
Ready for Approval Review: This means your course is complete and ready for AIA/CES review.
Requires More Information: This means that minor changes must be made before your course can be approved.
When to Submit Course Attendance
Course Attendance must be submitted within 10 business days of a course being held. This is meant to ensure that members meet their individual state MCE requirements. If there are no AIA members present in your course and no one requests AIA/CES learning units for that course, you do not need to submit Course Attendance. However, you should still keep the Course Attendance on file and distribute certificates of completion to attendees who request them.
A copy of the Course Attendance must be kept on file by the provider for six years. When you submit a Course Attendance online, a copy of it will be saved under the Reports section in Course Attendance History.
Certificates of Completion
A certificate of completion serves as proof of attendance for participants in an AIA/CES course. The certificate provides members and non-members with the documentation of attendance they need to fulfill their continuing education requirements for state license renewal. For more information, please see the Provider Manual.
Course Delivery Guidelines
Providers may offer product demonstrations either before or after the educational portion of a course; however, promotion or discussion of proprietary company information is strictly forbidden during the educational portion of the course. In addition, product specification or service questions raised by participants during the course should be postponed and addressed at the conclusion of the course.
Finally, company, product (trademarks, patents and so on), and service information shall not be displayed or discussed during the credit portion of any AIA/CES course. Product or service promotion should be limited to before or after a course.
Proprietary logos may be displayed only on the:
1) First and last slides of a PowerPoint or visual presentation and on the CES quality assurance copyright slide (see the quality assurance slides for more information)
2) Front or back page of workbooks, handouts, and other printed materials
Where Can I Obtain the Quality Assurance Slides?
A template with the quality assurance slides can be found by logging into the online CES Discovery Homepage and click on the Resources tab. The template will be under the Quality Assurance heading.
Course Presenter Guidelines
AIA/CES registered course presenters must:
1) Deliver the course, as approved by AIA/CES, without endorsement, bias, or marketing or sales orientation
2) Ensure that company logos, product name, and branding are limited to the first and last slides of any presentation and to the CES quality assurance copyright slide (referenced in the section above).
3) Ensure that any information and handouts distributed reinforce the learning objectives.
4) Confine product and proprietary specific questions for discussion to either before or after the course has concluded.
5) Deliver the course as it relates to the learning objectives.
6) Strive to make presentation and materials as accurate, appropriate, and interesting as possible.
7) Ensure that the quality assurance slides are included and reviewed with participants during all PowerPoint presentations. If the class is not a PowerPoint-based course, slides must still be reviewed with participants verbally.
In order to maintain high-quality learning experiences for our members, Approved Providers are required to distribute a course evaluation at the end of all continuing education sessions. For online courses, this evaluation must be included after participants complete the quiz. A Course Evaluation Template is available under the Resources tab in CES Discovery. Feel free to add any questions that will help you improve the quality of your courses. You may also remove any questions that do not apply. The AIA/CES logo is required on all evaluation forms and your company logos are acceptable as well.
AIA Member Care Center