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Changes to AIA Continuing Education Requirements

On Dec. 9, 2011, the AIA Board of Directors voted to modify the AIA’s calendar year continuing education requirements to maintain the professional life-long learning standard. These changes are to ensure that AIA members master new knowledge and skills to meet the changing requirements of the profession.

Beginning this year, AIA members will be required to complete 12 hours of HSW education annually; previously 8 HSW hours were required. The total number of continuing education hours required remains unchanged at 18 hours, which includes 4 hours of sustainable design (SD) education. The AIA Board will re-evaluate the SD requirement later this year.

The AIA continually strives for the highest quality and professional standards for architectural continuing education, and is committed to offering enhanced educational opportunities for members. Increasing the HSW requirement from 8 to 12 hours per year will raise the level and quality of the AIA’s continuing education programs and the professional development of architects. It sets a higher standard for continuing education that further distinguishes AIA members.

Additionally, the value and credibility of the AIA’s CES transcript services combined with the increased HSW requirement enables AIA members to fulfill state licensing requirements for most states.

The new HSW requirement goes into effect January 2012 and AIA members should fulfill their total 18 hours of continuing education during the calendar year.

Self reporting changes

In 2011, the AIA Education Committee closely reviewed our policies and recommended changes to the self reporting process. Aligning closer with many state licensing boards’ practice, AIA members will no longer be able to self-report HSW courses for credit. Many states will not accept any self-reported credits for license renewals. AIA members will need to complete HSW credits by taking qualifying courses from registered AIA CES providers, and the providers will report HSW courses for members to receive HSW credits.

With the AIA reviewing, approving, and auditing all course content qualifying for HSW, members will benefit from greater consistency and quality assurance in continuing education. Members can still self-report credits that they earn, but they will appear as learning units on their transcripts in 2012. Through January 31, 2012, AIA members will be given a grace period to self-report any remaining HSW or HSW/SD credits from 2011.

Starting on January 1, 2012, members must attend courses through an AIA CES registered provider to receive HSW credit on their AIA Discovery transcipt. Providers will be responsible for reporting HSW credits to be posted to member transcripts. For courses offered by a provider outside the AIA network, members should work with their state licensing board to determine if courses meet the standards for health, safety, and welfare education.

Check your CES transcripts [log-in required] online. For more information, contact


Back to AIArchitect January 6, 2012

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