Scheme for Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
From January 2024, CPD will be a condition of registration for all architects.
Guidance is currently being finalised and will be published here in December 2023.
Architects will be able to manage their CPD records from MyARB, our new registrant portal. They can also use RIBA’s CPD platform.
From January 2024, CPD will be a condition of registration for all architects.
Guidance is currently being finalised and will be published here in December.
Architects will be able to manage their CPD records from MyARB, our new registrant portal. They can also use RIBA's CPD platform.
Key components of the scheme
The scheme will be activity-based.
Architects are free to define their own CPD activities, so that they can choose the types of activities and learning methods that suit best. If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learnt to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development.
No minimum number of activities
Architects do not need to complete a minimum number of activities or spend a set amount of hours.
Architects will be required to reflect on their learning and development outcomes.
Environmental sustainability and fire and life safety as mandatory topics
ARB may set mandatory topics each year. The mandatory topics for 2024 will be environmental sustainability and fire and life safety.
The Building Safety Act 2022 has given ARB powers to monitor the training and development architects carry out throughout their careers. The aim of this is to support architects’ commitment to continued learning throughout their professional lives and uphold public confidence in the competence of the profession.
In 2021, ARB published proposals for a set of principles on which to base the scheme. The principles underpinning the scheme are:
- Improve the overall competence of the profession
- Tailored by architects to their own practice and needs
- Proportionate and deliverable
- Avoid duplication where possible
We asked for views on the principles in a survey, and it showed that architects overwhelmingly supported our proposed approach. The principles were used to inform the draft guidance, published in September 2022. We consulted on the draft guidance from September 2022 to January 2023, to allow architects the opportunity to review ARB’s proposals in detail and to share their views before the Board finalises the scheme. Results of that consultation were published in June. A pilot scheme was run between 8 March and 4 September 2023, and we are now preparing final guidance and a handbook for publication before the scheme launches.
Frequently Asked Questions
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How many hours of CPD do I have to do each year?
The proposed scheme has no minimum requirement for the number of hours or activities. We want architects to focus on the quality and outcome of their development activities instead. However, we recommend architects carry out a minimum of eight CPD activities over the year (which will include activities carried out in respect of any mandatory topics). This figure is based on a comparison of other professionals’ CPD schemes, and our research into the amount of CPD architects currently undertake. Architects will need to carry out CPD every year and confirm they have undertaken it when they pay their retention fee to remain registered.
What counts as an activity?
The proposed CPD scheme requires architects to undertake relevant activities to contribute to their professional development, and to record these activities along with a reflection on what they learned as a result. Architects can define their own CPD activities, which can include formal learning or informal development. There will be no minimum time required for an activity to qualify as being relevant.
If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learned to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development. Some of the examples of activities shared by respondents to our survey in 2021 include:
- online learning
- learning from technical experts
- peer-to-peer networks
- in-person and online events
- attending demonstrations
- site visits
- visits to or from organisations
- case studies
I am on the Register but I work in construction/academia/another sector. Do I still need to do it?
Yes, the ARB scheme requires every architect to demonstrate continuing professional development in their field of work. Being on the UK Register of Architects means that the public and any potential clients can have confidence that architects have the right training and experience to carry out architectural work, and there are no exceptions to that.
I am on parental leave/not working at the moment. Do I still need to do it?
Yes, if you are still registered at this time. Compliance with ARB’s CPD scheme is a requirement of registration, so architects must complete their CPD annually to remain eligible to stay on the Register.
In some circumstances it may not be possible to carry out CPD activities, for example, those on parental leave or if someone is suffering a long-term illness. In such situations, architects may apply to defer their CPD submissions for one year but remain on the Register. Multiple deferments will only be agreed in exceptional circumstances. ARB will publish more detailed guidance on deferment alongside the CPD framework. Please refer to the detailed guidance for more information on retiring from the Register.
I am retired. Do I still need to do it?
Yes, if you are still registered at this time. Compliance with ARB’s CPD scheme is a requirement of registration, so architects must complete their CPD annually to remain eligible to stay on the Register. If you are no longer working, you may not need to be on the Register. Learn more here.
I work abroad. Do I still need to do it?
Yes. Being on the UK Register of Architects means that the public and any potential clients can have confidence that all architects continue to have the right training and experience to carry out architectural work.
If I do CPD activities for another organisation's scheme, would they count towards my ARB CPD requirement?
ARB has developed a flexible scheme in order to avoid duplication. If an architect has developed professionally and can apply what they have learned to their practice, then it can be considered continuing professional development. It doesn’t matter where or how you did your CPD, so long as it’s an activity that helped you to learn and develop in your work.
Will there be a specific online platform for recording ARB CPD?
CPD can be recorded on MyARB or on RIBA’s platform. Architects will need to record the CPD activities they carry out and the outcomes from them. They will also need to reflect on the development they have carried out over the last 12 months, and their future development requirements.
Architects only need to record their CPD on one platform – be it ARB or RIBA. If an architect is selected for a CPD audit by ARB and they have recorded their CPD on RIBA’s platform, a copy of those records can be uploaded to the ARB platform or sent electronically to ARB. Those electing to record their CPD activities on RIBA’s platform must still ensure they cover any mandatory ARB topics.
Those architects who choose to use RIBA’s platform will also still have to confirm with ARB that they have done their CPD when they pay their retention fee to stay on the Register each year. If an architect who has used RIBA’s platform is audited by ARB, they will need to be able to access and share with their RIBA CPD record with ARB.
Will I have to do specific or mandated CPD topics – and if so, how many of these will be required and how will you tell us about them?
ARB may mandate particular areas of architectural practice that must be covered by an architect’s CPD activities.
Any mandated topics will be decided following engagement with the profession and key stakeholders, including government departments and professional membership bodies across the United Kingdom. While all architects must carry out CPD on these mandatory areas, they will have the discretion to do so in a way that is relevant to their practice.
Guideline competencies available on the ARB website provide details of what you should know for each mandatory topic. You can review these guidelines by clicking on the following link.
Will ARB approve or recommend specific CPD?
Do I get to choose the CPD topic I want to do, so it is most relevant to my practice?
Yes, the purpose of the CPD scheme is for every architect to develop professionally in their field of work. We encourage you to participate in CPD activities that will enable to develop in your role.
ARB may also, on occasion, choose to mandate specific topics. Architects must carry out CPD on these mandatory areas but will have the discretion to do so in a way that is relevant to their practice.
Will my CPD activity be reviewed by ARB?
ARB will annually review a selection of architect’s CPD records. If you are included in that selection, ARB will notify you. If you are using RIBA’s platform to record your CPD, you will be asked to upload a copy of your record to the MyARB portal by a set date.
How much will it cost me?
As far as possible, the scheme will avoid any additional costs for architects. Due to the flexibility of our scheme, we believe it will be possible for you to complete CPD activities without having to spend additional money attending courses or events. We know that some architects choose to pay for CPD courses or events, and this will be entirely at their discretion.
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