Continuing Education Update

The AIA requires its members to complete 18 continuing education hours per year; of which, at least 8 continuing education hours are to be related to Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW). Since the implementation of Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) for license renewal in New York State, architects are more concerned than ever about continuing education. The AIA works to help members fulfill these requirements:

  • by offering courses, seminars, and lectures, which qualify for Continuing Education Learning Units
  • by structuring these courses, seminars, and lectures to follow New York State requirements.

How do I fulfill my requirements?

Visit the calendar on the AIA New York Chapter website to see which local events are offered in fulfillment of the AIA and New York State requirements. The National AIA website provides more options with a searchable database of courses offered by Registered Providers, along with their contact information. The National AIA website is also host to the American Institute of Architects eClassroom.

The AIA eClassroom provides an exciting distance education program that gives one the opportunity to fulfill continuing education requirements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Courses feature the most popular sessions from recent AIA National conventions and seminars. One can choose from among courses on design, presentation skills, strategic business planning, and other topics, by some of the leading professionals in the field. Learn more about how to take a course by visiting eclassroom.aia.org.

The cost for eClassroom courses is based upon the quantity of learning units; please check monthly specials for current information about discounted course offerings.

How do I get my Continuing Education transcript?

Once members are actively pursuing their education, they can check their transcripts and confirm that activities are being properly recorded by visiting the national web site. Simply enter the AIA ID number and a full transcript will pop into view. One can review the events in which one has participated, the overall number of credits, and whether these have exceeded or fall short of the current year's education requirement. Problems on this transcript should be reported to the continuing education hotline at 1-800-605-8229.

As of 2002, the annual mailing of AIA Continuing Education transcripts no longer occurs. In most cases, the Continuing Education (CES) online transcript can be used in lieu of the paper transcript, and can be accessed through www.aia.org using one's membership number.

Since the online transcript lists only the member's number -- without name or address -- some additional documentation may be required when proving compliance for a state MCE requirement. Most states accept the CES online transcript when the member attaches a photocopy of the membership card; but, the AIA also recommends sending a copy of one's drivers license with one of the card.

The "official" CES transcript mailed from the University of Oklahoma is still available to members only on request. Each member may receive one free copy per year; additional copies are $10 each. To request a copy of your transcript, contact the University of Oklahoma, Continuing Education, AIA/CES, Room B-1 1700 Asp Avenue, Norman, OK 73072; phone 800-605-8229; fax 405-325-6965.

Mandatory Continuing Education requirements in New York State

New York Licensing Board law requires architects to complete 36 professionally related continuing education hours every three years. Of the 36 hours, 24 must relate directly to HSW issues, while 12 may be non-contact courses (e.g. distance education such as e-Classroom courses).

The New York Licensing Board has rejected some AIA credits in the past if they were not earned through a health, safety, and welfare (HSW) program. At the AIA New York State conference in Buffalo, on October 12, 2002, AIA staff questioned a State board official during a session on New York State IDP/MCE requirements regarding HSW credits. The New York State Licensing Board official confirmed that continuing education programs that do not support the general health, safety, and welfare of the public were being reviewed.

AIA/CES is now recommending to its providers that they check with the New York Licensing Board to determine which courses are compliant. In light of the new interpretation and enforcement by the New York State Licensing Board, AIA/CES advises AIA members licensed in New York to complete 12 continuing education hours per year or 36 continuing education hours during the three-year requirement period all related to HSW. AIS New York State, in turn, is advising anyone with a New York State license to check directly with the New York Licensing Board to make sure their continuing education will be accepted.

To contact the New York Licensing Board, call Kathy Robbins, 518-474-3817 ext 110.

Questions about CES

There are comprehensive answers to most questions on both the New York State Education Department website www.op.nysed.gov/archce.htm and the AIA National website, www.aia.org/ces_m_default

You can also contact Jesse Lazar at the AIA New York Chapter, 212.358.6117 or jlazar@aiany.org.

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