CPD in South Australia


Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a requirement for many professions.  It is intended to support people in maintaining their level of knowledge and in the understanding of emerging information relevant to the practice of their profession. 

The Institute is committed to supporting architects by offering CPD of a quality, consistency and breadth to genuinely maintain and improve architects’ skills and knowledge necessary for the provision of competent architectural services.  CPD activities for architects should:

  • Relate to practice as an architect;
  • Be educational in nature; and
  • Be additional to activities already undertaken in the normal course of the architect’s practice or employment.

CPD in South Australia

The SA Architectural Practice Act is currently being amended to include mandated CPD.  This is expected to require architects registered in South Australia to undertake activities that earn them at least 20 CPD points over a year, with a minimum of 10 of these being formal CPD points.  This amendment is likely to be legislated early in 2020.  Once the amended Act is implemented, the Architectural Practice Board of South Australia (APBSA) will be responsible for the management of the CPD rules and monitoring of compliance of CPD in South Australia.

The rules for South Australian CPD are currently being written by the APBSA.  In the interim, the Institute’s SA Chapter is implementing a system based on the NSW Architects Registration Board’s rules, which are currently the benchmark in Australia.  This will also assist architects who are registered in multiple jurisdictions to meeting their registration requirements across Australia.

Requirements for Architects

Architects are responsible for determining which CPD activities they undertake based on their individual needs and whether these CPD activities can be counted as formal or informal.  At least 10 hours of CPD claimed annually must be formal. Generally, one formal CPD point is earned for each hour of participation.  There may be a maximum number of points that can be earned through one activity.

Architects must undertake CPD that addresses a minimum of two of the four Units of Competency. The Units are:               

  • Design
  • Documentation
  • Practice Delivery
  • Practice Management

A record of the CPD activities undertaken must be maintained by the architect, including a record of assessments for formal CPD.  This may be requested by the Board for audit purposes and should be retained for a period of 5 years. 

NOTE – In addition to attending CPD presentations, it is possible for architects to earn formal CPD points through activities including:

  • Preparation and delivery of CPD activities
  • Teaching of architecture at a tertiary level that involves significant preparation and/or scholarship
  • Structured training activities undertaken by people involved as examiners and assessors of candidates undertaking registration.
  • Authorship of published articles, books, papers.
  • Participation in Architects’ Learning Groups – points may be earned for preparation of learning sessions as well as for participation in learning sessions,

The number of points that can be earned through these activities varies.  Architects should check the requirements of the Board in the jurisdiction(s) in which they are registered.

Criteria for a Formal CPD Presentation

The requirements for a formal CPD presentation can be summarised as follows:

  • Presentations must address a Unit of Competency from the National Standard of Competency for Architects (NSCA).
  • Presenters must be suitably qualified, with appropriate academic qualifications, technical or practice expertise.
  • Presentations must have clearly stated learning outcomes that are mapped to relevant Units of Competency/Elements of Competency/ Performance Criteria from the NSCA
  • A structured assessment task that genuinely tests participant’s understanding of the topic must be provided during or following the presentation. This can take the form of a questionnaire, a paper/report summarising learnings, or a workshop activity.  Feedback must be provided to participants so that they are aware of how they have performed and where their understanding needs to be improved.

Formal CPD Presentations: What the SA Chapter Will Do

The SA Chapter will support delivery of quality CPD presentations to our members.  This will include:

  • Review of Formal CPD proposals to confirm that they meet the Institute’s requirements
  • Assessment of the presentation synopsis and learning outcomes to determine which NSCA Unit of Competency/Elements of Competency/ Performance Criteria will be met and how many points participants can earn if they successfully complete the assessment task.
  • Review of the assessment questions and exemplar answers prior to the presentation
  • Promotion of the CPD activity to members
  • Set up and management of a booking site for the CPD activity
  • Assistance with delivery, which may include set up of facilities and AV, preparation of a run sheet, greeting attendees, introduction of presenters, coordination of Q&A, organisation of catering.
  • Recording attendance at the presentation
  • Take receipt of the completed assessment forms, issue to provider for review and comment and return to participants with feedback
  • Preparation and Issue of attendance certificates to participants.

NOTE: The Institute does not accredit CPD activities or providers or guarantee award of CPD points.