Bruce W. Sekanick AIA  01.11.2012

Continuing Education changes have been made by both the AIA Board of Directors and the Ohio Architects Board, and while they are not major, they can be a little confusing.  To begin this discussion, let’s start with the State of Ohio changes and what they mean to you.  Effective January 1, 2012, the Ohio Architects Board changed the continuing education requirements to match the newly recommended (model requirements) of the NCARB.  These requirements change the CE’s to 12 per year, all of which need to be Health Safety and Welfare.  Generally, since SD, Sustainable Design, hours are also Health Safety and Welfare hours, they still can apply, although Ohio has no specific requirements for Sustainable Design credits.  Simply said, if you get 12 HSW per year you are going to comply with the Ohio rules.  Additionally, the new Ohio requirements, which used to require 24 hours every two years, now requires 12 hours every year. This might not seem like a big change, but it does make a difference to those who wait until the waning days of the licensure period to complete their CE’s. Twelve hours of HSW per year.  The Ohio Board of Architects has made it fairly simple.  More information is available on the Ohio Architects Board website at

It is also important to remember, and to remind your colleagues, that compliance with state requirements are made much easier through the continuing education system maintained by the AIA.  Those members who are audited need only to submit your AIA transcript as proof of compliance and, as long as you have completed the proper number programs and hours, you are done.  Another benefit of AIA membership.

Now, let’s get to the more complex AIA format for continuing education.  At their December 9th, 2011 meeting in Washington, D.C., the Institute Board decided to amend the CE requirements to more closely reflect the NCARB requirements, but to still require more hours than what the NCARB recommends.  The Board decided that members should be required to complete a total of 18 CEs per year (the same as before), but instead of the 8 hours of HSW, the new requirement is 12 hours of HSW per year.  This is intended to align the AIA’s requirements for HSW with those of the NCARB model program at 12 HSW per year.  The AIA Board however, believes that it is important for the requirements of the AIA to “convey higher standards of professional knowledge” and that the added hours beyond the twelve recommended by the NCARB “ were crucial to our identity”.  These additional six (6) hours can be HSW or non-HSW hours, but must still meet the criteria for CE under the AIA CES program requirements, just as they always have.  The biggest difference in this change is that we are now talking about a change in the “type” of hours and opposed to the “number” of hours.


Now, you may ask, what has happened with the Sustainable Design credits.  Well, for now, they still exist.  From the December 9th meeting, the Board noted the following:  “During the years 2009 through 2012, this requirement must also include four (4) hours of sustainable design education within the total 18-hour continuing education requirement. The Institute will re-evaluate this requirement in 2012.” The end result is that for the AIA, you still need to have four (4) hours of Sustainable Design credits…..for now.

Finally, you may have heard a number of different rumors on self-reporting and whether they do or do not exist.  I am happy to say that self-reporting is not dead, it just changed a little.  The big difference is that starting in 2012, HSW hours may not be self-reported.  There are many who did not even know that prior to this year, you could even self-report HSW hours, but in reality, it was permitted.  This year however, the AIA has changed the requirements to better align the HSW with the NCARB model format by requiring all HSW hours to be reported by the program provider as opposed to the individual to better meet the requirements of the state registration boards.

Hopefully this better explains the changes that have taken place with the start of the new year.  Additional information can be found at the AIA blog at