Every architect knows that learning is a career-long pursuit, and continuing education is part of the package deal. For Rhode Island architects, professional development is regulated by the Board of Examination and Registration of Architects. In 2014, the official rules and regulations for Rhode Island Registered Architects were amended to include provisions that align with the NCARM Model Regulations. Some regulations only recently went into effect.
If you practice in The Ocean State, here’s what you need to know about continuing education, record keeping and keeping your license to practice current.
Rhode Island Architects Need Continuing Education Every Year
In years past, architects practicing in Rhode Island were required to obtain 24 education units for each biennial license renewal period. At least 16 of those credits were to be in Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW). Now, architects must obtain continuing education credits every year and additional credits may no longer roll over to the next year.
No fewer than 12 professional development hours are required each calendar year and all of them must be in HSW. This is in accordance with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Legislative Guidelines and Model Law. The license renewal period hasn’t changed. Renewals are still due by December 31 on odd numbered years.
HSW Covers Building Systems, Law and More
To align with HSW, continuing education courses must meet the NCARB standards. Here’s how they break down:
- Building Systems
- Construction Contract Administration
- Construction documents
- Materials and Methods
- Occupant Comfort
If an architect allows continuing education to lapse, the Board requires registration renewal applicants to provide evidence that credits have been brought up to standard before issuing a renewal.
Rhode Island Allows Several Avenues for Continuing Education Credits
Architects have a variety of choices to meet the state’s professional development hours requirements. The Board accepts “all registered programs offered by CES registered AIA providers.” A list of courses can be found at this AIA link. Self-directed study is also acceptable, as are “all CE monographs offered by the NCARB” and any other program deemed acceptable by NCARB registration jurisdictions.
Architects may also participate in college, university, adult education, business and vendor courses provided that they meet the state requirements for HSW education. One contact hour of study is equivalent to one CE unit. Additional methods for continuing education may be accepted by the board if the board has access to the following criteria and approves the program.
- Statement of learning objectives
- Course brochures
- Copy of learning materials
- Identity of course experts
- Material resources used in the course
- Passive and interactive participation required for the course
- Learning measurement
- Time spent on the course
Rhode Island architect continuing education now more closely resembles the requirements for National Council of Architectural Registration Board compliance. The NCARB stresses public health, safety, and welfare through architecture and leads the industry in the development of credentialing standards.
Through PDH Academy, you can earn the HSW credits needed annually to keep your biennial license renewal on track. We’ll report your credits to the AIA on your behalf and provide you with proof of completion for the state board. Check out our courses for architects.