Continuing Education

The AIA Continuing Education System is designed to assist the architect in maintaining competence and achieving professional goals. The requirement applies to full AIA members only. Associate and Emeritus members are encouraged to participate but are exempt from the requirement. All members are exempt during their first calendar year of membership.

Recognizing that sustainable design practices have become a mainstream design intention in the architectural community, the Board of Directors has voted to allow the sustainable design education requirement to sunset at the end of calendar year 2012. AIA members will no longer need to complete the sustainable design requirement to fulfill their AIA continuing education. For 2013, AIA members are required to satisfy a minimum of 18 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) per year. Of this total, 12 must meet the Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) criteria.

In 2012, AIA determined that to align AIA CES requirements closer to state licensing boards’ requirements, AIA members can no longer self-report HSW courses. Members will need to complete HSW requirements by taking qualifying courses from registered AIA CES Providers and Providers will need to report HSW courses for members to receive HSW CEHs. Members can continue to self-report Continuing Education Hour (CEH) for non-provider courses and programs.

To maintain their active status, members are required to earn 18 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs) per calendar year of which 12 must be Health, Safety, and Welfare learning. The minimum program length is one hour of actual learning time.

Health Safety & Welfare (HSW)
These programs are defined as those that relate to the structure or soundness of a building site. This requirement is based in states having the power to grant professional licensure as a means of protecting the life, safety and welfare of the public. Examples would be programs on nontoxic building materials, sprinkler systems, uses of natural light, ventilation and provisions for users with disabilities. Click here.

Meeting Requirements
There are three options for members to earn Learning Units (credits).

1. Registered Provider Programs
Members receive credits by attending programs presented by AIA Registered Providers. Registered providers are those AIA components, private vendors, educational institutions and other associations that have pre-approved their programs for CES learning units with AIA National. It is highly recommended members keep records of the courses attended, including course title, number, date, program provider and contact information for future reference. Click here to visit the events page for a listing of local programs.

2. Self Report
Members may also submit Self-Report Forms for other activities, either structured or self-designed. AIA members cannot self-report HSW courses for credit. To access and submit a self report form, please sign in at (box on right). Once each year in March, the record service will mail every member a transcript of all education activities reported during the past year.

3. Distance Education
Members can take approved distance education programs to meet AIA/CES requirements. Distance education is defined as a method of instruction in which there is a separation of place and/or time between the instructor and learner, between fellow learners, and/or between learners and the learning resources. These courses may use one or more delivery methods. Examples of distance education course delivery (alone or in combination): Internet; Podcasts; Publications/articles; Teleconference/audio conference; Webcasts; and NCARB monographs. Some AIA registered providers offer distance education and AIA National offers distance learning for convention programs.  

Distance education courses can be found on AIA national website online course directory by clicking here. 

Interested in AIA Philadelphia's Provider Program?
Complete this form and return it to Julianne Foley, Member Services & Events Manager at [email protected].

Credit for LEED Certification
If you studied on your own and took the exam you may self report that time online as a self-designed activity (research). Since it was not structured and presented to you by a third party, it will not be eligible for HSW credit. If you took a class from an organization that was not an AIA/CES Registered Provider then you may self-report the class as a structured activity program. This type of activity will be eligible for HSW credit. If the program was presented by an AIA/CES Registered Provider then the program provider is responsible for the submission of your activities to AIA/CES Records.

Credit for Teaching
Members who present a program or class, serve on a panel or give a speech of one hour or longer can self-report the program for credit as a Structured/Self-Reported Program by completing an online self- report form. Members can file for HSW credits for the program if appropriate. Members can self-report the research and preparation time for presentations, speeches, programs and classes they teach. This research must be reported as a Self-Designed Activity and, regardless of the topic, will not qualify for HSW credits. The AIA allows a maximum of 10 CEH hours of research for each hour of presentation time. Members must select just one of the above described options, either teaching credit (Structured/Self-Reported Program) or research (Self-Designed Activity) for a presentation, program, speech or class. Full-time university faculty cannot apply for credit for a course that is part of their regular curriculum workload. They can apply for credit if the course or program is "outside" of their normal assignments. Part-time faculty can apply for credits for any course taught once every three years.

Non-compliance & AIA Audits
Member transcripts are randomly selected for review throughout the year to ensure compliance. An audit of members' transcripts is done in January for the previous year. A member who was audited and found not to be in compliance with the annual requirement will be notified by AIA National and given the opportunity to report activities completed the previous year. These retroactively reported credits (deficit credits) will be posted in the year in which completed and automatically be applied to the year the member was found not to be in compliance. It is the responsibility of the member to regularly check his/her transcript to ensure compliance.


  • AIA Philadelphia: Julianne Foley; 215-569-3186, ext. 101; [email protected]
  • AIA National: 1-800-242-3837, option 3
  • Online: AIA National website: You can view your transcript, self-report programs, submit program evaluations, and download forms on AIA National's website. The AIA website provides up-to- date information on state Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) requirements, lists AIA Certified Providers and accredited programs, contains a listing of eClassroom courses, offers an extensive "frequently asked questions," and the CES Survival Guide. We urge you to visit the website often and refer to it for any information.

Conferences / Programs

Design on the Delaware is on hiatus for 2017 in preparation for a rebranded conference launch in 2018. AIA Philadelphia understands the need to provide quality continuing education opportunities for its members and believe that the new conference will provide both robust programing as well as a collaborative forum for design professionals to network and share their ideas and values.While we take a break to plan for next year, there are many other programs offering continuing education happening in 2017. We invite you to join us at any number of the other events and look forward to seeing you in 2018 for the new conference! 

Materials Matter is a new educational series launching this fall. Materials Matter is a five-session series delivering comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials. The program will offer up to 20 hours of learning units and be held over the course of five 4-hour sessions. Registration information will be announced over the summer. Check out AIA Seattle’s website for more information about the program.

ProCon Continuing Education Conferences
Each year, AIA Philadelphia offers the Spring Suburban Professional Conference in April or May and the Procrastinators Professional Conference in November or December. These one-day events offers 6 to 7.5 AIA CES Continuing Education hours.

AIA National Conference For information on the AIA national conference, click here.

Managing Transcripts
To access your transcript online, click here. Official CES transcripts are available upon request. A hard copy of the transcript can be faxed or mailed to a member. The first request is free and for each consecutive request a fee of $35 per copy will be assessed.