AIA Continuing Education FAQ’s


What are the AIA’s requirements for continuing education?

AIA measures continuing education in learning units (LUs). One hour of continuing education earns one LU. AIA Architect members are required to complete 18 LUs each calendar year. Of those 18 LUs, 12 must be in Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) topics.

Are Associate, Allied, and Emeritus members required to earn LU credits?

Associate and Allied members are exempt from the continuing education requirement but are encouraged to participate for their personal benefit and the benefit of the profession.

Emeritus Architect members are required to complete 1 LU annually. Other Emeritus members are exempt from the continuing education requirement.

Records are kept for all members who report their activities. Those pursuing their license to practice architecture may also use the AIA continuing education transcript services.

As a new member or member who just upgraded from Associate status, am I required to meet the continuing education requirement?

New first-time members and members who upgraded from Associate membership are not required to complete continuing education requirements during the calendar year that they join. Your requirements will begin January 1 of the following year. However, AIA maintain transcript records for all members from the time their membership starts. Any credit earned in the first year will not apply toward the following year’s requirement unless the member earns enough credits to meet the requirements for rollover credit.

I live and work outside of the United States. Am I required to complete AIA continuing education?

Yes. The same requirements apply regardless of where you live and work.

How can I earn AIA approved continuing education credits?

Architects Training Institute provides online HD video courses that meet AIA requirements.

How do I know if a course is AIA approved and how many credits it’s worth?

AIA CES providers display the AIA Continuing Education logo with their courses. Additionally, they are required to display the credit designation and number of units (for example, 1.5 LU or 1.0 LU/HSW) with the description and learning objectives for the course.

What are the AIA’s guidelines for Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) courses?

Only approved courses may carry HSW credit. Because the guidelines for HSW credit require learning in a structured environment, you may not self-report HSW credits. Courses approved for HSW credit contain at least 75 percent HSW content, including related activities. This helps the AIA ensure content credibility so AIA members can satisfy their membership and state mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements for HSW topics. Read more.

How does HSW relate to CES?

The AIA requires Architect members to earn at least 12 LUs (of the 18 total LUs required) in HSW topics. You may earn more than 12 LUs in HSW topics. Any addition LUs earned will apply to the overall 18 LU requirement.

What specific subject areas qualify for AIA HSW credit?

HSW subject areas are defined by the AIA, NCARB, and state licensing boards with HSW requirements. Some states have specific continuing education requirements and guidelines for what types of courses and content qualify. Be sure to check with the licensing board for states where you are licensed to determine any jurisdiction-specific requirements for content or reporting.

What if I don’t meet the annual requirements or the deadline for AIA membership?

Each year, the AIA audits a percentage of eligible AIA members for compliance with the continuing education requirement. Members who fail to meet the annual requirements are given a nine-month grace period through September 30 of the following year. Any credit earned during the nine-month grace period will apply towards the deficit from the prior year and not to meeting the current year’s requirement. For example, an LU/HSW credit earned during the nine-month grace period will apply towards any LU/HSW deficit from the prior year. During the grace period, members can retroactively report any activities they completed but failed to report in the prior year.

What if I take an AIA course before the September 30 deadline but the provider does not report attendance in time?

As long as the course was successfully completed before the deadline and the provider reports it, the course will still apply. Please contact the AIA and us if you anticipate this happening.

What is the AIA/CES non-compliance policy?

Members are considered in non-compliance with the AIA continuing education requirement if they have not completed and reported 18 LU hours (including 12 LU/HSWs) by December 31 of each year. Members in non-compliance have an opportunity to report missing continuing education credits and earn the credits necessary to address any deficiency before September 30 of the following year. During this nine-month grace period, members who are found not in compliance through the annual audit are at risk of membership termination for non-compliance.

If I meet AIA’s continuing education requirements, will I satisfy my state licensure requirements?

AIA continuing education requirements are aligned with NCARB’s model law and regulations so that the requirements parallel the MCE requirements in many jurisdictions.

However, we cannot guarantee that you will satisfy your state’s licensing requirements if you meet AIA’s continuing education requirement. State requirements may change, and some states have specific rules about courses that meet their MCE requirements. Please check with your state licensing board.