What is CPD and why is it important?

Undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allows you to maintain and develop your necessary talents and skills as a professional. It gives you the opportunity to honestly appraise and identify personal areas for development in your role within the field of Architectural Technology and your career aspirations.

As a discipline and profession, Architectural Technology is constantly evolving to respond to legislative, best practice and technological innovation. As such, it is recognised that experience and academic qualifications have a limited shelf life and in order to maintain currency, ongoing learning and development is critical. This is crucial to maintain your basic knowledge and skills even if you are a Chartered Member, and also to improve and expand your professional sphere of activity.

Despite the associations with added work, or classes, CPD should be regarded as a stimulating and necessary experience. Not only does it encourage you to reflect and act on areas which are necessary to remain competent within your area(s) of practise, in some cases it allows employers to develop and/or provide appropriate training schemes for employees, or for you as an employer to identify the needs of your team.

From an external perspective, it offers the public, clients, employers and fellow professionals with confidence that you as an Architectural Technology professional maintain high standards and competence.

How many hours of CPD do I need to complete?

The Institute requiresthat a minimum of 35 hours of CPD is undertaken every year from May to April. However, your professional obligation to clients, employers and professional colleagues may require more than this.

As a member or affiliate, you are responsible for determining the method and content of your own CPD which should be appropriate to your professional obligations. Student members are exempt, and some other members or affiliates may also be exempt from this, depending on their level of responsibility. For example, if you are fully retired and do not provide any services to clients (this includes to friends and family).

For members or affiliates who are on maternity/paternity leave, long-term ill or unemployed, the Institute advises you to undertake as much CPD as your circumstances will permit. Remember, when you do return to work, you will be expected to demonstrate the currency of your profession.

1 Clause A7: Continuing Professional Development
The members (excluding student members) shall:
A7a) keep themselves informed of current practices and developments appropriate to the type and level of their responsibilities; and
A7b) be able to provide evidence that they have complied with the requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) as published by the Institute from time to time.

Clause B7: Continuing Professional Development
Affiliates shall: 
B7a) keep themselves informed of current practices and developments appropriate to the type and level of their responsibilities; and
B7b) be able to provide evidence that they have complied with the requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) as published by the Institute from time to time.

How do I know what kind of CPD to undertake?

There are many ways of identifying your CPD needs.

Members and affiliates are advised to develop and prepare their own Personal Development Plan (PDP) at the beginning of each year (May) to identify CPD activities you wish to undertake in support of your aims.

Consider your career development or the transition to a new role and how you would develop corporate, personal, management and technical skills. Define your short, medium, and long term needs whilst considering how long it may take to fulfill them. It is also important to remember that CPD does not have to incur any expenditure on your part – these could be sourced by networking through CIAT and other professional meetings.

It is good practice to keep track of all CPD activities where professional development has been achieved, as you can show these to clients and employers. Your CPD can be logged in the My CIAT area under 'My CPD'.

What counts as CPD?

Lifelong learning takes shape in many different ways. Below are examples of what can count but is not exhaustive.

Examples of CPD activities:

  • Reading of books and periodicals;
  • Use of distance learning text, DVDs, or podcasts;
  • Reading and writing articles/technical papers;
  • Private study including systematic study of literature or even learning a relevant language;
  • Recording on-the-job or academic research;
  • Studies leading to a further qualification or academic award;
  • Delivering/presenting - for those in practice;
  • Practice - for those in teaching;
  • Examining or tutoring;
  • Webinars;
  • New and emerging technologies;
  • Undertaking certain activities on behalf of the Institute; or
  • Active committee/community/Institute work which extends peer group learning.

Examples of organised CPD include:

  • In-house seminars;
  • Joint programmes with other practices;
  • Local CPD events, arranged by CIAT/aspirATion Group or other organisations
  • Region/Centre or aspirATion Group (RCAGs) CPD events, courses and seminars; external conferences and courses (attendance or presenting at);
  • Structured trade presentations; or
  • Programmes organised by CPD consultants.

Have a look at CIAT's AT CPD Register where you can also find a range of content to support your learning that has been assessed. We also offer the CPD Catalogue which contains content and events arranged by CIAT's RCAGs and other like-minded organisations though these have not been assessed but may still be of interest and count towards an individual's CPD hours.

Logging my CPD hours

Your CPD hours and activities can be logged under My CPD within your My CIAT area of the website. Alternatively, you are welcome to use your preferred method or platform to record your hours to ensure that you are on track with meeting the minimum number of hours.

How is my CPD monitored?

CIAT monitors its CPD requirements with a random 5% survey of its members and affiliates (excluding students) on a yearly basis. If confirmation of CPD is not received following a request by the Institute, this could result in the member or affiliate being monitored for three years to ensure that they comply with the Institute's Code of Conduct.

Unless asked, you are not required to send your PDP or evidence of what CPD you have done to the Institute.