National Mining Museum – Purcell

© Chris Humphreys

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Since June 2004 the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland revised their Statement of Professional Conduct into conformity with the Architects Registration Board.

The RIAS policy on continuing professional development consists of a requirement to carry out CPD to maintain, enhance or increase the knowledge and skills of the member, to the benefit of his or her capabilities as an architect, in accordance with the charter of the Incorporation and issued under the byelaws, and that a member should be demonstrably committed to a structured programme of continuing professional development.

Maintaining Competence

Reference should be made to The Architects Code: Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice 2017, in particular:

Standard 2.4

You are expected to keep your knowledge and skills relevant to your professional work up to date and be aware of the content of any guidelines issued by ARB from time to time.

Standard 6

You should carry out your professional work conscientiously and with due regard to relevant technical and professional standards.

The ARB also provides further information on maintaining competence.

Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements of members shall be 35 hours per annum with a recommendation that an additional 35 hours per annum is desirable.

Structuring Your CPD

For maximum benefit members are advised to structure their CPD.

  • Consider your cpd needs in terms of current work, personal objectives and career development;
  • Prioritise your needs and list realistic targets with appropriate timescales;
  • Assess available resources and opportunities, and the range of appropriate CPD activities that suit you, then allocate a target of hours week/per month.

The whole process should be kept simple and should be regularly reviewed.

Recording Your CPD

Members are required to record their CPD activities. This is demonstrable evidence of your commitment to maintain your professional competence.

Our recommended format for recording your CPD can be found below. There should be a brief description of the activity, its duration and a basic evaluation of the learning outcome, i.e.:

marginal value (mv):the activity may have been of interest but of little relevance to existing or aimed for professional skills.
maintenance (m):of existing areas of professional skills (keeping up to date)
enhancement (e):of these areas, broadening knowledge or skill bases and extending areas of expertise.
new directions (nd):in the development of new areas of knowledge or skill.

Sample Record Sheet

DateActivityTimeLearning OutcomeNotes
1 SeptReading journals45 minsx
4 SeptManufacturer's presentation – High performance insulation1 hr 15 minsxIn office
12 SeptConservation Committee1 hrxFollow-up reqd
22 SeptConference on OOA3 hrsx
Total6 hours

Range of CPD Activities

Do not be deterred by CPD, it does not have to be an onerous or expensive process. On-the-job learning is already part of your professional life as an architect. Searching out information from technical literature, reading the construction industry press, discussions with colleagues, attending conferences and courses, supporting the profession through committee or other work can all be CPD activities. It is the architect's responsibility to aim to undertake activities that impart quality information relevant to their CPD needs.

The following list contains examples of activities taken from members’ record sheets. This should not be considered a conclusive list.

Building sites/visits

  • Architectural tour of a city centre
  • Office site visit to a building of interest
  • Visit to a research centre


  • Local chapter CPD event
  • Legislation information event
  • Specialist presentation

Conference / course

  • RIAS convention
  • Relevant course
  • Masterclass

Preparing / giving presentation

  • Preparing papers
  • Preparing seminar
  • Delivering lectures

Committee meeting / work

  • RIAS council meeting
  • RIAS committee meeting
  • Preparing paper for committee


  • Webinar / e-learning
  • Slide show
  • Manufacturer's technical presentation

Meeting / discussion / debate

  • Meeting with accountant re current legislation
  • In-house debate on current issues
  • Discussion on company policy


  • Architectural and design magazines
  • RIAS Practice information notes
  • HSE publications


  • Revisions to technical standards
  • Grant procedures
  • Relevant site visit


  • Television programme on design
  • Exhibition
  • Teaching

Members should try to carry out a range of CPD activities within the limitations of the available resources.