The AIBC Continuing Education System – What is it? And why it matters.
July 1, 2019 marked the official start of the one-year countdown until the June 30, 2020 Continuing Education System (CES) deadline. AIBC registered architects and architectural technologists must earn and report a total of 36 Learning Units (LUs) for the July 1, 2018–June 30, 2020 period.
A good place to kick off the 12-month countdown is to start at the beginning – this Regulatory Review will provide an overview of the history of the Continuing Education System program, including why it was introduced, its purpose, and resources for fulfilling the Leaning Unit requirements for the upcoming CES deadline.
History of the Continuing Education System Program
At the 2001 AIBC Annual Meeting, there was a member vote on AIBC Bylaw 30.2, which established the ongoing professional development of all CES Participants – architects and architectural technologists. It was met with overwhelming approval for the implementation of the system. For nearly two decades, the AIBC has had the CES program in place:
- Mandatory CES was introduced at the AIBC through member vote.
- The CES Rules were set and published in Council Rules 5: Continuing Education System.
- Bulletin 80: Mandatory Continuing Education System (CES) is created. The document expands on CES Rules and provides further clarity on the CES program.
- Bulletin 80: Mandatory Continuing Education System (CES) is revised to incorporate updated policies adopted by AIBC Council, and provide further guidance and clarity.
- The two-year reporting period is introduced to correspond with most provincial architectural regulators across the country.
- The AIBC introduced the Fall Professional Development Series to offer additional ways for CES Participants to satisfy CES requirements.
- CES Guidelines are published. The document acts as a supplementary resource and contains administrative and procedural information regarding the CES program.
- On March 12, AIBC Council approved revised Council Rules 5: Continuing Education System (CES) and revised Council Rules 6: Designation and Admission Qualifications for AIBC Associates, which included the addition of Intern Architects AIBC as participants of the existing Continuing Education System program as of July 1, 2020.
Why was CES Introduced?
The profession of architecture evolves at a fast pace because of its close relationship with technology, society and business. It is crucial that those with the exclusive rights to practice also continue to grow, adapt and progress with the world around them. Continuing education allows CES Participants to remain current in their profession, and thereby ensure the continued respect, confidence and trust of the general public. The AIBC’s Continuing Education System was developed in response to both the profession’s recognition of its own needs, and the public’s expectation that architectural professionals are up-to-date with contemporary technology, business practices, methods and materials.
In addition to this expectation, continuing education is also an obligation. The Architects Act provides those who are registered the privilege to practice architecture in British Columbia; this privilege is in exchange for the obligation to practice within professional standards, which include continuing education requirements. Each Architect AIBC subscribes to the Architect’s Declaration. It states “I also accept with obligation the need to further my education as an architect.” The commitment of continuous learning is an integral component of practicing architecture in B.C.
As with any obligation, there are consequences of failure to meet the CES requirements. Any CES Participant who has not completed the required LUs by the deadline is deemed non-compliant. Only medical and extenuating circumstances are considered for exceptions. After June 30, of even years, all non-compliant CES Participants receive a council-mandated fine and three-months to earn and report the deficit LUs. Beyond September 30, a complaint of unprofessional conduct is issued and an investigations file is opened for all those remaining non-compliant.
Preparing for the CES Deadline
The AIBC is committed to the success of CES Participants in completing their educational requirements through provision of regular offerings, which are posted on the AIBC website. This includes:
- AIBC Courses
- AIBC Conference/Confab
- Summer/Fall Professional Development Series
- Recognized Educational Provider (REP) program
The AIBC website also features an Events Calendar, which houses a variety of professional development opportunities, including both AIBC and external events. This is a helpful resource for finding professional development offerings.
While the AIBC delivers and recognizes many learning opportunities to fulfill CES obligations, it’s up to each CES Participant to determine the most fitting content that will complement their areas of specialization and general areas of interest.
- Bulletin 80: Mandatory Continuing Education System (CES)
- Bulletin 81: Mandatory Continuing Education System (CES) Canadian Reciprocity Option
- CES Guidelines
Issues of AIBC Regulatory Review will be published on a regular basis, announced via Connected and archived on the AIBC website.