Continuing Education

Introduction | General Information | Continuing Education Requirements | Amount of Continuing Education Required | Subjects and Providers of Continuing Education | Record Keeping and Reporting | Further Information

Introduction

Licensed architects work in a world of evolving technology, increased consumer expectations and other emerging issues. Practice in this changing environment requires ongoing development of knowledge and skills. It is critical that licensees remain current with changes and developments in the profession to render quality services and to ensure public protection. The Office of the Professions is committed to helping professionals stay up-to-date and informed throughout their professional lives.

To renew your registration as an architect, New York State Education Law requires you to complete 36 hours of continuing education (CE) in each three-year registration period. The information below is provided to respond to frequently asked questions about the continuing education requirements. It is not a substitute for reading the provisions of law, rule or regulation.

The statutes and regulations that apply to this requirement are available on this site. In addition you may request them by email at archbd@mail.nysed.gov, by phone 518-474-3817 ext. 110, fax 518-486-2981, or by writing to the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, State Board for Architecture, State Education Building - 2nd Floor, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, New York 12234.

Please note that important changes have been made to the mandatory continuing education requirements effective January 1, 2006, and this portion of the website has been updated to reflect those changes. Some of the highlights of these changes include:

  • Architects may now take up to 18 hours of educational activities (see question 13)
  • Educational tours may be approved for credit (see question 13)
  • The quantity of approved sponsors have increased (see question 15)
  • Acceptable subject areas for continuing education have been clarified (see question 16)

General Information

  1. Is there a difference between "licensure" and "registration"?

    Yes. In New York State, upon satisfaction of the eligibility requirements, a "license" is awarded. Licensure is for life unless suspended, revoked or annulled for reasons of misconduct.

    To practice the profession of architecture in New York, a licensee must be currently "registered". Registration is for a 3-year period.


Continuing Education Requirements

  1. Am I required to take continuing education?

    Yes. Every New York State licensed and registered architect must take continuing education in appropriate subject areas offered by approved sponsors. No one is exempt. You are required to complete 36 hours of continuing education during each three-year registration period.

    Beginning on January 1, 2006, a maximum of 18 of the 36 hours of continuing education may be in educational activities for architects. A minimum of 18 of the 36 hours must still be completed through courses of learning.

  2. What if there are circumstances that make it impossible for me to comply?

    The New York State Education Department (the Department) cannot grant an exemption to the continuing education requirement. However, the Department may grant an adjustment to the requirement for reasons, which in the Department's judgment make it impossible for a licensee to comply. An adjustment may be granted for reasons of health certified by an appropriate health care professional, for extended active duty with the armed forces of the United States, or for other good cause acceptable to the Department that may prevent compliance. You may complete and submit the Registration Remittance Addendum ( PDF 21 KB). For more information regarding an adjustment to this requirement, contact the Office of the State Board for Architecture.

  3. I just passed all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and received my license. Since I am in my first registration period, do I need to begin completing continuing education immediately?

    No. Licensees are not required to take continuing education during their first three-year registration period of initial licensure. After that, architects must take 36 hours of continuing education in each subsequent registration period.

  4. I am currently practicing in another state and just received my first New York State license and registration. Do I need to begin completing continuing education immediately?

    No, you are exempt from taking continuing education during the first three years following your initial licensure in New York State. After that, you must take 36 hours of continuing education in each subsequent registration period.


Amount of Continuing Education Required

  1. How many continuing education credits must I take?

    Architects need to complete 36 contact hours of continuing education in appropriate subject areas offered by an approved sponsor in each three-year registration period.

  2. I just received my registration certificate and notice that the registration period is less than three years. Am I required to complete a total of 36 contact hours of continuing education for this period?

    No, registration periods are adjusted so that renewals occur during the licensee's month of birth. If your registration period is less than three years, to determine the number of contact hours required, count the number of months of the registration period. You must complete one hour of continuing education for each month. For example, suppose your registration period is from 01/01/06 to 06/30/08. This registration period is a 30-month period, therefore, you are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education.

  3. If I complete more than the 36 hours required for my current registration period can I "carryover" the excess continuing education hours to my next registration period?

    No, continuing education hours cannot be carried over to subsequent registration periods.

  4. What is an hour of continuing education?

    An hour is one contact hour of at least 50 minutes duration. Most continuing education providers give credit in hours (e.g. One AIA Learning Unit (LU) is equivalent to one hour of continuing education), however, some courses may be given in continuing education units. One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours. Therefore, .1 CEU equals one contact hour, .2 CEUs equals two contact hours, and so on.

    Please note that if courses are longer than one hour in duration, then time spent on breaks and while eating meals will not count towards the amount of hours. For example, a course takes place from 9am - 5pm, inclusive of one hour for lunch and two 15-minute breaks; one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Credit for this course would break down as follows:

    Hours Counted Hours Deducted
    9am - 5pm 8 hours
    Lunch - 1 hour
    Two breaks - .5 hour
    CE credit hours 6.5 hours

    Individuals completing one semester hour of college-level course work taken over the course of a college semester equals 15 hours. One-quarter hour of college-level course work taken over the course of a college semester equals 10 hours.

  5. I am licensed in New York State but am not registered (my registration is inactive) and I am practicing my profession in another jurisdiction. Do I need to complete continuing education before I can reactivate my New York State registration?

    Yes. To reactivate your New York State registration, you are required to have completed the number of hours applicable to the period of time of your last registration period and to take 1 hour of continuing education for each month your registration is inactive, up to a maximum of 36 hours. Since you are actively practicing your profession, you will be able to count continuing education credits earned up to 36 months prior to the month in which you reactivate your registration.

  6. I am licensed in New York State but am not registered (my registration is inactive) because I have not been practicing my profession in any jurisdiction. Do I need to complete continuing education before I can reactivate my registration?

    Yes. To reactivate your New York State registration, you are required to have completed the number of hours applicable to the period of time of your last registration period and to take 1 hour of continuing education for each month your registration is inactive, up to a maximum of 36 hours. Since you are not actively practicing your profession, you will only be able to count continuing education credits earned up to 12 months prior to the month in which you reactivate your registration. In addition, you must complete the regular continuing education requirements for the new registration period at a rate of 1 hour per month until your next registration period.

  7. Must I take a specific number of continuing education courses each year during my registration period?

    No. You can complete the hours any time during the three-year registration period as long as you have completed the required hours prior to the expiration date of your registration, unless your registration has been inactive. If this is the case, the requirements outlined in questions 10 and 11 would apply. However, we suggest that you complete courses each year so you are sure to have them completed before it is time to reregister.


Subjects and Providers of Continuing Education

  1. What is acceptable continuing education?

    Acceptable continuing education includes courses of learning and educational activities. Please note that a course in which a sponsor requires the use of a self-reporting form will not be accepted for New York State continuing education credit.

    • Courses of learning: Courses of learning must be offered by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and in an acceptable subject area. These courses must allow students the opportunity for immediate interaction with an instructor, (e.g. a seminar, workshop, lecture, etc.).
      Beginning on January 1, 2006, a minimum of 18 of the 36 hours of continuing education must be completed in courses of learning for architects.
    • Educational Activities: Educational activities must be offered by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and in an acceptable subject area. Acceptable educational activities include:
      1. Preparing and teaching a course offered by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and in an acceptable subject area. Continuing education hours credited for this activity can include actual instructional time plus preparation time, which may be up to two additional hours for each hour taught. Teaching experience will not be accepted if you have taught the course on more than one occasion without presenting substantially new or revised material.
      2. Authoring an article in an approved subject area published in a peer reviewed journal or a published book. You will receive nine continuing education hours for each work published during the registration period.
      3. Making a technical presentation in an approved subject area at a professional conference or meeting sponsored by an organization that is an approved sponsor (provider). Continuing education hours credited for this activity can include actual instructional time plus preparation time, which may be up to two additional hours for each hour taught. A specific presentation may only be counted once during any given registration period.
      4. Obtaining a patent related to the practice of architecture. You will receive nine continuing education hours for each patent granted on an invention during the registration period.
      5. Completing self-study program. The self-study must be taken from an approved provider and in an acceptable subject area and be structured study that is based on audio, audio-visual, written, online, or other media, and does not meet the criteria established for live instruction described in question 14. In addition, a self-study program must have a testing instrument, which is completed by the licensee and returned to the sponsor for scoring. A passing grade is required before a sponsor may award continuing education credit.
      6. Completing an educational tour in an approved subject area, meaning a structured tour of an instructional nature, provided by an approved sponsor (provider). The tour may not be promotional in nature.
        Beginning on January 1, 2006, a maximum of 18 of the 36 hours may be in educational activities for architects.

    See questions 22 and 25 regarding documentation requirements for teaching a course or making a technical presentation.

  2. What courses of learning are acceptable for continuing education?

    To be acceptable, courses of learning must be administered:

    1. by an approved New York State sponsor (provider) and
    2. in an approved subject area and
    3. in an approved format.

    In addition to the requirements above, for a course to be considered acceptable, a student must have the opportunity for immediate interaction with an instructor/presenter, (e.g. a seminar, workshop, lecture, technical presentation, etc.) See question 15 for a listing of approved sponsors and question 16 for a listing of acceptable subject areas.

    Please note that a course in which a sponsor requires the use of a self-reporting form will not be accepted for New York State continuing education credit.

  3. Who are approved sponsors (providers)?

    The entities below are authorized to approve sponsors of continuing education for New York State architects. If the courses and educational activities are offered by sponsors approved by one of these entities and the subject area of the courses and educational activities meet the requirements in question 16, then the courses or educational activities would be considered approved New York State mandatory continuing education.

    Please note: Not all courses and educational activities offered by an approved sponsor are acceptable for continuing education credit in New York State. If you have questions about whether or not a course is acceptable, please contact the State Board for Architecture before enrolling in the course or educational activity.

    1. Sponsors recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Continuing Education Program or by an organization determined by the State Board for Architecture to have equivalent standards.
      • The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System list of recognized sponsors is available from the Continuing Education Program, 1735 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006-5292 or at the AIA's Web site at www.aia.org External Link Icon. New York State continuing education credit for educational activities may be earned via the articles designated for CE credit published in Architectural Record on or after the November 2001 issue and for which a Certificate of Completion has been received.

      Please note that a course in which a sponsor requires the use of a self-reporting form will not be accepted for New York State continuing education credit.

    2. International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). IACET's list of recognized sponsors is available from IACET, 1620 I St. NW Suite 615, Washington, DC 20006, Phone: (202) 463-2905, Fax: (202) 463-8497 or www.iacet.org External Link Icon
    3. The Practicing Institute of Engineering (P.I.E). P.I.E's list of recognized sponsors is available from P.I.E. Individual seminars can also be approved with P.I.E. Website: www.practicinginstitute.org, Address: P.I.E., 6 Airline Drive, Suite 114, Albany, NY 12205, Phone: (518) 283-7493, Fax: (518) 283-7495.
    4. Colleges, universities and other degree granting institutions offering degree (e.g. AAS, BS, MS), certificate or diploma programs carrying degree credit that are registered by the State Education Department or have authority to offer equivalent programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency (e.g., NAAB or ABET). The State Education Department's "Inventory of Registered Programs" includes all degree granting institutions in the State and can be found on SED's site at www.highered.nysed.gov/ocue.
    5. Society of American Registered Architects (SARA); c/o Pierre E. Guariglia, ARA; 13 Birch Court; Ossining, NY 10562; tel: 914.357.0757; fax: 914.941.1093; e-mail: info@sarany.org website: www.sarany.org External Link Icon
    6. American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York); ACECNY's list of recognized sponsors is available from ACECNY, 6 Airline Dr., Albany, NY 12205, Phone (518) 452-8611, Fax: (518) 452-1710 or www.acecny.org/conedu.html External Link Icon
    7. Sponsors (providers) approved directly by the Education Department.
      • Historic Districts Council, Inc., 232 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003, (212) 614-9187 phone, (212) 614-9127 fax, hdc@hdc.org email, http://hdc.org/ website
        Approval period: October 1, 2011 - November 30, 2014
      • LiRo Engineers, Inc., 3 Aerial Way, Syosset, NY 11791-5501, (516) 938-5476 phone, (516) 937-5421 fax, hallj@liro.com email, www.liro.com website
        Approval period: May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
      • Preservation League of New York State, 44 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, (518) 462-5658 phone, (518) 462-5684 fax, info@preservenys.org email, www.preservenys.org website
        Approval period: May 1, 2012 - April 30, 2015
      • Raman & Borick Technical Services, Inc., 6100 Fairway Drive, PO Box 10, Syracuse, NY 13211-0010, (315) 463-7716 phone, (315) 463-7758 fax, www.rabtsi.com website
        Approval period: December 1, 2012 - November 30, 2015
      • NYS Department of State, Division of Code Enforcement and Administration, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, 11th Floor, Albany, NY 12231, (518) 474-4073 phone, www.dos.ny.gov/ website
        Approval period: December 6, 2011 – December 5, 2014
      • Fair Housing Justice Center, 5 Hanover Square, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10004, (212) 400-8207 phone, (212) 400-8203 fax, www.fairhousingjustice.org website
        Approval period: July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2016
      • Delaney CMS, LLC, 1385 Great Gully Road, Union Springs, NY 13160, (315) 567-6732 phone, (315) 889-5207 fax, delaneycms@gmail.com email, www.delaneycms.com website
        Approval period: July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2016
      • Marzzo Engineering, PLLC, 120 Saxon Drive, Mamaroneck, NY 10543, (888) 641-7424 phone, (914) 698-7843 fax, cpizzo@marzzoengineering.com email, www.marzzoengineering.com website
        Approval period: June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2017

  4. Is there any limitation on the subject matter of the courses of learning and/or educational activities?

    Yes. Not all courses and educational activities offered by an approved sponsor are acceptable for continuing education credit in New York State. The subject area must contribute to the professional practice of architecture. Of the 36 hours required, at least two-thirds (24 hours) must be in the areas of health, safety and welfare (HSW). However, no more than one-third (12 hours) will be accepted in other topics, which contribute to the professional practice of architecture as such practice is defined in section 7301 of the Education Law. The key is the subject matter's relationship to professional practice. You must also make sure that a minimum of 18 hours are in courses of learning, and no more than 18 hours consist of educational activities.

    Acceptable Subjects may include:

    • Health, Safety and Welfare Areas:
      • accessibility
      • acoustics
      • building design
      • code of ethics
      • codes, acts, laws, and regulations governing the practice of architecture
      • construction administration, including the administration of construction contracts
      • construction documents
      • construction functions of materials, methods, and systems
      • energy efficiency
      • environmental issues - including asbestos, lead based paint, toxic emissions
      • environmental analysis and issues of building materials and systems
      • building fire loads - flame spread, smoke contribution, explosives
      • fire safety systems - detection and alarm standards
      • life safety codes
      • materials and systems - roofing/waterproofing, wall systems, and other systems
      • materials and methods, use and function
      • mechanical, plumbing, and electrical - system concepts, materials and methods
      • natural hazards - impact of earthquake, hurricane, or flood related to building design
      • building preservation, renovation, restoration, and adaptive re-use
      • design of security of buildings
      • site and soils analysis
      • site design
      • specification writing
      • structural issues
      • surveying methods and techniques
      • sustainable design
      • zoning as it relates to the improvement and/or protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public
      • other matters of law and ethics which contribute to the health, safety and welfare of the public
    • Other Topics:
      • Other topics, which contribute to the professional practice of architecture as such practice is defined in section 7301 of the Education Law, except for non-acceptable subjects listed below.

    Non-acceptable subjects:

    Subject areas that do not contribute to the professional practice of architecture as defined in section 7301 of the Education Law, such as, risk management, limiting the design professional's liability, project management related to profitability and maximizing fees, marketing and public relations, insurance, laws related to arbitration, mediation, liens (unless they relate to safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public), real estate, real estate development, expanding a design professional's business, basic AutoCAD, personal development, general office management, accounting/financial planning, succession planning, zoning as it relates to increasing a developer or architect's profitability, design build (unless 75% of the course content relates to the laws related to design build in New York State) are not acceptable subjects.

    Service on Boards and/or professional committees, and active participation in technical and/or professional organizations are not eligible for continuing education credit.

  5. Can I study on my own rather than take a course or educational activity?

    No. Independent study or informal group "study clubs" and/or book clubs of architects that are not approved sponsors cannot be accepted. Only courses of learning or educational activities offered by approved sponsors in an acceptable subject area may be counted toward the continuing education requirement. Continuing education offered by approved sponsors ensures appropriate course content, effective evaluation, and record keeping by the provider.

  6. Am I required to take educational activities?

    No. If you wish, all the courses may be courses of learning in which you interact with an instructor. Beginning on January 1, 2006, of the total number of CE hours required, a maximum of 18 of the 36 hours of continuing education, however, may be in educational activities for architects.

  7. Are courses limited to a traditional "classroom setting" in which I am in the same room with the instructor?

    No, however you must be able to interact with the instructor. Examples of acceptable modes of delivery include: a live lecture, a telecourse or teleconference in which you and the instructor can speak directly with each other; a course in which you and the other practitioners discuss a taped presentation with a facilitator's assistance; a computerized course in which you are able to interact directly with the instructor. On the other hand, a televised lecture with no means of direct interaction would not be acceptable as a live course even if it were a live telecast.

  8. May I count toward my requirement a continuing education course taught or technical presentation given through an approved sponsor?

    Yes. For a continuing education course taught, or technical presentation you give, through an approved sponsor and in an acceptable subject area, you may count towards satisfying your CE requirement the same number of hours that would be earned by a person who attended the course. Continuing education hours credited for this activity can include actual instructional time plus preparation time, which may be up to two additional hours for each hour taught. A specific presentation may only be counted once during any given registration period.

  9. May I count toward my requirement a college level course that I teach?

    Yes. Individuals teaching a college-level course; at a College, university or other degree granting institutions offering degree (e.g. AAS, BS, MS), certificate or diploma programs carrying degree credit that are registered by the State Education Department or have authority to offer equivalent programs accredited by an acceptable accrediting agency (e.g. NAAB) which is taught over the course of a college semester; and is in an approved subject area may receive New York State continuing education credit which may be counted once during any given registration period.

    The number of contact hours accepted for teaching a college course is as follows: one semester hour equals 15 contact hours; one quarter hour 10 contact hours. During a registrant's three-year registration period, a maximum of 18 hours may be accepted as educational activities for continuing education credit. Any hours exceeding the 18-hour requirement may not be carried over to subsequent registration periods.

    NOTE: Any college level courses in acceptable "other topics" subject areas will be awarded no more than 12 hours of continuing education.

    Documentation should be obtained from the college or university's department chair or registrar's office, certifying that you taught the course which should include; the title of the course and any identification number assigned; number of semester hours completed; name of the college; verification by the sponsor or department chair (registrar) that you taught the course; date and location of the course.


Record Keeping and Reporting

  1. What records should I expect to receive from the continuing education provider and how long am I required to keep them?

    Sponsors must provide a Certificate of Completion to licensees who complete courses for CE credit. For AIA members, in lieu of the certificate, the sponsor may report the completion of the course or educational activity directly to AIA/CES Records at the University of Oklahoma, for inclusion on an AIA transcript. In no cases will self-reporting forms be acceptable for New York State credit.

    A Certificate of Completion should contain the following information:

    1. title of the course or educational activity, the specific acceptable subject area, and any identification number assigned to it by the sponsor
    2. number of hours completed
    3. the sponsor's name and any identifying number
    4. verification by the sponsor of your attendance
    5. the date and location of the course or educational activity
    6. you taught the course or made the presentation, if this is the case. Alternatively, a letter from the sponsor indicating you taught the course or made the presentation may be accepted in addition to a certificate of completion.

    The information on each course should be retained in your records for six years from the date of completion.

  2. What information must I provide the Education Department when I renew my registration?

    Send your completed registration form, on which you will be required to attest that you completed the required continuing education hours, together with the registration fee, which is currently $242, and the continuing education fee, which is currently $45, for a total of $287.

  3. Do I have to send my continuing education records to the Department when I reregister?

    No. On the registration renewal form you will be required to certify that you have completed the required continuing education. You should retain your CE records in your files for a period of six years. However, you are required to make your continuing education records available for inspection by the Education Department upon our request. We audit random samples of mandatory continuing education records to assure compliance with the continuing education requirement.

  4. What documentation must I provide if my continuing education records are audited?

    Upon request, you must provide the Department with your records of completion for each continuing education course or educational activity. If you are an AIA member, your AIA transcript is acceptable documentation. If you are not an AIA member, you will need to provide the Department with acceptable certificates of completion for each course or educational activity. If you taught a course or made a technical presentation, you will be required to provide either proof on your AIA transcript or Certificate of Completion, or a letter from the sponsor indicating you taught the course or made the presentation. In no case will the Department accept self-reporting forms.

  5. What if the audit reveals discrepancies?

    You may be subject to charges of professional misconduct. Willfully making or filing a false report is unprofessional conduct, according to Section 29.1 of the Rules of the Board of Regents. Penalties may include censure and reprimand, fine, and/or suspension or revocation of your license.

  6. What if I fail to complete the required number of hours?

    If you request, the Department, at its discretion, may issue you a conditional registration. The conditional registration is valid for one year only and is not renewable. To be granted a conditional registration you would have to:

    1. agree to complete the required hours of continuing education from the previous registration period during the period of conditional registration,
    2. complete the regular continuing education requirement at a rate of one hour per month,
    3. pay the fee for the conditional registration, which is currently $287, and
    4. complete and submit the Registration Remittance Addendum (PDF)

    At the end of the conditional registration period, you must submit to the Department your continuing education records certifying that you have completed the required continuing education and pay the regular registration and continuing education fee, which is currently $287, for the remaining two years of the registration period.

  7. What if I do not meet the continuing education requirement and simply do not renew my registration?

    This is permitted, as long as you are not practicing your profession in New York State. Your status will remain "not registered" until you meet the continuing education requirement and submit a registration renewal application with the appropriate fee. If you practice your profession while unregistered or after the Department has denied renewal of your registration for failure to report completion of the required hours of continuing education, you are subject to charges of professional misconduct.


Further Information

  1. How can I obtain more information?

    You should contact the Office of the State Board for Architecture, New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, State Education Building - 2nd Floor, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, New York, 12234, phone 518-474-3817 ext. 110, fax 518-486-2981, e-mail archbd@mail.nysed.gov.

Last Updated: June 11, 2014