AIA members and other architects licensed in states with mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements for license renewal are required to complete a minimum number of hours of Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW)-related training. AIA members are required to take 12 learning unit (LU) hours of continuing education per year in approved HSW topics. Because many architects are required to take HSW courses and these courses are in high demand by both AIA members and architects licensed in states with MCE requirements in HSW, providers are encouraged to offer HSW education. The following sections outline the three primary criteria that AIA/CES courses must meet to be approved for HSW LUs. All three criteria must be met for your course to qualify for HSW LUs.
Criterion # 1: Course content must directly support the HSW definition.
Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) in architecture is anything that relates to the structural integrity or soundness of a building or building site. Courses must intend to protect the general public.
Criterion #2: Course content must include one or more of the AIA/CES-acceptable HSW topics.
Technical and professional subjects, that the NCARB Board deems appropriate to safeguard the public and that are within the following enumerated areas necessary for the proper evaluation, design, construction, and utilization of buildings and the built environment.
Criterion #3: 75 percent of course content must be on HSW topics.
To qualify for HSW credit, 75 percent of a course’s content and instructional time must be on acceptable HSW topics, as outlined above. This means that if your course is 1 hour in length, at least 45 minutes (that is, 75 percent) must be spent discussing HSW topics. In addition, AIA/CES requires that each provider course provides a minimum of four learning objectives. For HSW course qualification, however, three of the four mandatory course learning objectives (that is, 75 percent) must address HSW topics. This is one way that AIA/CES verifies that 75 percent of a course is actually on HSW topics.
Learning Unit (LU) Guidelines:
All approved provider courses are eligible for general course LUs. General course LUs are reserved for courses on a wide range of topics, in which 75 percent of the course content is not related to HSW and/or SD course topics. The total number of course LUs in advertisements and on certificates of completion should be written as (# hours_ LU Hour). For example, if your course is one hour in length, it would be written as 1 LU Hour. The AIA/CES continuing education program is directed exclusively to architect, engineer, and construction industry (AEC) professionals and primarily serves AIA architect members. A course approved for the Learning Unit (LU) designation must be applicable to the architecture industry and benefit or enhance an architect’s practice. In addition, approved courses should help architects to, Acquire new knowledge or skills, Build upon or expand current knowledge or skills, Stay up to date on new developments in the field, Learn best practices, Advance their careers by teaching content that will lead to additional certifications or degrees, think creatively and develop new ideas. Furthermore, Learning Unit courses must be implemented and delivered with the intent to teach and must be strictly educational in nature. Therefore, product or services promotions are not permitted at any time during a course.