Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on a links below for a list of frequently asked questions.

  1. For Current Members
  2. For Future Members
  3. For Allied Professionals
  4. For the Public
  5. For the Press

FAQ FOR CURRENT MEMBERS

Continuing Education

Q: What is my annual AIA/CES requirement?
A: All licensed-architect AIA members are required to earn 18.0 learning units per year. Eight of the 18.0 credits must qualify for health, safety and welfare (HSW). Four of the 8.0 HSW credits must qualify for sustainable design credit.

Q: What are the new 2012 guidelines for self-reporting and how do they differ from previous guidelines?
A: In calendar year 2012, aligning closer with state licensing boards’ practice, AIA Members will no longer be able to self-report HSW courses for credit. Members will need to complete HSW credits by taking qualifying courses from registered AIA CES Providers and Providers will need to report HSW courses for members to receive HSW credits. Members can continue to self-report learning unit (LU) credit hours. Through January 31, 2012, AIA members will be given a grace period to self-report any remaining HSW or HSW/SD credits from 2011. For more information click here

Q: How can I check my CES transcript?
A: For information on how to check your CES transcript click here

Q: I’ve received notification that I’m under CES Audit. What should I do?
A: First, double check your transcript to ensure that all of your CES credits from last year have posted. Resubmit any missing credits, including self-report credits. If you still have not met your annual CES requirement, contact AIACC Continuing Education Coordinator Marian Clark at (916) 642-1719 or for assistance.

Q: Where can I learn more about AIA/CES?
A: Visit the AIA national CES FAQ website to learn more.

Q: What about the State of California’s new mandatory continuing education (MCE) for architects?
A: For more information about State MCE, view our continuing education page .

Contract Documents

Q: Where can I find AIA contract documents?
A: You can order AIA documents online.

Q: Do you sell electronic document software?
A: Only AIA National sells electronic document software. More information can be found on their Contract Documents page.

Q: I need technical support for my electronic document software. Can you help?
A: We wish we could, but it’s best if we direct you to the experts. Contact software documents technical support at 800.942.7732, or visit the AIA national techinical support site.

Membership

Q: When do I need to renew my membership?
A: AIA memberships run on a calendar year. AIA national sends renewal notices each year in October. Payment is due by the end of January.

Q: Can my company become a member?
A: Only individuals may become members of the AIA California Council.  However, companies are welcome to pay for the individual memberships of their employees.

Q: I’m trying to access the member section of the AIA National Web site, but I don’t remember my password.
A: Username: Member number / Password: Last name in lower case letters. If you still are unable gain access, contact AIA National at (202) 626-7300.

Q: I’ve moved or changed firms. How can I update my profile?
A: Contact the AIA California office at (916) 448-9082, or log on to the AIA National Website.

Privacy Policy

Q: Do you sell or trade my phone, fax or e-mail address?
A:  The AIA California Council does not trade or sell that information.

Still have questions? Contact the AIA California Council office at (916) 448-9082 or info@aiacc.org. We’re here to help!

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FAQ FOR FUTURE MEMBERS

Q: What is the AIA?
A: AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society.  Since 1857, AIA has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. As AIA members, more than 80,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation’s buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information, visit AIA National’s Website.

Q: Where can I find AIA documents?
A: You can order AIA documents online, in our office or by fax.

Q: Do you sell electronic document software?
A: Only AIA National sells electronic document software. More information can be found on their purchasing site.

Q: I need technical support for my electronic document software. Can you help?
A: We wish we could, it’s best if we direct you to the experts. Contact software documents technical support at 800.942.7732, or visit the AIA national techinical support site.

Q: Who can join AIA?
A: Anyone who works within the architecture community can join AIA in some capacity.

Q: How long does membership last?
A: AIA memberships run on a calendar year. The cost of membership is prorated periodically throughout the year in each membership category.

Q: Do you sell or trade members’ phone numbers, fax numbers or e-mail addresses?
A: The AIA California Council does not trade or sell that information.

Q: Can my company become a member?
A: Only individuals may become members of the AIA California Council. However, companies are welcome to pay for the individual memberships of their employees.

Q: How can my company get more involved with AIA?
A: Companies can become sponsors of AIA as corporate sponsors, local sponsors or event sponsors. Companies can also exhibit at the Montery Design Conference. Contact Nicki Dennis Stephens for more information on sponsorship.

Still have questions? Contact the AIA California Council at (916) 448-9082 or info@aiacc.org. We’re here to help!

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FAQ FOR ALLIED PROFESSIONALS

Q: What is AIA?
A: AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. Since 1857, AIA has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. As AIA members, more than 80,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation’s buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information, visit AIA National’s Website.

Q: Do you sell electronic document software?
A: Only AIA National sells electronic document software. More information can be found on their purchasing site.

Q: I need technical support for my electronic document software. Can you help?
A: We wish we could, but it’s best if we direct you to the experts. Contact electronic document technical support at 800.942.7732, or visit the AIA national technical support site.

Q: I am trying to find an architect for a project. Can you recommend someone?
A: AIA is not able to make recommendations. However,  you can visit the AIA National’s Website in order to locate architects with a certain specialty or within a certain region.

Q: Can my company become a member?
A: Only individuals may become members of AIA California Council. However, companies are welcome to pay for the individual memberships of their employees.

Q: How can my company get more involved with AIA?
A: Companies can become sponsors of AIA as corporate sponsors, local sponsors or event sponsors. Click here for more information on sponsorship.

Q: How can my company sponsor something through the AIA California Council?
A: There are several different levels of sponsorship available, from corporate sponsorship to event sponsorship.  Contact Nicki Dennis Stephens, Hon. AIACC, for more information.

Still have questions? Contact the AIA California Council at (916) 448-9082 or info@aiacc.org. We’re here to help!

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FAQ FOR THE PUBLIC

Q: What is AIA?
A: AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society. Since 1857, AIA has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. As AIA members, more than 80,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation’s buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information, visit AIA National’s Website.

Q: I am trying to find an architect for a project. Can you recommend someone?
A: AIA is not able to make recommendations. However, you can visit the AIA National’s Website in order to locate architects with a certain specialty or within a certain region.

Q: Who can call themselves an architect?
A: Only those licensed by the California Architects Board legally may use the term “architect.”

Q: Why should I hire an AIA architect?
A: AIA members adhere to the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, assuring you of their dedication to the highest standards of professional practice. Furthermore, the AIA California Council members fulfill over twice the amount of State of California required continuing education units each year.

Q: Why else should I hire an AIA architect?
A: Here are the top five reasons to choose an AIA Architect for your next design project:

  • AIA architects are dedicated to the highest standards of professional practice.
  • Continuing education requirements provide AIA architects with the most current knowledge.
  • AIA architects make sure that your project is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • AIA architects create design and style suited to your taste.
  • There is security that your AIA architect knows your project better than anyone else.

Q: Do you have any tips for hiring an architect?
A:
AIA National has a number of resources for clients, including an excellent, in-depth list of Frequently Asked Questions. A concise list of tips is below.

  • Bring an architect into the picture as early on in the project as possible.
  • Interview between three and five firms for your project, utilizing a formal interview process. This will allow you to see the range of possibilities without making the decision too complicated.
  • Ask potential architects to see projects that they’ve designed that are similar in type and size to yours, or that address similar issues.
  • Be honest and upfront about your expectations, needs and desires.
  • Find out who in the firm will be working on your project.
  • Ask for references.
  • Ask for an explanation of anything that you don’t understand.
  • Evaluate the firm’s style, personality, priorities, and approach: are they compatible with yours?
  • Seek also an appropriate balance among design ability, technical competence, professional service, and cost.
  • Remember that selection is a mutual process. The most thoughtful architects are as careful in selecting their clients as owners are in selecting architects. They are as interested in a successful project as you are, and they know that good architecture results from fruitful collaboration between architects and clients.

Q: Where can I find out more information about working with an architect?
A: Click here for more information about selecting and working with an architect. Or, contact the AIA California Council at (916) 448-9082 or info@aiacc.org for a free copy of You and Your Architect: A Guide for a Successful Partnership.

Still have questions? Contact the AIACC at (916) 448-9082 or info@aiacc.org. We’re here to help!

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FAQ FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

Q: What is AIA?
A: Since 1857, the AIA has represented the professional interests of America’s architects. As AIA members, over 80,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners express their commitment to excellence in design and livability in our nation’s buildings and communities. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice. For more information, visit AIA National’s Website.

Q: What is the mission of AIA?
A: AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and the resource for its members in service to society.

Q: Who can call themselves an architect?
A: Only those licensed by the California Architects Board legally may use the term “architect.”

Q: Why should someone hire an AIA architect?
A: AIA members adhere to the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, assuring you of their dedication to the highest standards of professional practice. Furthermore, AIACC members fulfill over twice the amount of State of California required continuing education units each year.

Q: Why else should someone hire an AIA architect?
A: Here are the top five reasons to choose an AIA Architect for your next design project:

  • AIA architects are dedicated to the highest standards of professional practice.
  • Continuing education requirements provide AIA architects with the most current knowledge.
  • AIA architects make sure that your project is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • AIA architects create design and style suited to your taste.
  • There is security that your AIA architect knows your project better than anyone else.

Q: Do you have any tips for someone planning to hire an architect?
A: AIA National has a number of resources for clients, including an excellent, in-depth list of Frequently Asked Questions. A concise list of tips is below.

  • Bring an architect into the picture as early on in the project as possible.
  • Interview between three and five firms for your project, utilizing a formal interview process. This will allow you to see the range of possibilities without making the decision too complicated.
  • Ask potential architects to see projects that they’ve designed that are similar in type and size to yours, or that address similar issues.
  • Be honest and upfront about your expectations, needs and desires.
  • Find out who in the firm will be working on your project.
  • Ask for references.
  • Ask for an explanation of anything that you don’t understand.
  • Evaluate the firm’s style, personality, priorities, and approach: are they compatible with yours?
  • Seek also an appropriate balance among design ability, technical competence, professional service, and cost.
  • Remember that selection is a mutual process. The most thoughtful architects are as careful in selecting their clients as owners are in selecting architects. They are as interested in a successful project as you are, and they know that good architecture results from fruitful collaboration between architects and clients.

Q: Where can I find out more information about working with an architect?
A: Visit aia.org for more information about selecting and working with an architect.