Continuing Education

What is AIA/CES?

It is a continuing education system developed by the AIA to emphasize and record participation in professional le arning activities. AIA/CES enables architects to keep current, master new knowledge and skills, plan for the future, and responsibly meet the role society entrusts to a professional. The program also allows members to fulfill a requirement for AIA membership and meet any state mandatory continuing education requirement. In this role, the program has the potential to be a primary force in the improvement and revitalization of our profession.


What is Mandatory Continuing Education?

Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) is education required by a state to retain licensure. Each state has the legal right to establish its own guidelines and requirements. However, most states’ requirements are similar, whether they require architects to meet them annually or biannually. If you, like the average AIA member, have four or more state licenses, you must meet the continuing education requirements for all the states in which you intend to practice.

Most states that require MCE will accept AIA/CES transcripts as documentation for completion of valid continuing education credit. For AIA members, this means that our single record-keeping system is the documentation needed for reporting your state MCE requirements when requested. We do, however, strongly suggest that you keep backup documentation of your activities as support, especially if the credit is self-reported activity as it may be requested.

California has instituted MCE in conjunction with the biannual license renewal cycle. Our state requires 5 hours of learning in disability access. Click here to read California’s complete MCE rules.


Ways to Obtain Continuing Education Credits

  1. Attend programs offered by a CES Registered Provider, such as AIA California Council or any of our 22 local AIA components in California and a growing list of companies, associations, community colleges and universities. Registered Providers automatically report your learning units to the AIA’s record-keeper.
  2. Visit aecKnowledge for more information on continuing education.
  3. TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE, SPONSORED BY THE AIACC.
  4. Take the AIA Trust Self-Assessment Tests.
  5. Study at your own convenience through NCARB’s Professional Development Program monographs and quizzes.
  6. Attend the AIACC’s Monterey Design Conference
  7. Read the CES-certified articles in Architectural Record. Take the corresponding question-and-answer quiz and complete the report form included in the magazine. Important note: only eight articles per year can count toward your annual requirement of 18 LU.