AIA Continuing Education



SMART|dynamics of masonry, with sponsor organization Masonry Institute of Michigan, is pleased to provide AIA HSW Continuing Education in each issue.

AIA Continuing Education

The AIA Continuing Education System (AIA CES) is the largest source of education specifically targeted to the design and building industry and was developed to help members meet state mandatory continuing education (MCE) requirements and fulfill AIA continuing education requirement for membership renewal. Most state licensing boards with MCE requirements recognize AIA CES as the primary source of continuing education for their licensed architects. In addition, AIA CES tracks continuing education courses taken by members and records them on their AIA transcripts as a service and as a benefit of AIA membership. 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 architect.

AIA architect members are required to complete 18 Learning Units (LU) hours of continuing education per year for membership renewal. Of those 18 LU hours, 12 hours must be on health, safety, and welfare (HSW) topics.

Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) is education required by a state to retain licensure. Over 45 jurisdictions have implemented a MCE license requirement, but these requirements vary from state to state, province to province. For a quick overview of individual state/province MCE requirements, please visit the MCE Map.

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. Architects with four or more state licenses must meet the continuing education requirements for all the states in which you intend to practice.

Most states that require MCE indicate they will accept AIA/CES transcripts as documentation for completion of valid continuing education credit.

Health Safety Welfare Credits

The AIA requires members to earn 12 of the basic LU hour requirements in the area of HSW. The percentage of HSW content in any HSW-related activity must be a minimum of 75% to qualify a course or educational event for HSW credit.

The following sections outline the three primary criteria that AIA/CES courses must meet to be approved 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.

Health: Aspects of architecture that have salutary effects among users of buildings or sites and address environmental concerns.

Safety: Aspects of architecture intended to limit or prevent accidental injury or death among users of the buildings or sites.

Welfare: Aspects of architecture that engender demonstrable positive emotional responses among, or enable equal access by, users of buildings or sites.

  • Criterion #2: Course content must include one or more of the AIA/CES-acceptable HSW topics.

Health, Safety, and Welfare 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.

BUILDING SYSTEMS: Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Communications, Security, Fire Protection

CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION: Contracts, Bidding, Contract Negotiations

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS: Drawings, Specifications, Delivery Methods

DESIGN: Urban Planning, Master Planning, Building Design, Site Design, Interiors, Safety and Security Measures

ENVIRONMENTAL: Energy Efficiency, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Natural Hazards, Hazardous Materials, Weatherproofing, Insulation

LEGAL: Laws, Codes, Zoning, Regulations, Standards, Life Safety, Accessibility, Ethics, Insurance to protect Owners and Public

MATERIALS and METHODS: Construction Systems, Products, Finishes, Furnishings, Equipment

PRE-DESIGN: Land Use Analysis, Programming, Site Selection, Site and Soils Analysis, Surveying

PRESERVATION: Historic, Reuse, Adaptation

  • Criterion #3: 75 percent of course content must be on HSW topics.


SMART|dynamics of masonry provides continuing education exams. Each exam is 10 questions in length and can be submitted online. A $10 fee is required to obtain credit.

Payment via Paypal is available after completion of the exam or HERE.

Please select the issue specific exam from the list below.