Architects every year have to attend learning units or sessions, conferences, or other events to continue their education, to uphold their professional license. architects in Michigan annually have to earn at least 12 hours of continuing education to maintain the status of their license. and this is a requirement of the state and if you are a member of the American Institute of architects than it is also a requirement of the AIA. however, at the AIA as a member, you are required to add an additional six units of continuing education for a total of 18 hours of learning annually, to maintain your membership and your license on top of that. And so of the 12 hours of continuing education that you have to attend to is specifically designated toward what is called the HSW credit, which is stands for health, safety and welfare. So specific topics of learning that are directly focused on, elements of the practice of architecture, to protect the health, safety and welfare of building occupants.
And that includes, the owners of the building, the users of the building, visitors and anyone that is going to occupy of habit or experience one of your completed projects. This primarily is in regards to making sure that the indoor air quality, the electrical system, the mechanical system, and definitely the structural system, the building are not designed poorly that would create a negative health impact to any of the building users. architects in Michigan have very specific requirements to understanding how a codes change annually and making sure that they are up to date on all new code requirements, which are all geared toward protecting the health, safety and welfare of, public users of buildings. And there are many ways to obtain continuing education hours annually. many of those are free. They can be obtained through our trade magazines and architecture for, there’s particular learning curriculum in magazines with quizzes that can be taken, on paper or online where architects in Michigan can provide their answers and score.
If the score is high enough, then they have earned that learning unit, which is typically clocked at our hourly increments. So one hour of reading and quiz taking is equivalent to one hour of continuing education. another big way to obtain your continuing education units are at by attending conferences, either in the state of Michigan or online or at a national architecture event where there are many providers that have certified continuing education classes for you to take and choose from. This creates a great diversity of subject matter and topics so that their content is fresh and relevant as well as geared toward your particular practice area. As an architect, if you’re a firm provides education projects, healthcare projects or you are a generalist architect, then you can take courses that are there to help you maintain and learn more about the legal and ethical protection of clients and building users.
Architects in Michigan also can obtain learning units, through a certain programs called lunch and learns where a new product vendor or an existing product that is being updated has specific educational requirements and provisions. And so that product vendors say a roofing product, can come in to your office or to your AIA chapter and present you a certified learning unit that is accredited through the American Institute of Architects. And this is kind of a fun way to collect your learning units because they typically are at no cost to you, but they are provided by a vendor at say lunchtime. And then you can get a free box lunch as well as learn about particular roofing or any other material, a product that that can be applied to your building knowledge and improve the, the, the building science of your project.
architects in Michigan have to then submit all of their learning units to the State of Michigan Licensing Review Board as well as AIA Michigan or AIA national, for certification and validation of, of the credits. And so if you are lacking, you’re 18 hours annually, you could be audited by AIA national and the state of Michigan. And therefore you would have to either pay a penalty or try and make up the missing units that you’ve taken. And that that is something you definitely don’t want to get, into the gray area with or on the bubble. And so one way to ensure that you are not audited is to just make sure that you’re on top of how many you learning units you’ve attended for that year and make sure that you are all square when you record them with AIA National and or your local state jurisdiction.
Sometimes a credit could be discarded by AIA or of the state. And so you want to make sure that you’re controlling your own destiny and making sure that continuing education credits are accurately validated. Architects in Michigan do this continuing education to make sure that we’re always improving how our buildings are made and how they can improve the quality of life for the building occupant and user for many generations, as long as the building is standing and long after the building is demolished as well. In terms of when the project is a demolished building, you don’t want that, waste or building products to go into a landfill or waste stream. And you also are learning how to, carefully salvage and deconstruct buildings as well.
The American Institute of Architects is the largest membership group for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and affiliate members and operates as a non-profit organization that provides hundreds of hours of continuing education for architects in Michigan on an annual basis. Each year architects attend a variety of events that provide opportunities to learn about critical new subjects that are making our profession faster, smarter, and more efficient. Whether you are small firm architect or one that works within a large corporate firm there is something for everyone.