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Frequently Asked Questions on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirements

What is Continuing Professional Development?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is intended to maintain, enhance and broaden members’ relevant knowledge and skills, to enable them to carry out their professional duties and responsibilities competently, through the participation of relevant learning activities throughout their career.

Are all members of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA) required for mandatory CPD?

All Fellows, Members, Non-Resident Members, Affiliates and Graduate Members are required for mandatory CPD.
However mandatory CPD is not applicable to Honorary Fellows and Members, Associates, Student Members and Retired Members.

What is the minimum number of CPD hours do I need to fulfill each year?

For annual renewal of membership, all Fellows, Members, Non-Resident Members, Affiliates or Graduate Members are required to undertake a minimum of 25 credit hours of CPD activities in a calendar year (i.e. from 1 October to 30 September).

For reinstatement of membership, a minimum of 25 credit hours of CPD activities must be undertaken in the 12 months preceding application.

What CPD form should I submit when applying for renewal/reinstatement of membership to which mandatory CPD is applicable?

For renewal of membership, you should submit a CPD Declaration via Member Area to declare you have satisfied the CPD requirement. Even if you have not satisfied the CPD requirements, you are still required to submit the Form and declare you have not complied.

You may login to the CPD Records of Member Area using the username and password given to you when you were elected as a HKIA member.

For reinstatement of membership, both the relevant CPD Declaration Form and the CPD Record Form shall be submitted together with the reinstatement application.

The application form for reinstatement of membership and the relevant CPD Declaration Form and CPD Record Form can be downloaded via

When and how should I submit my CPD Declaration Form of the particular year?

The submission deadline of CPD Declaration Form is on 30th September of that particular year. You should submit to HKIA premises on or before this deadline.

You may also submit the CPD Declaration Form through the Member Area.

What is the consequence for not complying with the CPD requirement?

With the endorsement of the changes of Rule 22 and 23 at 3rd HKIA Quarterly General Meeting on 24 September 2009, compliance with CPD is one of the criteria for renewal and reinstatement of HKIA membership.

Any Fellow, Member, Non-Resident Member, Affiliate or Graduate member who fails to fulfill the requirements for CPD shall receive a reminder notice in the form of a letter sent to his/her address as last notified to the Registrar of HKIA.

Any Fellow, Member, Non-Resident Member, Affiliate or Graduate member who still fails to fulfill the requirements for CPD after the issue of the reminder notice, the Council may terminate his/her membership and may cause his/her name to be published in the Newsletter or a circular of HKIA.

I have not submitted my CPD Declaration to the HKIA by the specified deadline, will I be regarded as a case of non-compliance?

Each Fellow, Member, Non-Resident Member, Affiliate and Graduate Member is required to submit their CPD Declaration by 30th September of the year. If you do not submit your CPD Declaration to HKIA by this due date, you will be regarded as being not compliant with the CPD requirements. As a consequence, your application for renewal of HKIA membership may not be granted.

If I join the HKIA as a Fellow / Member / Non-Resident Member / Affiliate / Graduate Member in the middle of a year, do I still need to fulfill CPD requirement for the remaining time of that year?

Yes, newly elected Fellow, Member, Non-Resident Member, Affiliate and Graduate Member are also required to fulfill CPD requirement and submit the CPD Declaration Form by 30 September of that year.

The minimum CPD hours required since admission shall be proportionate to the period of membership up to 30th September of that year

For example,

Election date

CPD Counting Period

Minimum no. of CPD hours required for that year

October 2013

November 2013 - September 2014 (11 months)

22 hours

December 2013

January 2014 - September 2014 (9 months) 18 hours

February 2014

March 2014 - September 2014 (7 months) 14 hours

April 2014

May 2014 - September 2014 (5 months) 10 hours

June 2014

July 2014 - September 2014 (3 months) 6 hours


If my CPD pursuits exceed the annual minimum hours required, will the excess hours be carried to the following year?

Yes, a member whose CPD pursuits exceed the annual minimum hours required may carry a maximum of 10 excess hours to the following year. Credit hours to be carried to or made up in the following year shall be valid for 1 year only.

If I do not obtain the minimum of CPD hours in a particular year, what should I do?

A member who has yet to satisfy the annual minimum hours required has to make up the outstanding hours in the following year. If the member fails to do so, the Council may terminate his/her membership according to HKIA Rule 23B.

I know that an annual CPD Checking exercise is conducted after the annual CPD declaration. Who will be selected and how are they selected to undergo this checking exercise?

Every year a CPD Checking Panel will be appointed by the HKIA Board of Educational Affairs to conduct random check of members’ CPD Declaration Forms.

The Panel shall consist of a minimum of 3 HKIA members independent of the Continuing Professional Development Committee.

The CPD Checking Panel randomly selects a certain percentage of members’ CPD Declaration Forms received and may require them to substantiate their CPD undertakings by completing and returning the CPD Record Forms for further checking. The Panel may also make enquiries into members who have failed to comply with the CPD requirements and advise them of any deficiencies and remedial actions required. Any non-compliance of the CPD requirements identified will be reported to Council for action.

What are the criteria for CPD exemption?

Upon application to HKIA Board of Educational Affairs, exemption from certain CPD requirements may be granted to members, but only in special circumstances such as lengthy absence from the profession due to health reasons.

Exemptions from CPD compliance granted by other professional architectural institutes may not be recognized by the HKIA

If I am a member of other professional architectural institute and has satisfied its CPD requirement, can I get any CPD exemption from HKIA?

Members satisfying other architectural institute’s CPD system are still required to complete and submit the annual HKIA CPD Declaration Form. The CPD activities undertaken must be relevant under HKIA CPD system.

If you are subsequently selected for random checking, you will be asked to substantiate your CPD undertakings declared in the CPD Declaration Form by further submission of CPD Record Form.

What are the relevant CPD activities under HKIA CPD requirement?

The cardinal principle of considering what are relevant CPD activities is whether such activities are relevant to an individual’s work. These learning activities should enhance and broaden the relevant knowledge and skills to enable him/her to carry out his/her professional duties and responsibilities competently.

HKIA acknowledge that individual professional needs vary and the CPD system has been designed to reflect this by accepting a wide spectrum of learning activities which qualify for CPD hours. They include study tours, voluntary works for the community, official duties of HKIA and self-guided study, just to name a few. Please refer to the CPD Declaration for details on the CPD activities accepted,

CPD credit hours can be earned through participating in CPD activities organized by HKIA or other recognized parties which include, but not limited to, the various tertiary institutions, professional and allied institutions, government agencies and commercial course providers, or even members’ own CPD proposal.

HKIA allow members the freedom of choice to suit their own needs. However, active learning methods such as participating, presenting, contributing, writing and studying are encouraged over passive learning such as reading and listening.

I have attended a number of courses run by organizations other than HKIA. It is not mentioned that the courses are endorsed by HKIA as CPD activities. Can I still claim CPD hours for these courses?

There is no policy requiring outside course providers to obtain endorsement from the HKIA for CPD recognition. The lack of credit hours granted by HKIA does not preclude an activity to be declared by a member. However, HKIA shall have the authority to decide whether it qualifies as legitimate CPD pursuit.

You should exercise your own judgment whether such courses constitute continuing professional development. The main consideration is whether these courses contribute towards your professional development. In other words, they should be relevant to your immediate or long term needs as a member of HKIA. Members are reminded to keep a record of these activities.

I am currently working in overseas countries and will not be in Hong Kong for the next few years. As such I shall not be able to attend any CPD activities in Hong Kong. Can I get any exemption from CPD requirement?

Residing or working overseas does not qualify you for exemption from the CPD requirements. CPD activities are not restricted to location or classroom lecture-based method. Any suitable CPD activities taken outside Hong Kong are also recognized as constituting continuing professional development, provided that the knowledge and skills acquired through these activities are relevant to your professional development as a member of HKIA.

Who can receive a HKIA CPD certificate?

Members who have satisfactorily completed the CPD Programme in a particular year will receive a CPD Certificate for that year.


The above FAQs may be revised from time to time without prior notice.
For enquiries regarding CPD, please contact HKIA Secretariat at 3155 0426.