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Continuing Education Requirements and Resources

Continuing Education Requirements

Architects are required to earn 12 structured HSW Continuing Education hours per calendar year in order to renew their license.  All of the hours must be in the areas of health, safety, and welfare (HSW).

In order to be accepted by the Board, the hours must have received approval from the following qualified organizations:

  • The American Institute of Architects
  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards
  • Colleges and universities/other educational institutions
  • Other technical/professional societies, state agencies or organizations
  • The Association of Licensed Architects

Structured hours are defined as educational activities in which at least 75% of the content and instructional time is devoted to HSW subjects related to the practice of architecture and provided by qualified individuals or organizations, whether delivered by direct content or distance learning methods (e.g., online courses.) Architectural Record articles are accepted, as are other online courses with AIA HSW credit. The Board accepts AIA credit for Landscape Architects as well.

It is the licensee's responsibility to track your continuing education activities. Records are not sent to the Board by the AIA, ASLA, or any other organization. See "Acceptable Proof of Completion" below for what is considered appropriate documentation. You may use the Continuing Education Log provided or any other form of tracking. 

It is not necessary to pay for Continuing Education courses. Free HSW courses are available on the internet. Please download the CE Resources document attached here.

Penalties for Non-compliance

If the CE requirement is not met, the Board may issue written reprimands, suspend or revoke the individual's license, or levy a fine. Additional requirements may also be imposed at the Board's discretion, such as requiring the completion of an ethics course and additional years of automatic audits. 

Reinstatement and restoration applications cannot be submitted unless the CE requirement has been completely fulfilled.


Only the following individuals are automatically exempt from the continuing education requirement and do not need to submit an exemption application:

  • Exam candidates (those who are currently taking the exam)
  • Architects and landscape architects with Emeritus status in the state of Ohio. Ohio Emeritus status is not the same as an emeritus member of an association, such as the AIA or ASLA, or an Emeritus status granted by another state. An Ohio Emeritus application must be completed. There is no charge to apply. Emeritus licensees are not permitted to practice.
  • Architects newly licensed by examination and Architects registered by reciprocity are not exempt from Ohio's continuing education requirement. 
  • However, the continuing education requirements do not apply to new Architect licenses (exam or reciprocity) which are issued within 60 days of the end of the calendar year in which the new license is issued (November 1 to December 31). This does not apply to Landscape Architects.

The following individuals must submit an Application for Exemption from the CE Requirement form in order for the Board to consider an exemption:

  • Military duty - Licensees are exempt when they are on full time duty, or temporarily called up for active duty, in the United States military service, where such activity restricts participation in continuing education activities. The signature of the commanding officer, or their designee, is required. 
  • Serious medical condition or disability. A medical provider's signature is required. 
  • Unforeseen emergencies, e.g., natural disasters such as a fire, tornado, flood or hurricane, extreme hardship, or other similar circumstances. Proof of the event may be requested. Financial hardship does not qualify for exemption due to the large amount of free continuing education available online.

A written request for an exemption must be approved by the Board prior to submitting the renewal application. A new exemption request is required for each renewal period.

Download the exemption request form from the Board's website and mail or email the form to the Board office. If you have questions regarding an exemption, please call the Board office at 614-466-2316.

Credit Hours Defined
A contact hour is equal to a clock hour. It must be at least 50 minutes duration. Most continuing education providers give credit in hours (e.g., one AIA Learning Unit (LU) is equivalent to 1 contact hour of continuing education), however, some courses may be given in continuing education units (CEU's).

One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours. Therefore, .1 CEU equals one contact hour, .2 CEU's equals two contact hours, and so on.

One Professional Development Unit (PDU) equals one contact hour.

One semester hour of college-level course work equals 15 contact hours. One hour in a school on a quarterly schedule equals 10 contact hours. College coursework must be related to the profession.

A course may not be repeated in the same calendar year. 

Excess credit may not be carried over from one renewal period to another.

Acceptable Subject Matter
Acceptable subject matter includes those topics which increase the registrant's knowledge and understanding of technical or professional subjects related to the practice and contribute directly to the improvement of the registrant's professional knowledge and competence. This includes any subject matter covered on the Architect Registration Exam (ARE).

Health, safety, and welfare topics

  • Architects: All 12 hours must be HSW subjects. A list of HSW subjects is in the Continuing Education rules.

Self-reported activities for not accepted

The Architects Board does not accept self-reported continuing education activities. 


Audits may be conducted on a random basis at any time during the renewal period, during the course of a disciplinary investigation, or as a result of a late renewal. Individuals subject to audit will be notified in writing, via U.S. Mail or email.

Proof of completion 

DO NOT SUBMIT ANY DOCUMENTS TO THE BOARD UNLESS YOU ARE REQUESTED TO DO SO IN WRITING. It is not necessary to submit documentation with the renewal application. Licenses are randomly selected for audit. You will receive an email if you are selected for audit. 

Proof of completion is required for all reinstatement applications.

Proof of completion may be submitted via email or U.S. Mail. Email is preferred.

If submitting via email, please submit one PDF with all documents/activities, in chronological order, with a CE log.

Acceptable proof of completion consists of:

  • Certificates of attendance or completion.
  • Transcripts/records of credits maintained by providers who may qualify/certify such credits and activities. The transcript must contain the name of the participant.

Unacceptable documentation:

  • Power Points, receipts, course programs or activity descriptions or registration forms. Obtain other documentation, such as a letter from the program provider verifying completion of the activity.

Record keeping

Registrants should keep written records, such as Certificates of Completion or transcript.

Licensees must maintain all CE documents for six years.

Records shall be made available to the Board at anytime upon request for review and audit, or in connection with an investigation or enforcement proceeding.

Failure to provide the requested record in the time frame established by the Board may result in disciplinary action, including fine, reprimand, suspension, revocation or denial of the application for renewal of the licensee's registration.

Disallowed hours

Licensees have 60 days to make up any hours that are disallowed by the Board.

This does not apply to persons who, in the opinion of the Board, have willfully disregarded the CE requirements.

Certificates of Completion

A Certificate of Completion should contain the following information:

  • Title of the course or program and any identification number assigned to it by the provider.
  • A brief description of the subject matter covered.
  • Number of hours completed.
  • Provider name and contact information.
  • Whether or not the content qualifies for Health, Safety and Welfare credits.
  • Name of the attendee.
  • Name and original signature of the provider.
  • Date and location of the program or course.
  • Proof of attendance should be retained for six years.