Should Architects Be Exempt From Continuing Education?

The New York Education Department, Office of the Professions, regulates the licensing of the various professions, such as Lawyers, Certified Public Accountants, Architects, and other professions practicing within the state. Typically these professionals must pass initial education and examination requirements, and are also required to maintain certain levels of continuing education units. These requirements are intended to foster continued education and training throughout their career.

These professionals are encouraged to view their commitment to education as an ongoing one, and serves to keep the professionals updated as to new developments in their field. Additionally professionals are also provided training on various ethical issues that the professional may expect to be faced with in their work.

But the New York State Legislature is currently considering removing these education requirements for architects. Current Bill A02318, seeks to repeal section 7308 of the Education Law, which made continuing education mandatory for architects.

The stated justification for this legislation is that mandatory education requirements for architects are flawed for several reasons. First, this requirement is claimed to be based upon the false presumption or stereotype that all architects will be able to afford these education classes. Secondly it is argued that the lack of specific direction as to what classes should be taken demonstrates that the profession has no specific deficiency of knowledge identified; and lastly this repeal is also brought forward based on architects already undergoing extensive education and on the job training.

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With the overriding public policy considerations of safety to the public when dealing with the design and construction of complex structures, is requiring CLE for architects really that unreasonable of a request? The reasons stated as justifications for this bill can also equally apply to other professions as well. Does this mean that we should also be releasing attorneys from the requirements of CLE? If CLE’s are removed, what about the training to appropriately handle the various ethical issues which arise?

What are your thoughts on this repeal? Will this lead to a lowering of the bar across various professions in New York? Please share your comment in the field below.

John Caravella construction lawyer

John Caravella Esq., is a construction attorney and formerly practicing project architect at The Law Office of John Caravella, P.C., representing architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and owners in all phases of contract preparation, litigation, and arbitration across New York and Florida. He also serves as an arbitrator to the American Arbitration Association Construction Industry Panel. Mr. Caravella can be reached by email: or (631) 608-1346.

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1 thought on “Should Architects Be Exempt From Continuing Education?”

  1. I would argue against this litigation. Firstly, many courses are available free of charge. I personally do more than 40 hours per year, with approximately 80% of the courses fee.

    The specificity to direction of course work is drivel. Unlike medical schools training doctors or law schools training lawyers, Architecture schools do not train Architect’s, they teach architecture. Many architecture school professors, many who practice abhor the thought that they should be training Architect’s. Therefore continuing education needs to be self-directed to fill voids that the individual needs to provide professional competency.

    I consider architecture as a profession that requires life-long learning. I have been licensed for more than 35 years and continue to learn more every day. Passing this legislation will be a huge mistake. I don’t know the sponsor of the bill, but I would ask if he is or has connections to trial lawyers or professional liability insurers.

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