From the SA Chapter ED June 2019

From the SA Chapter ED June 2019

11 June 2019


I want to update members regarding three interrelated areas of change for Architects – Continuing professional development, the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Acumen.  All relate to how architects access and apply the knowledge to practice as a registered architect. 


Continuing professional development

You may have heard that the Architectural Practice Act is being amended to include compulsory professional development requirements.  If so, you may be wondering what is happening and when this might come into effect. 


The Act is currently being redrafted by DPTI, with a draft due to be released for review later this year.  Once the review is concluded the final document needs to go to Cabinet for sign off. 


As with any legislative process this is taking longer than anticipated!  However, the Institute remains quietly hopeful that the amended Act will come into effect early in 2020.  We will continue to liaise with the APBSA and will provide architects with information to assist them in understanding what this means in practical terms.  The Practice Committee is reviewing the key information that architects need to know and how to effectively deliver this to the profession.


Accredited Professionals Scheme (APS)

The APS falls under another relatively new piece of legislation – the Planning Development and Infrastructure (PDI) Act.  The APS provides a mechanism for determining who is suitably qualified to perform assessment tasks in relation to building and planning approvals. 


So, what does this have to do with architects, I hear you ask? 


The PDI Act includes provision for assessment of design quality.  This is a first in Australia, and something that the Institute lobbied for over a number of years.  For this to be a meaningful process that the community respects, the Institute advocates that architects need to be involved in assessment of design quality.


Architects who have been members of planning assessment panels or want to be involved in the new design review process will now need to be accredited.  Currently architects need to undertake an assessment that provides similar information to that required to register as an architect, as well as paying an assessment fee of over $700.00. 


The Institute is working with DPTI and the APBSA to have the registration process recognised as a substantially equivalent assessment.  This will significantly reduce the cost and time required to become an accredited professional.  We will keep you updated regarding progress and will provide suitable CPD to meet APS requirements.



ACUMEN is the digital resource that replaced the printed practice notes.  They are updated on an ongoing basis and the new format includes an improved search function as well as the ability to collect notes of interest for easy future reference.  Importantly, there is a list of recently published information on the landing page plus a tab for providing feedback and proposing new material.


The SA Chapter staff receive regular queries regarding this valuable resource and are happy to assist members to find the information they seek.  We will also be holding an information session later this year to assist members use ACUMEN more effectively.


While there will always be some members who prefer the hard copy format, I encourage you to give ACUMEN a go next time you want to check something.  If you have a younger staff member who is recently registered or preparing for registration ask them to give you a quick tour.  I know it will be different to using the Practice Notes, but it will become familiar with use.


If you have any queries or concerns regarding any of the above, please contact the SA Chapter and we will assist as best we can.  Being an architect is a very responsible position to hold.  The Institute is committed to supporting our members to meet this responsibility.


Nicolette Di Lernia
Executive Director
SA Chapter Australian Institute of Architects