Continuing Education: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the annual continuing education requirement?

Twelve (12) Continuing Education Program Hours (CEPH) of continuing education activities related to the health, safety and welfare of the public annually, including one hour related to barrier-free design and one hour related to sustainable or energy-efficient design. At least 8 hours must be structured study, and up to 4 hours may be self-directed study.

When am I required to have my continuing education completed?

You are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education every calendar year between January 1 and December 31. During the registration renewal process, you will be asked to verify completion of the 12 hour requirement for the previous calendar year. Your renewal date is the last day of your birth month. Example: if your expiration date is May 31, when you renew prior to May 31, 2021 you must confirm that you completed 12 hours of continuing education in calendar year 2020.

What is meant by “Continuing Education Program Hour?”

Continuing Education Program Hour, or CEPH, is how TBAE rules officially refer to a period of at least forty-five (45) minutes spent in an activity meeting the Board’s continuing education requirements. One CEPH may be referred to by various organizations as one “credit hour”, “hour”, “learning unit”, or other terms, but for TBAE purposes one CEPH amounts to at least 45 minutes of CE credit.

What is “Structured Course Credit?”

Courses of study relevant to the profession, taught or otherwise provided by qualified individuals or organizations, delivered by direct, in-person contact or through distance learning methods, the completion of which results in the issuance of a certificate or other record of attendance to the registrant by the provider.

How many CEPH may I claim for college or university courses?

College or university credit courses dealing with architect/interior design/landscape architect subjects or ethical business practices may be awarded structured course credit based on the following guidelines:

  • Each semester credit hour shall equal one (1) CEPH
  • Each quarter credit hour shall equal one (1) CEPH

What is “Self-Directed Study?”

Time spent by a registrant developing knowledge and skills relevant to practice that does not qualify as Structured Course Study.

Does attending a TBAE Board meeting count for self-directed CE credit?

One CEPH in self-directed course work may be claimed for attendance at one full-day session of a meeting of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.

What other types of self-directed activity may I use for CEPH credit besides reading professional magazines and books that are relevant to my registration?

  • Time spent in professional research for publication or formal presentation to the profession or public;
  • Time spent in professional service to the general public that draws upon professional expertise, such as serving on planning commissions, building code advisory boards, urban renewal boards, code study committees, or educational outreach activities;
  • Time spent preparing to teach or teaching courses relating to the profession. However, a registrant may not claim credit for preparing for or teaching the same course more than once.
  • Time spent in architect/interior design/landscape architect self-directed study programs such as those organized, sponsored or approved by the American Institute of Architects, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the International Interior Design Association, the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards or similar organizations acceptable to the Board.

Which courses or activities qualify for barrier-free design credit?

Barrier-free design is the design or alteration of a building which complies with the Texas Accessibility Standards, the American with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines, or similarly accepted standards for accessible design. To qualify as a barrier free-design CEPH, the course or activity must include at least 45 minutes of content related to barrier-free design.

Where can I find a copy of the Texas Accessibility Standards?

The Texas Accessibility Standards are available online from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation at

Which courses or activities qualify for credit in sustainable or energy-efficient design?

The following definitions apply to sustainable and energy-efficient design:
Sustainable Design – An integrative approach to the process of design which seeks to avoid depletion of energy, water, and raw material resources; prevent environmental degradation caused by facility and infrastructure developments during their implementation and over their life cycle; and create environments that are livable and promote health, safety and well-being. Sustainability is the concept of meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Energy-Efficient Design – The design of a project and the specification of materials to minimize the consumption of energy in the use of the project. The term includes energy efficiency strategies by design as well as the incorporation of alternative energy systems.
To qualify as a CEPH in sustainable or energy-efficient design, the course or activity must include at least 45 minutes of content related to sustainable or energy-efficient design.

What do I do if I realize I’m short a few CE hours for the previous calendar year?

Under newly adopted rules, registrants may take advantage of a new process to correct a failure to complete CE in the previous calendar year. If you are missing any number of CE hours for the previous calendar year, follow these steps to achieve compliance:

  1. Do NOT renew your registration until you are compliant with CE requirements, as follows.
  2. Complete qualifying CE credits to cover any deficiency for the previous calendar year.
  3. IN ADDITION to covering the deficiency for the previous calendar year, complete the full 12-hour requirement for the current calendar year. Your total for the current and past calendar year now should be 24 CE hours.
  4. Renew your registration and safely certify that you have completed the required hours.

May I get an extension to complete my continuing education requirements?

No – you cannot renew your registration until your continuing education is complete. See the question and answer above for the solution.

Am I allowed to carry over extra hours to the next calendar year?

Yes. A maximum of 12 CEPH completed in excess of the continuing education requirements for a calendar year may be carried forward to satisfy the continuing education requirements for the next calendar year only. Hours may not be carried forward more than one year. For example, if you earn 24 CEPH in one calendar year, you can use 12 of those hours for that calendar year and carry forward the remaining “extra” 12 hours for the next calendar year. (Remember that you still need one hour each of sustainable and barrier-free design for each calendar year, of course.)

May I apply continuing education hours to more than one profession?

Yes, if it is appropriate for more than one profession.

When am I required to submit my continuing education documents?

Each registrant certifies their compliance with the continuing education upon renewal every year. However, you should not submit your continuing education documents at the time of renewal, Rather, you are only required to submit your continuing education documents to TBAE if you are requested to do so pursuant to an audit.

If audited, am I required to fill out a CEPH log, or can I just attach a copy of my transcript?

You are required to complete and maintain a separate CEPH Log and supporting documentation for each calendar year and for each profession for which you are registered. You may attach your AIA, IDCEC or ASLA/LACES transcript as supporting documentation. Please circle or highlight activities on the transcript which you are claiming for CEPH credit. Supporting documentation may also include a course description, agenda, or certificate of completion that indicates the title of the activity, number of hours of credit awarded, the date completed, the provider/instructor contact information, if available, and your attendance.

Where can I find a CEPH Log?

You may print a current copy of the CEPH Log from the TBAE website here.

What is considered acceptable supporting documentation of continuing education?

Acceptable supporting documentation issued by the provider includes a certificate of completion, or letter from the provider that indicates the title of the activity, number of hours of credit awarded, the date completed, the provider/instructor contact information and your attendance. You may attach your AIA, IDCEC, or ASLA/LACES transcript as supporting documentation as well.
If you read from a book as part of your self-directed CEPH requirement, you may photocopy the front cover of the book and the table of contents; if you read from a professional magazine, journal or online material, you may submit a copy of the article. Please include a signed and dated statement indicating that you have reviewed this material and specify the number of hours you are claiming for CEPH credit (4 maximum in self-directed activity) as supporting documentation.

How long am I required to maintain my continuing education records?

Five years after the end of the registration period for which credit is claimed.

Do you have a list of courses and providers in my area? How can I determine if the course I am taking will be approved for CEPH credit?

The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) does not pre-approve courses or register providers of continuing education. Please review the criteria in the rule, and use your professional judgment to determine if an activity relates to your profession and the health, safety and welfare of the public. 

How do I apply for a continuing education exemption?

At the time of renewal, you may claim an exemption from continuing education requirements, based on the exemptions identified in Board Rules 1.69, 3.69, and 5.79, as applicable. If audited, you will be required to submit proof of eligibility of any claimed exemption.

Please visit the Continuing Education Requirements page for definitions and additional information on continuing education.