The concerned and concerted effort that architects seem to be putting into the accumulation of the points prescribed by the Board of Architects of Queensland as being essential for the re-registration of all architects - 10 formal; 10 informal – is impressive. This particular Continuing Professional Development requirement has been responded to by the setting up of what could be called 'a CPD industry' that promotes occasions that come labelled with a rating of 'x' number of points. The quality of these point-accumulating events is not supervised by the Board; nor does the relevance of a presentation to a particular individual ever appear to be reviewed or considered. The boxes have to be ticked, and that is all that apparently matters. One could be a recent graduate or an experienced architect with years of successful practice, but both can turn up at the most rudimentary of talks and get the required points. The professional development process becomes a counting game instead of a true learning experience.
An idea to make these point-rated presentations more meaningful and intellectually challenging is to be found in Sir John Soane's Royal Academy lectures:
In subsequent times, in different countries, academies have been established, professors appointed, and public lectures and practical instructions given in the most liberal and extensive manner; and in this country, soon after the accession of his present Majesty, a Royal Academy was instituted for the special encouragement of the arts of design. And amongst the laws of this Institution it is declared that, 'There shall be a Professor of Architecture who shall annually read six lectures, to form the taste of the students, to interest them in the laws and principles of composition, to point out to them the beauties or faults of celebrated productions, to fit them for an unprejudiced study of books, and for a critical examination of structures.'
'Sir John Soane The Royal Academy Lectures' edited by David Watkin Cambridge University Press 2000 p.27
Why might the Board of Architects not take on the responsibility itself to run an annual series of quality lectures or discourses on architecture that could create the core count of points? At least there might be some quality control over the events. The Royal Academy can do it. Why might this not happen in Queensland? Queensland has almost a surplus of professors and many who profess a genuine interest in architecture.
For more on the Board and CPD, see: